Fest brings community together over apples

Bayview's past as an orchard inspires two-day festival

Apple Fest may sound like a hi-tech gathering, but on Bayview Avenue it’s actually about apples.

The Lea family once occupied apple orchards on this land. Though these historical orchards are no longer present, the community maintains the spirit of the family farm.

That legacy, along with all things apple, was celebrated by the Bayview Leaside BIA at the third annual Apple Fest, which took place Sept. 29–30 on Bayview between Soudan Avenue and Davisville Avenue

“The Lea family used to have an orchard here, and Apple Fest is all about bringing our history back to the city,” BIA coordinator Cheryl Sims said.

The Leaside family is just one of the apple-orchard owners the Fest paid homage to. For example, the “Lawerence family farms on the west” were celebrated, too, notes the Bayview Leaside BIA’s website.

Along with looking back, Apple Fest also focused on bringing the community and local businesses together in the present.

People walking down Bayview and Millwood Road were greeted with free apples by vendors like realtor Patrick Rocca, one of more than 40 businesses who participated in the event. “Just a little something to promote myself and the community,” he said.

Some stores offered clothing discounts, while food stores like Cobs Bread had employees handing out apple scones served with vanilla ice cream.

Others, like the Academy of Culinary Arts, offered free apples for customers and encouraged people to peel them. Some of those apples were provided by local Ontario apple supplier Badali’s Fruit Market, which has been running for over 80 years, just down the street from Culinary Arts.

Not only small businesses participated. Large chains on Bayview sported apple-themed posters whether they were directly involved in the celebration or not.

Among all of the sweet apple treats was a chance for a community to enjoy the warm weather before the coats come out.

As local resident Wilmar Kortleever said, “You actually see all the shops and you meet a lot of people, and it’s just nice to run into neighbours every once in awhile.”


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Posted: Oct 3 2018 8:48 am
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