Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Sutton Fair and Horse Show - An annual event here in Ontario, Canada since the 1850s. We got a chance to visit this country fair.
It was a unique experience.The fair is a perfect blend of the past and the present. There are stalls for smart meters and solar heaters along with a fun farm displaying sheep, cows and ducks.There were rides like the Giant wheel, Bumper Cars along with Pig races and duck races!Yes I witnessed a duck race as well as a pig race. Now I would have never even thought of something like this in Bombay let alone see something like this.The races were over in a jiffy. It was fun to watch the ducks and pigs trying to overtake each other and scramble to the finish line.

The races were just one aspect of this fair. There were lots of events happening like the Horse Carriage Driving competition, a petting zoo, Spelling Bee contest, Scrabble Contest etc.
The fair is not only about entertainment. It is a glimpse into the agricultural heritage of the town and also a look at as to how things have changed since the first fair in 1850s.The fair attracts people in huge numbers. It is a perfect day out for families and friends. People could easily spend a whole day in the fair playing games, looking at the various stalls, looking at horse shows, animal farms etc.
I am glad that I got a chance to witness this one of a kind fair which gives you a peek into the past and at the same time keeps the present in mind and manages to give you a good time.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Severn Falls – The Falls that were never really the falls

I am in Canada with my colleagues for a project. Canada is extremely picturesque. There is a lot of greenery all around. You can make a picnic basket, find a picnic spot in the countryside and have a great time. That is exactly what we did on a bright sunny day. We saw the map and found two places that sounded exciting - Severn Falls and Swift Rapids.

With dreams of swift rapids in a river and waterfalls, we left for our picnic spot.
It was a 2 hour drive from our hotel. The drive towards the countryside was scenic. Quaint little houses, green farms, tall green trees, fresh flowers, bright blue sky, clouds like cotton stretched and spread across the sky. I have only read about such things in novels. But I saw all this in Ontario, Canada.

As we were driving, we were keeping an eye on the road signs and every time we would see a road sign for Severn Falls, we would all get excited. We were wondering how close we could go to the waterfalls. We were geared up with our cameras to take pictures.

After some time we realized that the signposts no more pointed to Severn Falls. We were a tad disappointed. Unlike in India, you really cannot just stop your car on the road or honk at another vehicle and ask for directions. You have to park 'properly' and then ask only if you manage to find people standing or walking which is a little unusual here. Since the signposts stopped showing the way to Severn falls we decided to turn back...

On our way back, we stopped at a tourist spot, parked our car and asked one person about Severn falls...This is what he said - It is just a waterfall during spring. It forms when the snow melts and falls down from a higher altitude. We were disappointed. Our trip to find the waterfall ended in finding out it was never really a waterfall.

We did manage to find other picnic spots around the place and did have fun that day. But the Severn falls were the falls that were not really the waterfalls we thought they will be.