Take me out to the Hens
It's funny how new ballparks built the old-fashioned way are turning the concrete domes of the 1970s and 80s into relics. One of the best new stadiums in pro baseball lies within reach of southern Ontario, in the old rust-belt city of Toledo. Fifth Third Field is home to Triple-A ball's Toledo Mud Hens, and this Sunday's game with the Columbus Clippers is the last chance you'll have to see the Hens at home during the regular season. The stadium, which seats about 8,000 people, features real grass and is a nice complement to the surrounding, pleasantly aged warehouse district. The Mud Hens are heading for the International League playoffs, so book your tickets before you leave.
When: Sept. 3, 6 p.m.
Where: 406 Washington St., Toledo, a 31/2-hour drive from Toronto.
How: Call 419-725-4367 or visit http://www.mudhens.com.
Rotary's raging Ribfest
When the air over Burlington fills with smoke this weekend, residents will be reaching for serviettes rather than dialling 9-1-1. The Rotary Club's annual Ribfest, billed as the largest in Canada, is playing host to expert teams of rib cookers from all over North America, and the plan is to beat last year's total of 131,000 visitors. There's music and entertainment, but most attendees will be there to sample the best ribs money can buy. If you go, please note that for obvious reasons, dogs are not allowed on the grounds.
Cost: Free admission.
When: Sept. 1 to 4.
Where: Spencer Smith Park, Burlington. Less than one hour by car from Toronto.
How: Call 905-332-3513 or visit http://www.canadaslargestribfest.com.
Just about anyone with a fat wallet and a little mechanical skill can keep an old car running, but keeping a steam-powered tractor in working condition, well, that takes engineering know-how. This weekend, some of the oldest farm machinery in the province gets rolled out for the public at Steam Era, the annual show of the Ontario Steam and Antique Preservers Association. It's a farm-oriented event with threshing demonstrations, lots of corn on the cob and opportunities to talk to the people who coax the old beasts to life. Be sure to take a camera to the spark shows, where cinders light up the night.
Cost: $7 adult admission.
When: Sept. 1 to 4.
Where: Milton fairgrounds. One hour by car from Toronto.
How: visit http://www.steam-era.com.