Apples. If you know anything about Meaford, you will know its reputation as an apple growing region. Of course it did not start that way. A single Irish settler established roots here on the shores of Georgian Bay in 1837. Fishing and farming were the name of the game until the railroad came through in 1872. Approximately halfway between Collingwood and Owen Sound, Meaford occupied a strategic location for the manufacture of goods of all kinds, so by the early 1880s it boasted saw, shingle, planning, woolen and flour mills, three carriage factories, tanneries, a dozen general stores and ten hotels. Talk about bustling!
Apples, fishing, music, trails & farmer’s markets
Today apples, industry and farming are still important, but tourism is a growing economic engine. Here you will find some of the best fishing in the Great Lakes as well as craft breweries, VQA wineries and cideries that use locally grown hops, grapes and apples.
Meaford has a standout historic downtown, the crown jewel of which is the superb architecture and acoustics of Meaford Hall, a restored century building that plays host to some surprisingly big acts. In addition to live entertainment, the hall hosts gallery exhibitions, films, events, meetings and social gatherings.
You can find beaches, trails and great hiking around Meaford, including the Tom Thomson Trail (Thomson was born here) for biking, hiking and horseback riding all the way to Owen Sound if you like. Nearby Irish Mountain lookout affords spectacular views of the harbour and the Bay beyond. Farmer’s markets, nearby vineyards and Niagara Escarpment hikes and vistas could keep anyone happily engaged for weeks at a stretch.
The next frontier in Georgian Bay real estate
At 12,000 people, Meaford is not experiencing tremendous growth. It’s that little bit further north than Thornbury, making it a 2 ½ hour trip from downtown Toronto. Century homes and newer builds are affordable, and acreages up in the hills surrounding are great value, with views and features very similar to those near Collingwood and
In terms of transportation, Meaford amenities include the nearby Billy Bishop Regional Airport, which welcomes international general aviation aircraft, and two modern harbours. If you’re looking for an Escarpment perch, a home in town, a lakefront or country spot that’s still great value and you’re willing to go just a bit further, Meaford is worth your attention.
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