CBC Digital Archives

Big apple dreams in Colborne

A giant hockey stick. A big nickel. An historic covered bridge. A history-changing oil well. People pass by these attractions all the time on their travels throughout Canada. Sometimes, tourists trek for days to just to catch a glimpse. Some attractions are monumental, others merely quirky. They are all the stuff of local legend. CBC Digital Archives goes province to province to admire the big things in our big country.

Maybe it's not the most famous "big apple" in the world, but at almost 11 metres high, the Big Apple in Colborne, Ont., stands as the largest of its kind. The bright red icon beside highway 401 between Toronto and Kingston not only spotlights the main local crop, it brings to fruition one man's dream, inspired by Disney and a giant pineapple. And this, George Boycott tells CBC's Venture in this 1988 report, is just the beginning of his theme park ode to the apple. Next up: a petting zoo and mini golf will help make this Big Apple a real vacation destination.
• The Big Apple theme park added not only a petting zoo and a mini golf course, but also a children's playground and a nature trail for hiking. According to the township of Cramahe tourism information, the Apple receives over 500,000 visitors per year. The restaurant and bakery serve about 2,000 pies a week, selling more than three million since they first opened. 
• At 42 tonnes and 11.6 metre wide, the Big Apple could hold 653,800 real apples. It is made of fibreglass and foam.

• According to The Independent (of east Northumberland, Ont.), George Boycott sold his shares in the Big Apple in 1992 and shifted his focus to real estate and local politics. He served in several civic positions over a 14-year political career, including as the last reeve of Colborne prior to its amalgamation with the township of Cramahe in 2001.

Ontario is home to hundreds of large roadside attractions. They include:
• Birchbark Sign in Algonquin Park
• Spirit Catcher in Barrie
• World's Largest Snowman in Beardmore
• Northern Ontario Logging Memorial in Blind River
• Chimo the Polar Bear in Cochrane
• Loonie in Echo Bay
• Two-Man Crosscut Saw in Hearst
Husky the Muskie in Kenora
• Miners Memorial, Kirkland Lake
Tomato-Shaped Information Booth in Leamington
• Big Joe Muffraw in Mattawa
• Voyageur in Mattice
• Floral Clock in Niagara Falls
• Mammoth Cheese in Perth
• The Wall (World's Largest Photo Mosaic) in Port Carling
• Moose Cow and Calf in Sault Ste. Marie
Jumbo the Elephant in St. Thomas
Big Nickel in Sudbury
• Mosquito Carrying a Man in Upsala
• Canada Goose in Wawa
• Thermometer in White River
• Wiarton Willie (groundhog) in Wiarton
• King and Queen sculptures in Windsor
• Springbank Snow Countess (cow) in Woodstock

Medium: Television
Program: Venture
Broadcast Date: May 22, 1988
Guests: George Boycott, Suzie Boycott, Henry Mensen, Doug Rutherford
Host: Robert Scully
Duration: 9:37

Last updated: August 21, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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