Whittamore’s Farm thrived this pumpkin season

Photo by Jenn Amaro

Izabella, Antonio and Liliana Torcivia picking their pumpkins at the farm

Despite lower temperatures, Whittamore’s Farm in Markham was still filled with children jumping on bouncing castles, swinging on the swings, and of course, picking their pumpkin.

Parents were bundled in coats, scarves and mittens on Oct. 23 to hide from piercing winds, but the laughter and the fun their children were having in all the activities during the Pumpkinland festivities made the cold weather tolerable for them.

The Whittamore’s Farm, just north of Rouge Park, has been in the Whittamore family since 1804, and has become a traditional attraction for many families every year.  With a 50-foot turbo slide, bouncing castles and jumping pillows, a corn maze, farm animals and wagon rides, families have been returning every year to join in all the fun activities before they proudly pick their yearly pumpkin.

The mother of the Torcivia family has been coming since she was a kid and has always brought her own kids to the Pumpkinland festival. “I loved taking photos of them in the pumpkin patch when they were really little,” she said.

Antonio Torcivia, one of the four children in the family, says his favourite part is the animals. The four children, amongst the dozens of children and families, searched the pumpkin patch on the way out of Pumpkinland, for their perfectly round and orange traditional Halloween decoration.

Jenn Amaro James Jackson, 4, giving the animals a snack at the petting zoo area

Elsewhere on the property, Lisa and Sandy Behrend watched their daughter, Lexi, play in the Sand Toylot.  The family hasn’t been to the farm in quite a few years but were glad to return.  “It would be nice if it wasn’t’ so cold though,” Lisa laughed with her hand tightly bundled in her pockets.  But the weather was not going to stop the family from enjoying all the fun the Whittamore’s farm has to offer.

Jenn Amaro Lisa, Lexi and Sandy Behrend enjoying their day at the farm
Jenn Amaro
Lisa, Lexi and Sandy Behrend enjoying their day at the farm

The weather the previous weekend was completely opposite, with above seasonal temperatures and the turnout was tremendous.  Steeles Avenue was backed up with cars waiting to turn in and parallel parking happening along side streets.  Police had to escort drivers in and out of the parking lot, according to Lilian Igel, the manager at Whittamore’s farm.

The turnout was incredible in early October, but despite the cold weather, Igel says families are still making their way into the farm.

Igel has been working for the farm for 24 years and says it’s a fun place to work.  “It’s a great family farm.  The Whittamores are great people to work for, the staff is great, I’m very lucky with my staff.  The nice thing about working here are the families.  The families come in with smiles on their faces and that’s all the gratification you need,” says Igel.

The Pumpkinland event wrapped up on Halloween.