What’s Up In Toronto: OK Friday And Wayhome Festival

By Sharlene Chiu,

If you find yourself summering in Toronto, whether as a first-timer or recurring visitor, a little road trip will inevitably slide its way in — because it isn’t a true Canadian summer without a weekend cottage getaway! To make that road trip — from bustling Toronto to the clean, crisp air of the back country — a majorly fun one, you need to stop over at Burl’s Creek, Canada’s largest outdoor venue.

Wayhome Grounds Festival

The beautiful grounds for Wayhome Festival. Photo by Sharlene Chiu

OK Friday & WayHome Festival

Located in Oro-Medonte, between Barrie and Orillia, just off Highway 11, the Burl’s Creek weekly arts and market fair, OK Friday, is the perfect spot to refresh and fill your stomach while grabbing local farmer’s market goodies for all your getaway needs.

Wayhome Festival Farmers market

A view of the farmers market vendors. Photo by Sharlene Chiu.

The diverse variety of local vendors have included Earth Snacks (vegan and gluten-free products made from organic fruits, veggies, cold-pressed oils and coconut butters), Maddington Farms (maple syrup, maple tea and maple sugar…mmm maple), Sunningdale Farms (fresh produce, lamb and honey, and hormone and antibiotic-free AAA heritage beef, smoked meats) and meat pies from Black Angus Smokehouse.

Oro Medonte Fresh Market

Fresh fruit and veggies for a fresh body and soul. Photo by Sharlene Chiu

OK Friday occurs every Friday, rain or shine, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. until October 9. It takes a break on July 24 and August 7 when the Wayhome and Boots & Hearts festivals will be happening, respectively.

Wayhome VIP barn Toronto

The original barn which will be housing the VIP during the Wayhome Festival. Photo by Sharlene Chiu.

This year’s Wayhome is expected to be a remarkable one–combining music, food, art and film with room for 60,000 concertgoers and 45,000 campers, along with comfy/delicious VIP areas. Both Farmer’s markets will keep people entertained–and that’s all before we even delve into the stellar line-up. A few of the artists slated to perform include Arcade Fire, The Killers, LCD Sound System, Stars, Beirut and many more.

Anthony Rose Chef

Chef Anthony Rose prepares an assortment of farm fresh salads. Photo by Sharlene Chiu.

A major highlight of OK Friday is the opportunity to indulge in Chef Anthony Rose’s mouth-watering, ready-to-eat meals from his Dupont Trinity of restaurants, Fat Pasha, Rose and Sons, and Big Crow.

Big Crow BBQ Meats

Big Crow BBQ meats with Fat Pasha fixin’s. Photo by Sharlene Chiu

Take the time to grab and enjoy some of Big Crow’s BBQ shaved smoked roast beef with Fat Pasha’s beet root horseradish, Kozlik’s Canadian mustard, and Rose and Sons new and sour pickles.

Toronto Rose's goat cheese

Summer fresh goat cheese with hot peppers. Photo by Sharlene Chiu.

Rose’s goat cheese with fresh chili’s and olive oil salad is summer in a bowl.

Anthony Rose picnic

Chef Anthony Rose welcomes the hungry Friday crowd. Photo by Sharlene Chiu.

A picnic table of cherry tomato salad with dukkah and green tahini, potato salad with basil pesto and olives, green bean salad with roasted red peppers, pickled red onion and pomegranate, and Thuet bread with salted butter to soak it up. For something a little extra fancy, don’t forget to start with a few shucked oysters or leave with a bag of mussels from Rodney’s Oyster House.

Wine from Norman Hardie

Nroman Hardie wine at your service. Photo by Sharlene Chiu.

A perfect pairing to all the delicious food is Wellington, Ontario’s Norman Hardie wine. Along with tastings, bottles of Norman Hardie’s award-winning VQA wines are also offered and can be purchased on-site.

Reuben and the Dark Burls Creek Barn

Reuben and the Dark playing the perfect summer jams in front of the famous Burls Creek barn. Photo by Sharlene Chiu.

A lovely summer day of good eats and good peeps is rounded off nicely with live performances by local and notable Canadian musicians from indie label Arts & Crafts. Band announcements are made about a week before each Friday so watch @OK_Friday on Twitter for the latest announcements.