I was scrolling my Instagram feed early in August when I saw photographs of a friend at The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton, Ontario. I knew instantly that I had to visit too. It was two weeks before I was able to make it and it was the fag end of the season with most of the flowers starting to droop, but despite that, it was a lovely place to visit.
The farm is well organized and entry is paid, though we did get an end-of-season discount. There is plenty of parking space, but at peak hours, cars may have to line up outside the gate to await entry. It is best to go on weekdays or early on weekend mornings to avoid large crowds. Early August would probably be the best time to catch the flowers in their peak bloom.
Due to COVID-19, the farm had marked out one-way trails through the sunflowers and there were many signs encouraging social distancing. There were no washrooms, which was a little inconvenient since we had a kid with us. Apart from that glitch, The Sunflower Farm is great for kids.
Our four-year-old thoroughly enjoyed walking between flowers that were as tall as his father! There were mazes and little hide outs among the flowers that kept him entertained and engaged. It is an Instagrammer and photographer’s paradise. We even saw an expecting mother’s photoshoot at the farm!
While Beaverton itself has much to do, the drive up north is beautiful in its own right. Flat fields stretch out till the horizons, with cows, barns and trees sprinkled along the way. We were coming from the east of GTA and took the Highway 12 up north till Beaverton. The drive took us just over an hour. If you are coming from Downtown Toronto or west GTA, it is best to take the 404 north till highway 8, followed by highway 32 east and highway 48 further north. Altogether, the drive is roughly one and a half hours from Downtown Toronto, covering a distance of over 100kms or 65 miles.
Once we were done with The Sunflower Farm (just under an hour), we started looking around for other things to do in Beaverton Ontario. If we had come so far, we thought we had better make the most of the day and explore Beaverton as well. Fortunately, a quick search threw up a number of options.
The Beaverton Harbour is a lovely place, where one can grab a bite at the local restaurant, launch a boat and relax at the beach. There is even a kids’ playground and splash pad. Most unfortunately, during our visit, the beach and kids’ park was restricted to only ‘residents of Beaverton’. Our 4 year old cried his heart out on being denied access, since he had been looking forward to the beach and park.
Downtown Beaverton is a quaint and cute place, with little stores to explore and lovely eateries. One can also walk along the River Beaver, check out the Beaverton dam and discover some natural trails. Historically inclined people may enjoy the Beaverton Museum, while those who love to shop can drop into The Welder’s Wife, a local gifts and specialty store.
We were starved by the time we were done with the visit to The Sunflower Farm. On the major crossing of highway 12 and 15, just a few minutes from the farm, we had the option of a quick take out from either Mc Donalds’ or Tim Hortons.
On second thoughts, we decided to enjoy local cuisine. We narrowed down Barney’s at The Beaverton Harbour as much for its ratings as for its proximity to Lake Simcoe. Barney’s is an all-day breakfast and ice cream store with both indoor and outdoor seating in the warm weather. The food was simple, but filling. We particularly loved the home cooked fries and the generous helpings of ice cream. If you have a kid, try the Cotton Candy flavour- the swirl of colours had our little one in raptures.
As we drove back home, we stopped at a small counter on the highway selling fresh produce. The corn we picked up made for a yummy dinner that night. It was without a doubt, some of the best corn we have eaten this season.
Altogether, we had a lovely day at Beaverton in Brock Township. Even though we live in the Durham region, we keep discovering new and exciting places to see in Durham on a regular basis, and Beaverton definitely made a place in our hearts. Next year, we will be sure to catch the sunflowers at peak bloom, while checking out some other places like Thorah Island that we didn’t see on this trip.
PIyushi Dhir is the author of the romantic novels, 'In Search of Love' (2014), 'I'm Yours, The Next Time' (2015) and 'Enmeshed Evermore' (2015). A voracious reader, a keen traveler and an ardent dog-lover, Piyushi currently resides in Ivory Coast, Africa. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.