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apple picking recommendations outside of Toronto?

I would like to go apple picking and would appreciate your suggestions for an orchard that has a good variety ad is not overly commercial...... Last year we picked apples at Avalon orchards ad did not like the apples. We are coming from Toronto.

Thanks

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  1. What didn't you like about the apples at Avalon Orchards? I was thinking of going there because they are an organic grower and featured some not-so-common apple varieties.

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    Avalon Orchards
    5th Line, Innisfil, ON L9S, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: gnuf

      we try and buy organic and so we were very enthusiastic about going to Avalon Orchards. Of course it is a matter of taste, but the apples were not flavourful. Some friends were there this year and agreed that the apples were poor. Very disappointing.

      1. re: snoobie

        I've just been buying some apples in Waupoos here in Prince Edward County. My regular vendor says it was so hot this summer that some varieties never got a chance to "set up". I usually get Honey Crisp and Macs at Thanksgiving, but she steered me to some Jonagolds,which are excellent right now.

    2. By coincidence, I went to Avalon today. The picking was limited--our party included a 3-year old, so we didn't venture too far back into the orchard, and it was a bit damp. We picked some spys and a couple of eating varieties (Freedom and Liberty--is this a theme?). All of them were quite small, but also full of excellent flavour. Prime apple season is past, I think, because of our long, hot summer, but the apples at Avalon were definitely flavourful.

      1. Depends which way you want to go. East or west. I have heard good things about Chudliegh's ( fun for the kids, not too far, nice selection) but have never been. I myself have been going to Watson farms in Bowmanville for more then a decade now. I like it there, always have my favorite.... mutsu's.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sweetie

          Chudleigh's does have a lot for kids (petting zoo, hay maze, playground) and the description we came up with was it is the Canada's Wonderland of apples. On the Sunday we went, there were fields and fields of cars parked out front and a $6 admission charge. Apples were 95cents a pound. There is a rebate of $3 if you spend $20 or more on product. While the quality of produce was great, I didn't feel the admission was justified. I'd be much happier to go a smaller orchard, minus the amusement aspect....

          1. re: Julie McCoy

            Great description, Julie. Imagine, paying admission to pick or buy, when there are so many smaller, more personal orchards around.

            1. re: Julie McCoy

              Chudleigh's has certainly turned me off with their admission charge...it was an annual family/friends event around Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). I think it has gotten WAY too commercial and we simply choose to go elsewhere. There are plenty of pick-your-own farms to visit and most of them within the same driving distance.

          2. I love the honeycrisps from Applewood Farm in Stouffville. We did not pick our own but bought ones already picked. They were very sweet. They have other varieties too.

            1. William's Orchard in Halton Hills. Family run, no frills orchard with numerous varieties. Apples are always excellent and the family that runs it are very nice. Trees are small enough that it's easy for kids to reach the apples.

              William’s Orchard
              10101 Hume Court, Halton Hills
              905.876.4220

              For a nice afternoon combine William's Orchard with Andrews Scenic Acres where you can pick a pumpkin and go on a tractor ride.

              Andrews Scenic Acres
              9365 No. 10 Sideroad, Halton Hills
              905.878.5807,
              www.AndrewsScenicAcres.com

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              William’s Orchard
              10101 Hume Ct, Halton Hills, ON L0P, CA

              1. Here's a link: http://www.allaboutapples.com/orchard...
                I've been to the Pine Farms one and they have a variety, plus a store with pies, wines, etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Wiley

                  That's good to know because I'm going there on Saturday :-)

                2. For my money it's Archibald's north of Bowmanville; just drive on the 401 to Bowmanville, take Liberty Street exit and drive north on Liberty some 15 kms. There's signage. Takes about an hour.

                  In addition to a wide variety of apples there's apple wine (many kinds) cider, pies, cheese, and some eats. I also believe there is an apple festival in the town on the 13th.
                  Good luck.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kennzer

                    While I've never picked their apples, Archibalds is great. Love to do the wine tasting and peruse the baked goodies. They seem to be quite kid friendly. If you go there, try the Macoon apples. They are ready pick only, and the season is quite short. A truly great apple.

                    You can also golf at Archibalds little 9 hole golf course and head north on Liberty St. to the town of Tyrone and check out Tyrone Mills. It's a turn of the century mill, complete with a display of antique tools. Their homemade donuts are fabulous as are their tarts and pies. Lots of stuff packed into this little location.

                  2. We went to Pine Farms in King City (www.pinefarmsorchard.com) a couple of weeks ago, and had an excellent experience. The apples were plentiful and delicious, and the farm was just the right scale - it's about the apples, not the event. No hayrides or corn mazes, although there's a lovely little store that sells locally-made products (including wines and ciders).

                    It's about 45-50 minutes from downtown TO, on Keele north of Bloomington Side Road.

                    As have others, I would point out that it's getting late in the season for apples, this weekend's balmy weather notwithstanding.

                    1. Not really outside "Toronto", but we went with a group to Al Ferri & Sons orchard in Brampton on Thanksgiving monday. The place was packed w/ people. They have a nice little free tractor ride that takes you from the parking lot/store area to the back of the orchard (hauls about 20 people, about a 1 min ride). Admission is free. From there, you can wander along rows of apples... golden delicious, mutsu, macintosh among some of the varieties of apples. Quality was decent, and trees are not too large... they also provide ladders as well. Still lots of big apples on the trees on that day. They charge 80cents per lb for all varieties apples, except macintosh which are 70cents (less sweet). They also charge 50cents per plastic bag (so remember to bring your own). Plus there's a store which sells candied apples, pies, etc. Tried the apple pie, which was a bit too sweet and otherwise plain. I can't compare it to any other orchards, since it's my first time to one of these things (we followed a friend who's been going there every year since she was a kid). At least my 2 year old son had a blast (especially the tractor ride).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Royaljelly

                        http://www.applewoodfarmwinery.com/
                        I second Applewoods as well..went a couple of weeks ago...very tasty Apples and a fruit ice wine boutique as well. Try the Black Forest with an auroma of Chocolate..very tasty and unique. Stop in at Unionville for lunch.

                      2. We went apple picking yesterday and we had a great time... This is a best place to go if you want to enjoy picking apples and have fun! ...The owner is very nice. They have wagon hay rides, corn maze and lots of different apples to choose from. Oh I forgot... they have some pumpkins too!
                        The best part is....NO ENTRANCE FEE!!! Some places they charges $3.00-$6.50/person. That is ridiculous... it takes the fun out of picking apples.

                        Dixie Orchards!
                        14309 Dixie Road
                        Caledon, Ontario
                        L7C 2M8

                        Phone: (905) 838-5888
                        Fax: (905) 838-3338

                        www.dixieorchards.com