Tag Archives: Annual Events

Toronto Afrofest 2012 at Woodbine Park

(Updated July 4, 2015): I’ve written a new article, “A PanAm Touch for Afrofest 2015 in Toronto“. By the way, my older links to the previous years of Afrofest might not work.

(Updated June 11, 2014): Here’s the link to Afrofest 2014, running July 5-6 in Woodbine Park.

(Updated June 1, 2013): The 2013 Afrofest in Toronto returns to Woodbine Park for July 6 and 7, 2013 for more free African music. As of June 1st, they still seek volunteers to work at this event. (Updated July 6, 2013): “Five Free Toronto Events for July 6-7, 2013” includes Afrofest as one of the six free festivals, so check that for the current information. This 2012 article has more of the background. (I added the “Taste of Lawrence” after the article had  been published, and I refused to change the title from “Five” to “Six”).

Toronto Afrofest 2012 moves away from its former venue at Queen’s Park. The new location is Woodbine Park, at Lake Shore Blvd. East at Coxwell Ave.

The Basics for Afrofest 2012 in Toronto

"King George IV Approved Afrofest in Queen's Park" by PinkMoose (Anthony Easton)
“King George IV Approved Afrofest in Queen’s Park” by PinkMoose (Anthony Easton)

Celebrate Afrofest 2012 on the July 7-8 weekend from noon to 10pm, with free admission to enjoy nearly two dozen bands.

The Afrofest Toronto festivities include children’s and youth activities, the sale of African crafts, and about 30 purveyors of African cuisine.

Those new to these cuisines might find excuses to patronize African restaurants in Toronto in the coming months.

Music and dance feature prominently. For example, the main stage starts Saturday with the Joy Lapps Trio at 1pm, and closes with the African Guitar Summit starting at 8:50. On Sunday, the Samba Squad leads off at one; the final performance features Sam Fan Thomas at 8:50pm.

Afrofest 2012’s second stage, the Baobab, includes dance and fashion shows.

How to Find Afrofest 2012 at Woodbine Park in Toronto

It’s easy to find Woodbine Park for Afrofest 2012. Take the 22 Coxwell bus south from the Danforth subway line, and exit either at Queen Street or on Eastern Avenue. I’m not sure whether the Queen streetcar service will have recovered from road work by the weekend. Parking your car would be a real pain in the driver’s rear end, but the Martin Goodman Trail provides bicycle access right to Coxwell at Lake Shore. Be sure to press the traffic light button to get a “walk” signal across Lake Shore Blvd!

Woodbine Park is bounded by Eastern Avenue on the north (just south of Queen Street); Northern Dancer on the east; Lake Shore Blvd. East on the south; and Coxwell Ave. on the west.

Once you’re anywhere near Woodbine Park, Afrofest will be impossible to miss.

Special Notes about Afrofest 2012 at Woodbine Park

"Map of Woodbine Park, Toronto" by Mike DeHaan
“Map of Woodbine Park, Toronto” by Mike DeHaan

The Afrofest 2012 organizers ask that you bring your own (plastic) water bottles, since the city does not want them to distribute such containers.

Keep track of your small children; there are a couple of open ponds in Woodbine Park. It’s also a pretty large venue!

More Details about Afrofest 2012 in Toronto

Officials decided that Afrofest had outgrown the space and facilities available at Queen’s Park. The downtown core’s loss should be the gain of Toronto’s Beach community with Afrofest 2012 finding a home at Woodbine Park.

Find more details at the official Toronto Music Africa site. (updated 2012-07-10).

Looking for More Annual Toronto Events?

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the left-hand column for recent articles in this category. Thanks!

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article.

The 2011 MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village

The 2013 MCC Sale at Black Creek Pioneer Village

(Updated Aug. 11, 2014): Please see my 2014 article, “Two Quilt Events at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto” for the updates, including an August quilt show and sale organized by a completely different organization.

(Added Sept. 1, 2013 and updated Sept. 1, 2014): Starting in 2013, this annual Toronto event will add the title, “Toronto Mennonite Festival”, to its name. Visit us on Sat. Sept. 20, 2014.

(Updated Aug. 11 & Sept. 10, 2012). MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) will hold the 2012 Relief Sale on Sat. Sept. 15. I’ve added a new article, “2012 Quilt Auction at the Black Creek Pioneer Village Relief Sale“.

Most of the details and links in this article are still true!

This Annual Event is in the Past: The Black Creek Pioneer Village Fall Festival

Toronto’s premier annual fall fair, the Black Creek Pioneer Village 55th Annual Pioneer Festival will welcome the MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale on Sat. Sept. 17, 2011 at 10am.

The next festival will be Sat. Sept. 21, 2013.

"Hand-Made Ice Cream"
“Hand-Made Ice Cream”

What is the MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village?

The Quilt Auction is a fund-raising project for MCC. The relief sale includes vegetables or pies to take home; ready-to-eat foods such as pie, roasted chicken legs, corn on the cob, Sloppy Joe on a bun, Asian cuisine; jams and preserves; and more.

Each hand-made quilt, requiring many hours of piecing and stitching, is donated to this auction.

This Toronto event is a significant regional fund-raising opportunity for MCC. It is also a terrific family event with the opportunity to learn about pioneer life. Quilt collectors can bid for bargains or compete for a high-quality display quilt.

What is MCC (Mennonite Central Committee)?

MCC, or Mennonite Central Committee, is a service organization supported by many Mennonite denominations. It “shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice”.

One specific example in 2011: providing relief from drought and famine in East Africa. They were in Haiti after the earthquake and in Indonesia after the 2007 tsunami.

MCC is one of the most effective relief and service organizations in the world, largely because they partner with local agencies and organizations, and because they usually take a long-term approach even when responding to immediate needs.

Let me introduce you to MCC through my article “Modern Mennonite Relief Organizations and Service Agencies“, or read the official MCC web site.

Where Does the Money Go?

Proceeds go to MCC for its relief efforts throughout the world: famine and drought relief in East Africa; aid after natural disasters; and many other projects.

The organizers run a separate fundraising event as part of their annual general meeting. Local Mennonites cover nearly all the costs associated with the event, to ensure the public’s money goes toward MCC’s relief efforts.

What is Black Creek Pioneer Village?

Black Creek Pioneer Village plunges its visitors into the “lifestyles, customs, and surroundings of…the typical crossroads community village found in the Toronto area during the 1800’s”.

Owned and operated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Black Creek Pioneer Village has authentic “period” buildings and artifacts. Staff and volunteers re-enact the trades and lifestyles befitting those historic times.

Livestock also lives at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Vegetable gardens are cultivated and harvested. Read more at the official Black Creek Pioneer Village web site.

Where is Black Creek Pioneer Village?

Black Creek Pioneer Village is at 1000 Murray Ross Parkway in north-west Toronto, just east of Jane Street on the south side of Steeles Avenue. It is on the west side of the York University Campus.

How can I Find Black Creek Pioneer Village?

From highway 401, take highway 400 north and exit onto eastbound Steeles Avenue.

From highway 407 take Jane Street southbound, then turn east onto Steeles Avenue.

From highway 400 southbound, take highway 7 eastbound, then turn south onto Jane Street and later east onto Steeles Avenue.

Parking costs $6 for the day.

The TTC’s Steeles West 60 bus arrives from the Yonge/Steeles station. The Jane 35 bus connects from the Bloor/Jane station.

York Region Transport serves Black Creek Pioneer Village with the Route 10 (Woodbridge) and Route 20 (Jane-Concord) bus lines.

What will it Cost to enter Black Creek Pioneer Village and the MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event?

Black Creek Pioneer Village charges admission, from $11 to $15 per person depending on age. Taxes are extra.

There is no additional admission charge for the MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale event. You will be tempted to eat your way through the village green, typically for $5 or so per plate. You can hope to catch a bargain on a small quilt, or be prepared for a bidding war for the most coveted full-size quilts.

When will the MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village be Held?

The MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village will be held on Saturday Sept. 17, starting at 10:00 am.

The quilt auction starts at noon, so arrive early to preview the quilts and find some nourishment.

Further Details about the MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Catch me at this pioneer festival. I will spend part of the day selling Sloppy Joe snacks (meat or vegetarian) at this fall fair.

For more details, see the official Toronto Mennonite Festival (Black Creek Pioneer Village Relief Sale) web site.