If you are looking for something a little different to do this summer I suggest a 45-minute drive from Toronto to Milton Ontario, to see Terre Bleu Lavender Farm, Ontario’s largest lavender farm. It is located at 2501, Sideroad 25. You can go in the spring or fall, but to see the lavender in full bloom I suggest mid-July to mid-August. This is an actual family run working the farm, where they plant, prune, and harvest the lavender by hand. There are a few different varieties that you will see. The landscape is beautiful but does not compare in beauty to France, and the Luberon area, so adjust your expectations accordingly. But this is a first run operation, from the cop directing traffic to all the over-the-top friendly and engaging staff, who you will recognize by their purple T-shirt’s. There is plenty of free parking, but the entry fee will set you back $20 per adult and $15 per child on weekends and in high season, and a few dollars less on weekdays. If at all possible, I suggest visiting on a weekday to avoid the large crowds and lineups. However, there is plenty of space to walk around their 60 acres. Wear comfortable walking shoes, as the fields can be muddy if there was a recent rain.
You must start by watching an obligatory 3-minute film on the history of the farm. Then you are free to wander on your own, or join the walking tour that leaves every 1/2 hour. I do better wandering at my own fast pace. We followed signs to the yellow bench trail, that took us through some fields, got to see some horses, and then wandered through a forest to the yellow bench and then to a lavender field with the famous “yellow door”. I read about 30-45 minute lineups for a photo op here, but we only waited about 5 minutes. There was a staff member there to take your picture and move things along.
The smells are wonderful as you walk around. We checked out their small distillery, where they distill their own oil in a traditional copper still. There is a beekeeper and an area for breeding bees, as well as a lovely herb garden where you can try mocktails, like a peach, lavender Bellini. They sometimes have live music playing, and the day we visited, we got to sit and enjoy a woman singing and playing guitar. They also sell lavender ice cream and lavender lemonade in the big barn, beside the store.
The farm store is a big business for them too, selling handcrafted, small-batch products made with 100% Terre Bleu lavender, grown on the farm. There are food products like honey, macaroons, tea, hot chocolate, cheese, cookies, sugar, salt, herbs, honey, maple syrup, jellies and jams, all made with lavender. There are home products like essential oils, eye shades, pillows, and linen spray. And, there are bath and body products, like lotions, shower gels, deodorant, mosquito repellent, soaps, lip balm and so on.
There are lots of picture-perfect spots throughout the property, so be sure to take your phone or camera.
My one complaint is the washroom facilities are a few smelly port o potties. There are three each for men and women, and for the women, one was out of order. This is definitely not adequate for the crowds. For the money they are pulling in here, they should invest in some of the deluxe models of portable toilets that are out now. Or better yet, how about building a permanent brick and mortar washroom for your guests. We would appreciate it.