Provincial Agricultural Fair of Canada West

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Provincial Agricultural Fair of Canada West was an annual provincial agricultural fair held in various places[1][2] in Canada West and after 1867 in Ontario.

The fair was established in 1846 and sponsored by the Provincial Agricultural Association and the Board of Agriculture for Canada West. It replaced an earlier attempt in 1792 by the Agricultural Society of Upper Canada[3] founded in Newark in 1792.

The fair was mainly an agricultural themed show featuring horses and domesticated animals from around what was still a very rural pre-Confederation Ontario. It would last until 1878 as it met competition with large number of local fairs that emerged across some towns and counties in Ontario[4] and eventually succeeded by the Canadian National Exhibition in 1879.

List of Provincial Agricultural Association of Canada West/Ontario[edit]

Year Host Notes
1846 Toronto Held at Government House Grounds near King Street West and Simcoe Street[2]. The amount of prizes was $1,600. The number of entries was 1,150.[5]
1847 Hamilton Used Old Race Grounds[6] between Dundurn Street (then Garth Street) and Locke Street South along Aberdeen Avenue in Kirkendall area. The amount of prizes was $3,000. The number of entries was 1,600.[5]
1848 Cobourg Hosted by Northumberland Agricultural Society and held on land loan by Patrick Wallace in the west end of town[7]. The amount of prizes was $3,100. The number of entries was 1,500.[5]
1849 Kingston Likely on same site used the then Frontenac Agricultural Society Fair c. 1825 near Kingston (Kingston and District Agricultural Society after 1825). The amount of prizes was $5,100. The number of entries was 1,429.[5]
1850 Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake) Held at Court House (now Old Court House Theatre) and 14 acres of land set aside(perhaps military reserves)[8]. The amount of prizes was $5,000. The number of entries was 1,638.[5]
1851 Brockville Host of fair from September 24 to 26[9]. The amount of prizes was $5,000. The number of entries was 1,466.[5]
1852 Toronto north part of Grange Park (neighbourhood). The amount of prizes was $6,000. The number of entries was 3,048.[5]
1853 Hamilton October 4 to 7[10]. The amount of prizes was $6,400. The number of entries was 2,820.[5]
1854 London, Ontario Fair site was north of Oxford St., and south of Grosvenor St., between Talbot St. and the Thames River (now London Life Recreation Grounds). Attended in last three days by James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin[11]. On the opening day, approximately 30,000 people attended. The amount of prizes was $7,200. The number of entries was 2,933.[5]
1855 Cobourg October 9 to 12[12]
1856 Kingston September 23 to 26[13]
1857 Brantford, Ontario Held September 29 to 30[14]

From 1858 the fair rotated between Toronto, Kingston, Hamilton and London in the same sequence for the duration of the fair's existence.[15]

Year Host Notes
1858 Toronto Crystal Palace or Palace of Industry built near King Street West and Shaw Street[16]
1859 Kingston Held again in the city for third time.[17]
1860 Hamilton[18]
1861 London Military Garrison property near Victoria Park.[15] The second provincial fair held in London (and sixteenth in Canada West) was on September 24–27, 1861, on grounds between Waterloo and Richmond, running south of what would become Kenneth Avenue "nearly down to Central Avenue".[19]
1862 Toronto September 23 to 26[20]
1863 Kingston[21]
1864 Hamilton [22]
1865 London Military Garrison property near Victoria Park.[15] Held September 18–22, this was the fair's third time in London.[23]
1866 Toronto [24]
1867 Kingston [25]
1868 Hamilton [26]
1869 London Military Garrison property near Victoria Park.[15] The fair took place in September, and was attended by the Governor General (Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn) and Sir John A. Macdonald.[27]
1870 Toronto [15]
1871 Kingston [15]
1872 Hamilton [15]
1873 London Military Garrison property near Victoria Park.[15] Held September 22–25—the 28th Provincial Fair was London's fifth.[28]
1874 Toronto [15]
1875 Kingston [15]
1876 Hamilton [15]
1877 London Military Garrison property near Victoria Park. (The fairgrounds in London moved to their current Queen's Park location on September 19, 1887).[15]
1878 Toronto Last year Fair was held and first time at Exhibition Grounds by New Fort with Crystal Palace disassembled and rebuilt there.[29]


Following Toronto's decision to create a permanent fair (Toronto Industrial Exhibition or now the Canadian National Exhibition), the provincial fair was replaced by the Dominion Exhibition from 1879 until 1913.

All the remaining cities to continue with their existing fairs:

  • Kingston: continued with the Frontenac Agricultural Society Fair that began in 1825 on a irregular pattern to 1925, thereafter the Kingston Fair has been held annually[30]
  • Hamilton: the closest fair in the city has been the Ancaster Fall Fair held since 1850
  • London: continued with the Western Fair that began in 1868 and operating since 1885 as the only fall fair in the city

Other fairs[edit]

A list of annual agricultural and/or country fairs in Ontario created before or after the establishment of the provincial fair:

  • The International Plowing Match held annually since 1913 in a different location in Ontario each year, has become the largest outdoor agricultural and rural fair in North America.

Other annual fairs around Canada and the United States:

References[edit]

  1. ^ CNE Archives. 2013.
  2. ^ a b http://www.lostrivers.ca/points/CNEearly.htm
  3. ^ http://www.emsdaleagriculturalsociety.com/our-history/history-of-agricultural-fairs/
  4. ^ Agricultural Society of Upper Canada
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Goodspeed, W. A. & C.L. (1889). History of the County of Middlesex Canada: From the Earliest Time to the Present ; Containing an Authentic Account of Many Important Matters Relating to the Settlement, Progress and General History of the County ; and Including a Department Devoted to the Preservation of Personal and Private Records, etc. Toronto and London: W.A. & C.L. Goodspeed. p. 202.
  6. ^ http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo%3A73685
  7. ^ https://www.cobourgmuseum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/AgricultureFairs-Final.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.niagarahistorical.museum/media/NHS32.pdf
  9. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=QSQaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=agricultural+fair+was+held+in+brockville+in+1851&source=bl&ots=4NV1QrsT4z&sig=sZNDL3kODpaukD_syW0Y0K8lXQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZn4aSupPWAhVo6oMKHUCrDDIQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=agricultural%20fair%20was%20held%20in%20brockville%20in%201851&f=false
  10. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=QSQaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=agricultural+fair+was+held+in+brockville+in+1851&source=bl&ots=4NV1QrsT4z&sig=sZNDL3kODpaukD_syW0Y0K8lXQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZn4aSupPWAhVo6oMKHUCrDDIQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=agricultural%20fair%20was%20held%20in%20brockville%20in%201851&f=false
  11. ^ Brock, Dan; McEwan, Catherine (2011). Fragments from the Forks: London, Ontario's Legacy. London, Ontario, Canada: The London and Middlesex Historical Society. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-9866899-0-1.
  12. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=QSQaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=agricultural+fair+was+held+in+brockville+in+1851&source=bl&ots=4NV1QrsT4z&sig=sZNDL3kODpaukD_syW0Y0K8lXQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZn4aSupPWAhVo6oMKHUCrDDIQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=agricultural%20fair%20was%20held%20in%20brockville%20in%201851&f=false
  13. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=QSQaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=agricultural+fair+was+held+in+brockville+in+1851&source=bl&ots=4NV1QrsT4z&sig=sZNDL3kODpaukD_syW0Y0K8lXQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZn4aSupPWAhVo6oMKHUCrDDIQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=agricultural%20fair%20was%20held%20in%20brockville%20in%201851&f=false
  14. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=QSQaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=agricultural+fair+was+held+in+brockville+in+1851&source=bl&ots=4NV1QrsT4z&sig=sZNDL3kODpaukD_syW0Y0K8lXQw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZn4aSupPWAhVo6oMKHUCrDDIQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=agricultural%20fair%20was%20held%20in%20brockville%20in%201851&f=false
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Salter's Grove/Queen's Park (1879 - 1887)". Closed Canadian Parks. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  16. ^ http://torontoist.com/2008/08/historicist_an_exhibition_in_crysta/
  17. ^ http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2836467
  18. ^ https://books.google.ca/books?id=Cv4_AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA234&lpg=RA1-PA234&dq=upper+canada+provincial+fair+kingston+1860&source=bl&ots=yJ6Q_R4HiH&sig=SQ9tC_hS0_6vQoRLnB7TePc7d08&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEmqPXk5bWAhVs74MKHVVdBesQ6AEIXzAH#v=onepage&q=upper%20canada%20provincial%20fair%20kingston%201860&f=false
  19. ^ Brock, Dan; McEwan, Catherine (2011). Fragments from the Forks: London, Ontario's Legacy. London, Ontario, Canada: The London and Middlesex Historical Society. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-9866899-0-1.
  20. ^ https://archive.org/details/cihm_89189
  21. ^ http://vitacollections.ca/cramahelibrary/2813225/data?n=6
  22. ^ http://vitacollections.ca/cramahelibrary/2813225/data?n=6
  23. ^ Brock, Dan; McEwan, Catherine (2011). Fragments from the Forks: London, Ontario's Legacy. London, Ontario, Canada: The London and Middlesex Historical Society. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-9866899-0-1.
  24. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1526&dat=18680921&id=E0g6AAAAIBAJ&sjid=LCoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3376,4575357
  25. ^ http://vitacollections.ca/cramahelibrary/2813225/data?n=6
  26. ^ http://vitacollections.ca/cramahelibrary/2813225/data?n=6
  27. ^ Brock, Dan; McEwan, Catherine (2011). Fragments from the Forks: London, Ontario's Legacy. London, Ontario, Canada: The London and Middlesex Historical Society. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-9866899-0-1.
  28. ^ Brock, Dan; McEwan, Catherine (2011). Fragments from the Forks: London, Ontario's Legacy. London, Ontario, Canada: The London and Middlesex Historical Society. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-9866899-0-1.
  29. ^ http://torontoist.com/2008/08/historicist_an_exhibition_in_crysta/
  30. ^ http://www.agrinewsinteractive.com/archives/article-6187.htm
  31. ^ Mitchell-Reid, Alison. "The East Middlesex Agricultural Society Fonds (AFC73)" (PDF). Archives Finding Aids. Archives and Research Collections Centre, Western University. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  32. ^ http://williamstownfair.ca/about-us/history/