Farms in Mount Albert: Celebrating Implement Day, 1910

March 13, 2024 | 2 min read

The heart of the towns that make up the municipality of East Gwillimbury lies in the profession of farming. Many places in and around our community are century farms, meaning that they have been around for 100 years or more. Small rural farmers were the part of the economic engine that powered the city of Toronto (then called York). A great example of this importance can be found in the Women’s Tweedsmuir History (Vol. 1) of the Mount Albert Branch of the East Gwillimbury Public Library. In our celebration this week about farmers and all things farm-related, we are going to showcase a photograph showing a tradition that used to be celebrated in Mount Albert, known as “Implement Day.” What could it be? Read on to find out!

In the second volume of the Tweedsmuir Women’s Institute The photograph shows a view looking down the slope of Centre Street in Mount Albert. There are tall buildings on either side of the street, with telephone poles seen on the right side of the photo. In the background of the photo, we can see what looks like a store on the right side with a covered porch where some women and girls have gathered, and another building on the left side with a sign facing the viewer. Unfortunately, a telephone pole is standing in front of the building, so you can only see the letters “HOP” and “SDEN”. Well dressed men with their horses and carts loaded with farm implements can be seen milling about in the street.

In the foreground of the picture, there are several men in front of a horse-drawn wagon, with their names written underneath them in blue ink. Some of the men are identified as follows, from left to right: William Reeve, M.R. Summerfeldt, M. Rutledge, Dr. Forrest, M.E. Draper, and Elias Pegg. The typed caption beneath this photograph reads “Implement Day – Mount Albert, about 1910”.

Historical photo of people gathering in Centre Street in Mount Albert for Implement Day, 1910.

But what is so special about this event that people would have felt compelled to take a picture of it? The answer may lie in a short newspaper item from the Newmarket Era from April 8th, 1910. A caption above the article reads “Another Parade”, and the text below it reads, “The Town Band paraded Main Street again last Saturday afternoon, heading a procession of 37 rigs loaded with Deering implements, etc. The farmers are certainly enjoying good times and this is the way the money comes back to the manufacturers and mechanics.”[1] It seems like this photograph is commemorating a similar parade in Mount Albert, showcasing all the different farming equipment that would be available to purchase at that time.

Would you like to see a parade celebrating the farmers in our community? Let us know in the comments down below!


By: Sarah Harrison