By Lisa Gillan
The 90th annual Royal Winter Fair has brought a mix of delectable delights and furry farm animals to downtown Toronto again this year.
The mix of horse shows, agricultural exhibits, vendors and more provided plenty to see and do for fairgoers.
The petting zoo gave kids of all ages the opportunity to meet and greet a variety of barnyard animals.
Judy Shelley was at the fair representing Sonny’s Llama Farm, of Delhi, Ont. with a white llama named Snowball.
Llamas generally aren’t raised for their meat, but they offer a number of other benefits to farmers – from the fibre of their fur to carting and companionship.
While Snowball isn’t Shelley’s, she does keep llama’s of her own.
“The main thing we use them for is to keep coyotes away from our sheep,” Shelley said.
Over in the vendor area, visitors could find a wide range of wares from around the province.
Sue Garbutt, owner of Manitoulin Soap Factory, was there with her unique suds and lotions for the seventh year in a row.
Garbutt’s soaps are attention-grabbing, with some bars featuring little toys inside transparent bars.
“My daughter thought of doing it to encourage kids to wash,” she said, as frequent washing is the fastest way to get to the toy.
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There were also a number of food vendors selling sweets and meats, and a few bars set up to serve thirsty patrons.
The Royal Vineyard and Brew House, a bar run by representatives from The Griffin Gastropub in Bracebridge, Ont.
Jaime Dobbs, who was tending the bar, said they were there “serving Ontario craft beer and local Ontario award winning wine.”
“Every day a new brewery can come in and represent themselves and promote their beers,” she said.
The Griffin Gastropub specializes in serving local craft beers, and this was their third year representing at the Royal.
This year’s fair runs from November 2 to 11 at Exhibition Place.