The 18th Annual Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention is for farmers, organized by farmers. This was the focus of this year's convention.
The event president said that it was a great time and participants grew in their knowledge of how to grow their businesses. The event has been touted as the country’s premier horticultural event. It featured horticultural experts, exhibits, educational seasons, and has been organized by local volunteers and farmers.
The good news is that the money made from the two-day event will go back into the fruit and vegetable industry through various initiatives, which include marketing, research, and other necessary programs.
The expected number in attendance was well over 3,000. The UN declared 2020 the international year of plant health to raise awareness of the effect that plant health has on the economy of the world and global problems involving poverty, environmental impact, and hunger.
The event was a great way to bring forth meaningful discussions about how the industry can play a bigger part in the world by offering sustainable food options, that include both healthy and delicious vegetables and fruits.
The convention featured several competitions, the Ontario Cider competition, which featured Ontario-grown apples. There is also an ONHops Brew-Off competition to be held by the Ontario HOP Grower's Association. Industry experts judged the cider competition and the winner received the title of “Ontario’s Best Sweet Cider”.
The event also included a Young Farmers Forum, which was tailored to young farmers under the age of 40. It featured special guest speakers. There was also a Women in Agriculture session held by Cheryl McLachlan.
The event was initially held at Brock University but has since moved to the Convention Centre.
There seems to be a growing interest throughout Canada is fruit and vegetables. This has been the topic of conversation for quite a while and many local agencies have even initiated programs that encourage it. Feeding the hungry and providing healthy resources to those in need is a full-time job. It can be done but everyone has to get involved.
Many of the programs and initiatives today are funded by private donations and grants. However, by bringing awareness to the global hunger crises, programs are sure to receive more government funding. It is a good idea to start with farmers. Perhaps they don’t have the time to write proposals and try to get the government involved in helping them produce more.
There are some who, instead of giving financially, can lend their hand in helping to prepare grant proposals. Perhaps this is a contribution that you can offer if you have the know-how. Even if you don’t know how to write grants for funding, perhaps you are good at doing research. There are plenty of ways that everyone can get involved in helping with local farming initiatives in Canada.
Attending next year's Annual Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention just might be a good start. It may at least conjure up the desire for you to get involved.
There is a vast amount of beauty throughout Ontario, especially surrounding the quarter of a million lakes in the area. These lovely lakes offer a peaceful and serene environment and adventure outdoor activities throughout the year.
Local artists, Emily Carr, wrote about how wonderful it is to feel the grandness of Canada in a raw form. She creates vibrant landscape art of the vast wilderness of Canada.
Ontario happens to be the country’s most populous province. It was formed by glacial erosion that quarried a lot of the land that make up the province. This left the area with as many as 250,000 lakes, many far removed from the large cities that surround them. It is where many of the city dwellers come to escape.
Ontario is a place where people come in large numbers throughout the year, every season. Whether they are coming for adventure or to soak in the peacefulness of the area, it is clear that they appreciate what the lakes bring them. There are plenty of accommodations, such as lovely cottages and rustic cabins that make life at the lake, better!
If you travel to the mouth of Lake Ontario, you will come to St. Lawrence River, where you'll find 1,000 Islands. This is where over 1,800 islands hug the Canadian and U.S. borders. You can visit the islands from Rockport to S.t Lawrence and take in some of the most astonishing views of the season. The islands are ideal for any outdoor adventure or activity that you seek, on land or water. There is a lot more to the 1,000 Islands than just cruising around looking at the sights.
There are numerous outdoor activities that you can engage in at every intensity level, for people of all ages to enjoy. Many of the things that visitors seem to enjoy doing most at the lakes include boating, paddling, and swimming. Once on the island, they also enjoy cycling along the 1,000 Islands Parkway Trail. This is a 24-mile stretch of winding coves and bays. During the cooler months of the year, visitors take to hiking the conservation areas and take off on their snowmobile through the backcountry.
Less than two hours from Toronto is Prince Edward County, the ideal place to retreat on Lake Ontario. Prince Edward County is an extension of the eastern side of the lake near the beginning of the St. Lawrence River. This area is home to nearly 25,000 people and is welcoming to visitors too. Many visitors to the lakeside area enjoy the scenery of unspoiled splendor and beauty. They also enjoy artisanal food and craft beverages that make up this part of the world so special.
Sandbanks are the most notable attraction in this part of the backcountry. It connects three beaches and is considered the world’s largest freshwater sand bar and dunes. There are lots of hiking trails throughout the park with beautiful, clear waters perfect for dipping in and out of to cool yourself down. Offering the relief needed for visitors to explore further.
In 2003 there was a sudden boom in tourism again. This was long in coming, as the 9/11 terrorists attacks greatly affected tourism in the Niagara Falls area. Despite the SARS outbreak of 2003, tourism seemed to be on the rise again.
However, things may once again take a turn for the worse with the spread of the coronavirus throughout North America. It is uncertain as to how this may affect tourism to Niagara Falls.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illness that appears as a common col but is more severe than SARS. Unfortunately, there are no known ways to treat the coronavirus and no vaccine that can protect against it. Most people who have been infected can recover on their own but some have not been so fortunate.
It is a respiratory infection that is new to humans that shows a person-to-person transmission through direct contact with respiratory secretions. The transmission of the virus requires distancing yourself and increasing one's awareness of hand hygiene. One of the biggest concerns is that it is being seen in the most common trade areas of exchange. This includes an exchange of products and people, which can intensify the increase in cases.
What further complicates things is that the symptoms are commonly associated with other illnesses, such as a common cold or flu. Those who have pre-existing conditions, such as respiratory problems or diabetes, need to be particularly careful. Also, those who are older are more susceptible to the virus.
While the coronavirus has been said to originate in China, it is unclear as to the exact area. However, it has now become a worldwide concern as there are now cases of the virus being treated in the U.S, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Thailand. At the time of this story, 81 people have died and over 2,500 people have been infected.
It appears that health agencies have the situation under control and are successfully able to follow the contacts of those who have been infected. Tourism organizations are preparing for the worse, as the virus is on the move. The chief executive officer of Niagara Parks, David Adames said that it is too early to offer information on what the parks will do. The issue is ongoing and information is constantly changing. The Niagara Parks has been deferring comments to the Ontario Ministry of Health and other public health officials.
Those who are concerned and who may have plans of visiting the area are also being encouraged to visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus, a website that has been set up to provide updated information. This information will enable visitors to plan accordingly.
The Niagara Casinos is monitoring the situation with Niagara Public Health and the Ministry of Health. They communicate health and safety tips to their associates to help drive home the importance of properly washing hands and emphasizing hygiene protocols. They recognize this as the best defense against the coronavirus.
Conestoga College credits international students with the most recent expansion and predicts that it will help fill the employment gap that exists in Ontario. The only students in 2011 were two brothers from Iran and at the time there were only a few hundred on the Conestoga College campus.
Currently, the college hosts almost 20,000 full-time students and thanks to the two brothers from Iran, they serve as pioneers, encouraging other international students to enroll in the international studies programs.
The two brothers went on to become founders of Apply Board, along with a University of Waterloo graduate. The platform makes use of artificial intelligence to aid international students in completing their application at more roughly 1,200 post-secondary institutions in North America.
Conestoga College was their first partner. Mr. Massi, one of the first international students to the college stated that Conestoga College has done an amazing job with its quick expansion, adapting to the demand, and exploring new programs and opportunities. This is especially true when it comes to accommodating the needs of its students. The college always proves quick and agile.
There has been a tremendous spike in the number of international college students in the past five years. For example, it went from 1,400 international students five years ago to 10,949 this year. It is estimated that these students make up 56% of the school’s full-time students.
The company, Apply Board, has also seen a significant spike in the number of applicants. During the first five years of establishing the business, only 60 students used Apply Board to submit their applications to Conestoga College. Last year, approximately 700 students applied through Apply Board and attended the college as a result. This number is expected to increase to 1,000 in 2020.
There have now been over 80,000 students from 130 countries who have used Apply Board to successfully apply to study programs in North America in the past four years.
Putting the college’s sudden surge in international students into perspective, consider that the college currently has the same number of international students attending Wilfrid Laurier University full-time and the University of Waterloo put together.
Statistics show that the University of Waterloo shows the number of international students attending increased from 5,749 to 8,850 in 2019-2020. This number now accounts for about a quarter of the almost 36,000 full-time graduates and undergraduates attending the University of Waterloo.
Wilfrid Laurier shows that the number of its international students increased from 1,050 to 1,574 over the same period. The numbers were also a part of Laurier’s deliberate approach to steadily grow the number of international students they attract.
Laurier currently has roughly 20,000 students, and 'internationalization' appears to be the key theme for the past five years, according to their plan.
There is a lot to like about Conestoga College. Part of its appeal to international students is their ability to help them adapt to living abroad and adjust to their study programs. They take care of the needs of their students. This has contributed significantly to its growth.
There have been talks of someone purchasing a group of undeveloped properties on Main Street in the City of Niagara Falls. Well, the wait is over! Richard Hastings, a local businessman, is set to sell more than two dozen properties to private equity firm Blue Cardinal Capital for $3.2 million. This deal has been in negotiations for about two years and has finally closed.
Blue Cardinal has holdings in Buffalo, and pools private investments to finance a variety of real estate assets. In the contract, the different companies held by Hastings are changing ownership of 38 parcels. The Managing Partner of Blue Cardinal’s said that the became aware of the city due to various factors, which included the possible removal of a section of the former Robert Moses Parkway, the parkland expansion, and the Niagara Falls Train Station.
The primary interest of the investors was the Whirlpool Bride and the growing Canadian train service that transports commuters from Ontario cities of Niagara Falls and Toronto. This involves the possibility of the U.S. Falls becoming connected to Toronto’s emerging market was also appealing.
They believe that at some point the GO Train will cross into New York, making it a Big Deal for everyone, including New York.
The Mayor admits that it was a huge relief for the deal to finally be done. He feels that it will positively hugely impact the city. He said that if whenever you can take something that has such inactivity and flip it 180 degrees, it has a boomerang effect. If you're announcing one place but then you announce a place that everyone assumed was 'dead' this is stupendous!"
The investors tried to keep the expectations of those involved in check, while they continued to pursue the deal that they saw as having great potential. The firm will attempt to stabilize the properties and eventually undertake ongoing, deliberate improvements. It will be a transformative project.
Plans will continue to unfold over the next decade. They envision the site as a mixed-use community with housing, retail, office space, and other amenities, which involve a variety of income potential.
Hastings started developing properties along Main Street in the 1990s. This was a part of what they hoped would be a larger effort to build up the area and make it a vibrant street. What they acquired made them among the largest property holders in the city.
Most of the properties acquired in the recent deal face Main Street by way of smaller parcels, which spread across Cleveland, Lincoln, Niagara, South avenues. Another vacant parcel of land was acquired in 2002, the In-Rem tax foreclosure auction at 815 Niagara Ave. It was transferred to Blue Cardinal’s limited liability company, Niagara Village. It is clear to see that Blue Cardinal’s is not new to transforming what some thought to be dead and forgotten properties into viable businesses. This is why we think the Main Street acquisition is a ‘Big Deal!’