Throwing on a chunky knit cardigan to counter fall’s sudden breeze, kicking one’s way through piles of crisp, crimson- and copper-coloured leaves, windswept along sidewalks and streets, visiting an Ontario fall fair or going apple picking near Toronto is an admittedly romanticized portrait of autumn, but one which we city dwellers readily embrace. Apple picking unifies family and friends in a purely rural activity, the results of which everyone can enjoy. Plus it’s a great way to get out and see the fall colours.
Are you picking your own apples for baking, cooking or simply delicious eating? The best apples for baking are Honeycrisp, Cortland, Northern Spry, Mutsu, Jonagold and Braeburn. The best apples for cooking are Granny Smith, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp. If you simply want to eat freshly picked apples, the best apples for eating are McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Empire, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Granny Smith. Find out where to go apple picking near Toronto at the following apple farms that offer pick-your-own apples.
Pick Your Own Apple Farms in Milton
- Chudleigh’s, 9528 Regional Road 25, Halton Hills, 905-878-2725 has Gala, Wealthy, Golden Delicious and Kerr Minis apple varieties for pick-your-own and other varieties that are ready picked. The apple farm also features a licensed restaurant, store and family friendly activities. Ready to pick Aug. 21, 2019: Sunrise; Aug. 28: Wealthy, Ginger Gold; Sept. 11: McIntosh, Silken; Sept. 18: Cortland, Gala, Kerr Mini; Sept. 25: Red Delicious, Northern Spry, Honeycrisp, Empire; Oct. 9: Russet, Golden Delicious, Creston. Admission is Adults (13+) $15, ages 4-13 $13, 3 and under Free; Group rate (20+ people) $13. General admission rate applies to upper yard (farm animals, tractor wagon rides, play area, nature trail and bail jump). Parking is free. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day including Holiday Mondays until October 31, 2019.
- Willis Family Fruit Farm, 6063 Fifth Line, Milton, 905-876-2606 is open weekends and holiday Mondays beginning September 7, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and has Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Royal Gala, Silken, Wealthy, Ambrosia, Macoun, Mutsu, Cortland, Red and Golden Delicious varieties for picking. Pick-your-own apples are $4 per pound; pre-picked apples are $5 per pound. Minimum amount for apple picking is $8 per person including children.
King City Pick Your Own Apple Farms
- Pine Farms Orchard, 2700 16th Sideroad, King City, 905-833-5459 have been in operation for 50 years selling Melba, Wealthy, Spartan, McIntosh, Red Delicious, Cortland, Northern Spy and limited quantities of other varieties. Ready Aug. 23, 2019: Ginger Gold; Aug. 31: Wealthy; Sept. 7: McIntosh; Sept. 10 Cortland; Sept. 18: Royal Gala and Spartan; Sept. 20: Honeycrisp and Empire; Sept. 25: Mutsu; Sept. 28: Red Delicious; Oct. 1: Ambrosia, Jonegold, Russett; Oct. 5: Northern Spy and Ida Red. Fall hours from mid-August to Nov. 1, 2019 are Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person; 2 and under Free. Admission is cash only; Visa and debit accepted for all other items. No outside food allowed. Bring your own bags if possible.
- JC Agri Orchards, 3105 16th Sideroad, King City, 705-733-5369, offers pick-your-own apples priced per pound. Early Sept.: Tydenman Red and Silken; Mid-Sept.: Gala, McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp; Early Oct.: Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Spartan and Red Delicious. You are encouraged to bring your own bags. Bags are available for 50 cents each. Cash, debit, Visa or Mastercard accepted for apples. Cash only for snacks and beverages at Apple Road Cafe.
Pick Your Own Apples in Stouffville
- Applewood Farm Winery, 12442 McCowan Road, Stouffville, 905-642-4720 has apple orchards containing McIntosh, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Spartan, Royal Gala, Ambrosia, Golden Delicious, Paula Red, Cortland and Spencer varieties. Pick-your-own apples begin on Sat., Sept. 7, 2019 and are $20 for a 20 lb. bag. Admission is $10 (ages 3-65) and includes includes one pick your own pumpkin or squash per paid entry or one half peck of apples; full use of play yard, animal barn, wagon ride, corn maze and Straw Mountain. Hours after Labour Day 2019 are Monday and Tuesdays closed, Wednesday-Friday noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thanksgiving Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Brampton Pick Your Own Apple Farms
- The Big’r Apple Farm, 8674 Heritage Road, 1 1/2 kilometres north of Steeles, 905-455-8414 is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Apple varieties available for picking include Ginger Gold, McIntosh, Royal Gala and Wealthy apples for picking in early September, Jonagold, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Empire, Honeycrisp and Cortland available for pick-your-own in mid-September and Golden Delicious, Northern Spry and Fortune varieties for picking in early October.
I hope you get a chance to go apple picking near Toronto. Let me know in the comment section is you visit one of these pick your own apple farms.