Explore Halton this summer!

Halton Region is a great place to live and also a great place to visit. The summer season offers both residents and visitors a wide variety of things to see and do including cycling, rock climbing, shopping, arts and culture, farmers markets, concerts and festivals and so much more!




There is always something great happening in Halton. Our region boasts beautiful vistas and landscapes with easy access to Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment. Our communities have small town charm, but offer big city shopping and dining experiences. Residents and guests can also visit our unique festivals and events for the whole family throughout the year. For complete listings and calendars of festivals and events taking place this the summer season, I encourage you to visit each of our local municipalities to find out what is going on throughout Halton.

For those who are looking for a little adventure, Halton has a rich and diverse landscape with many outdoor attractions and natural and man-made activities for the whole family. Halton is the home of cycling in Ontario, from biking along the waterfront to riding our vast network of trails and rural routes – there is something for all levels of cyclist. For young families and recreational cyclists, we have safe multi-use paths and a number of dedicated on-road bicycle lanes. For more committed cyclists, we offer beautiful views along challenging routes on the Niagara Escarpment. You can also check out the new Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, which will be used this July and August for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. To learn more about cycling in Halton or to view a copy of the Halton Region Cycling Map, visit halton.ca/cycling.

Summertime is also a great time to take full advantage of all the fresh produce our local farmers have to offer. Simply Local – Your Guide to Halton Farms is an excellent resource for mapping out your tour of farmers and farmer’s markets throughout the region. Many farms offer various goods for sale as well as special events and activities to keep the entire family entertained. Buying local is good for our economy, good for the environment and good for your health. For more information, visit halton.ca/simplylocal.

This summer, why not invite a friend or family member to Halton and share your favourite spot? For more fun activity ideas, visit halton.ca/tourism.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “the Carr Report”.

Have a day to remember in Halton!

Whether it’s rock climbing, shopping, taking in dinner and a show, watching a horse race or enjoying the thrill of an indoor sky diving experience, there are so many reasons Halton Region is a great place to live and visit.

Halton boasts beautiful vistas and landscapes with easy access to Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment. Our communities have small town charm, but offer big city shopping and dining. Whether you’re looking for farm fresh fun, cultural experiences, shopping orhiking, you’ll find something for everyone.

With so much to experience in Halton, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. Our new tourism map, now available at tourism destinations around Halton, makes it easy to quickly see Halton destinations, attractions and activities. We can also help with our online event listing which showcases some of the highlights going on across the Region. Whether you’re a foodie wanting to enjoy some culinary delights, a family wanting some fun quality time or a weekend warrior looking for a new adventure, there’s sure to be something out of the ordinary waiting for you in Halton.

Our landscape plays a critical role in so many of the things to see and do in Halton. Whether it’s hiking Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, splashing at a beach, rock climbing or fishing, it can be easy to forget how impressive Halton’s landscape actually is. I recently saw a video created for the upcoming Epic Tour Halton, a cycling event that brings thousands of recreational cyclists to Halton, and it reminded me of how beautiful our natural environment is and why Halton Regional Council works so hard to protect it for future generations.

With the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World’s Biosphere Reserve to the north and 25 kilometres of frontage on beautiful Lake Ontario, Halton is home to stunning landscapes that attract people from near and far.

From outdoor adventures to special events at our museums, theatres and other community organizations, fine dining, shopping and much more, Halton is the perfect community to explore. This summer, explore Halton and enjoy everything we have to offer, right in your own backyard. Visit halton.ca/tourism to learn more or dial 311 to request a copy of the tourism map.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.

Helping agri-tourism grow in Halton

Recently Halton Region hosted its first Food Tourism Summit where Halton chefs, restaurateurs and farmers networked, while learning strategies to help them benefit from the rapidly growing local food movement.

I was happy to meet so many of our farmers and chefs and to see their excitement about building relationships with each other and the Region. While Halton’s committed to supporting our vibrant communities, including Halton’s growing agri-tourism sector, we can’t do it alone and partnerships like the ones fostered at this event are critical to our combined success.

Working together, we can make Halton Region a destination of choice for new investment, small businesses and tourism, while also supporting and preserving our vibrant agricultural community. To help accomplish this, Halton is currently implementing the Agri-tourism Action Plan that Regional Council approved last fall. It has the dual purpose of supporting our agricultural sector and attracting more visitors to Halton through agricultural and food tourism development.

A key component of the Agri-tourism Action Plan is culinary tourism which has a significant potential to motivate and attract visitors. By combining local food and drink with travel, culinary tourism offers both locals and tourists alike an authentic taste of our Region.

Not only is putting more locally sourced foods on restaurant tables a key ingredient to providing a positive experience for visitors and growing the culinary tourism industry in Halton, it also contributes to a sustainable local economy. I look forward to continuing our work together to help farmers and small businesses create the best on-farm and off-farm experiences for residents and visitors. For more details on what to see and do in Halton, and how you can support our local businesses, visit Halton.ca/tourism.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Fall Fairs in Halton

With the fall season in full-swing I recently had the pleasure of attending some of the Fall Fairs in Halton.  The Georgetown, Acton, and Milton Fall Fairs have become a favourite tradition of Halton residents for the past century, with Acton celebrating its 100th year and Georgetown and Milton’s impressive 167 and 160 years, respectively.

I would like to recognize and thank the three organizing committees (Georgetown Agricultural Society, Acton Agricultural Society and the Halton Agricultural Society) for continuing to host these events for our community. Fall fair1

The Fall Fairs provide a great opportunity to unite and educate the residents in the area by showcasing the rich history of our agricultural industry as well as the diversity and innovation of Halton’s farms.  Agriculture is an important industry in Halton and one of the priorities of Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.  Events like the Fall Fairs and the Farm Tour bring important attention to agriculture in the Region and help spotlight the successes and partnerships of our agricultural community.  Watch the video below to learn more about Agriculture in Halton.

I hope you had an opportunity to attend one of the fairs and to visit Halton Region’s booth.  This year our Fall Fair ambassadors were promoting information on Harvest Halton – the Farm to Chef Experience, The Pumpkin Trail,  our expanded recycling and waste program, air quality, well water testing and more.  New to our booth this year was a display highlighting our Growing Good Food Ideas video series.  If you missed us you can visit www.halton.ca or dial 311 or to request a brochure and learn more.

Agriculture is such an important part of Halton’s community and the Fall Fairs do a great job of showcasing why Halton is such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.  To learn more about agriculture in Halton, visit www.halton.ca/simplylocal.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Halton’s 2013 Farm and Food Tour a success

On September 19, I joined elected officials including the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, Regional and Local Councillors, members of the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee and media in Halton Region’s 33rd Annual Farm Tour, a forum to learn about Halton’s agricultural industry.

Traditionally Halton’s Farm Tour has focused on agricultural operations and the importance of the agricultural sector to Halton’s health and economy. The scope of the tour was broadened this year to highlight other innovative services being offered by Halton’s farms and related tourism operations including on-farm markets that sell food and retail goods, restaurants and greenhouses.

The tour supports two key initiatives in Halton Region’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan, including supporting and promoting agriculture and working with partners to bring moreFarm tour3 visitors to Halton.  It also highlights the diversity and innovation of Halton’s farms. The knowledge and understanding gained through events such as this tour help ensure we are able to make informed decisions for sustainable and well planned growth in Halton for the next decade and beyond.

The tour gave us a chance to meet with farmers, chefs and business owners in Halton’s agricultural and food services sectors.  This year’s tour included stops at Red Canoe Bistro, Springridge Farm, Mohawk Inn and Chophouse, Marshall’s Real Farmers Market and Store, and DG’s Greenhouses.

At Springridge Farm, owners John and Laura Hughes talked about how listening to theFarm tour 2 consumer has helped their farm become a destination for local food, entertainment, education and fun.  Premier Wynne, who is also Minister of Agriculture, commented on how Halton is successfully bridging the divide between rural and urban communities. 

The tour ended with a keynote address by celebrity chef, Jamie Kennedy and a locally sourced dinner.  Chef Kennedy spoke about his commitment to environmental issues, local food and support for organic agriculture, local producers and traditional methods, noting that he views the farm as an extension of the kitchen.

Farm tour1The tour was organized by the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee (HAAC), a group of volunteers involved in Halton’s agricultural industry who provide advice to Regional Council on issues related to the industry and its community.  A number of the featured presenters were also participants in the Region’s much celebrated Simply Local – A Guided Tour of Halton Farms program, and the Growing Good Food Ideas video series.  

To learn more about agriculture in Halton, visit www.halton.ca/simplylocal.  To learn more about upcoming events including the Harvest Halton – The Farm to Chef Experience at Country Heritage Park on October 6 and Halton’s Pumpkin Trail, visit www.halton.ca/tourism.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Fall is here. Time to explore Halton’s Pumpkin Trail

It’s almost October and fall is in the air.

I invite you to make this October extra special by exploring Halton’s first ever Pumpkinpumpkin Trail.  The Trail showcases pumpkin-themed experiences from more than 20 businesses, farms and tourist attractions throughout the region.

Witness the changing fall colours of the Niagara Escarpment, savour the aromas of local, seasonal cuisine, participate in pumpkin-themed activities and connect with local farmers.

From innovative tasting experiences to pumpkin-themed accommodations and more, Halton’s Pumpkin Trail offers something for participants of all ages. All participating farms and businesses have been mapped on a special Pumpkin Trail map, available online and in hard copy.  Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit as many locations as possible along the Trail to experience all things pumpkin in Halton. 

Copies of the map are available at local Tourism offices, at all of the participating establishments, farmers’ markets and by dialing 311.  An online version is available at pumpkin2www.halton.ca/pumpkintrail and is featured on the Region’s tourism webpages and social media channels. During October, you can also use the printed code found on the map to enter an online draw to win a pumpkin-themed gift basket.

The Pumpkin Trail takes place from October 1-31, 2013 and will officially launch on Sunday, October 6 at Harvest Halton, a Farm to Chef Experience at Country Heritage Park in Milton, pairing Halton’s most prominent chefs with local farmers for a celebration of seasonal food.

To learn more, visit www.halton.ca/pumpkintrail, dial 311, 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833.  Look for trail information on Halton Tourism on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter @HaltonTourism or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/haltontourism.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Bringing together local chefs and local farmers in support of a good cause

On Sunday October 6, residents and visitors to Halton will have the opportunity to discover the real taste of Halton at Harvest Halton, the Farm to Chef Experience at Country Heritage Park in Milton.

This inaugural culinary event brings together Halton’s prominent chefs, amazing local farmers and other local agri-tourism businesses to celebrate the harvest.foodl

Chefs have been paired with farmers and will create signature dishes using farm fresh ingredients, which can be sampled for a few “sample tokens”.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Halton Food for Thought.

The event, which runs from 1 until 5 p.m., will also showcase local beverage producers, artists, including glass blowers, and retailers. Local musicians will be on hand to add to the celebration.food 2

Buy tickets for Harvest Halton online at www.halton.ca/harvest or at the gate.

  • General Admission is $35 at the gate (buy your tickets in advance online and save $4), and includes five sampling tokens.  General Admission for children aged 7-11 is $12, and children 6 and under are free.
  • Additional sampling tokens can be purchased online in packages of 20 for $20, or in other denominations at the gate. Signature taste creations and beverages will be “sold” for between three and five sampling tokens per serving.

To learn more about Harvest Halton, visit www.halton.ca/harvest. Find Halton Tourism on Facebook , Pinterest  and Twitter (tweet #HarvestHalton). Harvest Halton will also serve as the official launch of Halton’s Pumpkin Trail.

I hope to see you there!

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”