Clearing the Land

Bronte Creek Provincial Park - little known facts

Clearing the Land

Oakville, Ontario L6M, Canada

Created By: Bronte Creek Provincial Park


The team of oxen strain as the heed the call of the farmer "pull, pull.." Again, the ropes snap tight, twanging like a gigantic base fiddle, the oxen put all their strength into the pull. With a savage snap of the timber, the stump of a huge white pine is ripped out of the ground and flips onto its back, and so the process of clearing the land continues.

By 1870, most of the trees were gone. The stumps had been cleared and the fields of golden grain waving gently in the breeze. Grain was sent to local mills located on Bronte Creek and after milling the flour was usually exported to Britain. For the next 120 years, agriculture was to remain the mainstay of the area and most farms prospered. When the wheat market gave out (1856 with the ending of the Crimean war), apples and strawberries were adequate replacements. Modern farming methods improved yields, but improved transportation routes also brought intense competition. By the 1950's, urban encroachment had begun to create shortages of land. Finally, in the 1960's the farmer last ploughed, cultivated and cropped these fields.

Little Known Fact: When the park was established these fields were maintained using heritage techniques and the crops used to support the farm animals at both the Children's Farm and Spruce Lane Farm. More recently, some fields have been turning into Tallgrass Prairie (25) while others have been allowed to regenerate naturally.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Bronte Creek Provincial Park - little known facts


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