My favourite time of year – peach season! Ontario’s garden goodness is overflowing at farmers’ markets across Toronto. But instead of picking up a basket of the local sweetness, we headed southwest to fill our own at Parkway Orchards.
The pick-your-own fruit farm located in the Niagara-on-the-Lake along the Niagara River offers rows upon rows of fruit from apples and pears to plums and strawberries – depending on the season. Two moms and three kids grabbed some baskets to fill with peaches and cherries. ($10 per adult and $5 per child – the admission cost goes towards the final pickings that are measured by weight when you check out.)
Getting there: Niagara is about 140km around the bend of Lake Ontario. Parkway Orchards is along the Niagara River in between wineries. There is a bike path along the Parkway.
Low-down:The farm is open from mid-June to mid-October – check the schedule for what is in season. There is no picnicking at the farm and you’re given a time-limit in the orchard. You’re allowed to eat one while you pick — this is not an organic farm, so wash the fruit before eating. There is a hose near the entrance. A full basket of peaches was about $10.
In the hood:The area and the parkway is dotted with wineries. There is a bike path along the Niagara River. If you’re heading towards Niagara Falls, you can make a day of it with some family-friendly stops at the Butterfly Conservatory, Niagara Falls attractions and the Niagara Glen (free). Staying the night? There is Great Wolf Lodge and some hotels in Niagara Falls (with access to the Fallsview Waterpark.)