Category Archives: Annual Events

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.

How to Find Toronto Buskerfest 2011

Buskerfest 2012 in Toronto in August (Updated July & Aug. 2012; Aug. 2013)

(Updated Aug. 3 and 19, 2013): In 2013, Toronto Buskerfest will move from the St. Lawrence Market to Yonge Street, for Aug. 22-25 2013. See “How to Find the 2013 Toronto Buskerfest” for the new venues. So the locations are out-dated in the rest of this article.

The annual summer event known as Scotiabank Buskerfest will return to Toronto for August 23-26, 2012 in the St. Lawrence Market district. Expect an amazing assortment of artistic acts.

BuskerFest 2012 also is mentioned in “Toronto Ashkenaz Festival 2012 at Harbourfront or BuskerFest?“, since it’s easy to schedule visits to both.

Most of this article is unreviewed and unchanged from last year and should be reasonably accurate; there’s a link to the Toronto Buskerfest official site farther down the page.

The Rest was in the Past: Toronto Buskerfest 2011

We expect it to return in August 2012.

What is Buskerfest in Toronto?

In its twelfth year in 2011, it claimed to be North America’s largest street festival for buskers, performers, magicians, musicians, dancers and entertainers of almost any ilk. Someday I expect to see “interactive street ballet”; take a note, Karen Kain!

"Fireboy, a Busker in Toronto Buskerfest 2009" by Loozrboy
“Fireboy, a Busker in Toronto Buskerfest 2009” by Loozrboy

The long history of “busking”, or performing in public places while hoping for donations, has been somewhat twisted in Toronto. For some years, the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) has been licensing buskers in selected subway stations. Purists may despise organized busking, which normally is one of the last bastions of truly free enterprise. (Running afoul of “aggressive panhandling”and “squeegee kid” laws do make these, and similar pursuits, difficult as routes to long-term self employment).

How to Get to Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest

(This section is out of date beginning in 2013). It is convenient to take a bus along Jarvis Street to Front Street, or as close as it will take you in case of road closures. For the rest of us, please check the next paragraphs.

For out-of-town visitors, consider taking a Go Train to Union Station. Once there, find your way out the main doors; the Royal York Hotel should be directly to the north, across Front Street.

Those already in Toronto with easy access to the subway should head for Union Station, too.

Walk east, away from the CN Tower (more than a tourist attraction, it’s a great landmark!), along Front Street. Cross Bay Street and Yonge Street. The next intersection is Scott Street, the western border of the Scotiabank Buskerfest on Thursday. The St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts is at this corner.

Dates and Times for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest in 2011

The dates for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest are Thurday, Aug. 25 through Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.

Thursday and Friday start at noon, and end at 10 and 11pm respectively.

Saturday and Sunday start at 11am, but end at 11 and 8pm respectively.

Program Notes for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest in 2011

Take note of the childrens’ programme, called “Buskerplay for Kids“. Go to the north side of Front at Jarvis.

This blog entry cannot possibly do justice to the variety of acts.

“Epilepsy Toronto”, The Charity Connection for Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest in 2011

Epilepsy Toronto is the charity benefiting from the Bank of Nova Scotia’s sponsorship plus public donations at the Scotiabank Buskerfest in Toronto.

Your Money

Yes, you may donate to Epilepsy Toronto; you may pay for specific shows; and you should indeed tip the buskers at Toronto’s Scotiabank Buskerfest, as they will encourage you to do.

Toronto Buskerfest’s Official Site

See the official site for Scotiabank Buskerfest here. This annual summer event has become a must-see Toronto attraction for the last weekend of August.

Looking for More Annual Toronto Events?

Check the “annual events” or “Toronto events” categories toward the end of the left-hand menu for other fascinating, free or frugal annual events in Toronto.