[URBAN NOTE] “Two centuries and counting for Toronto’s last farming family”
Chris Bateman described how the Reesor family in north Scarborough remain the last farmers active within the borders of the city of Toronto.
Dale Reesor figures he’s the last farmer in Toronto.
Since his elderly neighbour Jim Murison passed away in December, Reesor’s family is the only one he knows of that’s still growing crops commercially in the city.
From their 136-year-old farmhouse on the south side of Steeles Ave. E. in north Scarborough, Dale and Lois Reesor and their five kids work about 350 acres of land within the Toronto city limits under the name Sweet Ridge Farms. They grow mostly sweet corn, about 10 to 12 varieties, plus soybeans and wheat.
It’s a way of life that stretches back more than 200 years.
The Reesors “came to the Toronto area, Markham and Scarborough, in 1804,” Dale said. “It’s a Mennonite family. They came from Pennsylvania. They travelled up and bought land in this area. It’s been the same family ever since.”