Monthly Archives: April 2016


Want to host a kids party – animals and action? Learning by doing!

Kids party - animals and action

Feeding a baby lamb

Small animals to cuddle! Space to play! Boat ride! Picnic! How can you beat that?

Enjoy an outdoor venue at Topsy Farms in spring. Children can visit shearing in March or April (specific days only) or play with baby lambs, romping and bottle-feeding the weakest babies rescued from the fields in May and early June.

Two young lambs at the kids party – animals and action – will feed from hands or walk on a leash.

Kids party - animals and action

picnic shelter

On weekdays from May 16 – June 3 every year, small groups are welcome to organize a party to help nurture our most vulnerable lambs, rescued from the fields. (Weekends are for families to visit lambs; too busy for parties). We have indoor and outdoor spaces so rain or shine your families and friends can have a good time.

Our new Adopt a Lamb program has already provided unusual birthday gifts. That present includes a photo of the lamb, a choice of its name, and information about the lamb’s needs and future.

Kids party - animals and action

Twins birthday party

We hosted a birthday party for 2 year old twins during shearing. A small day care, a group of home-school families, and Derby Girl families have come for picnics and play.

The twins family said:”The entire team at Topsy Turvey was wonderful from start to finish. Planning our daughters second birthday celebration was easy and execution was seamless. An afternoon on the farm was a wonderful way for us to include all ages of family and friends and learn while we were there too! Everyone had a great time seeing the sheep, learning about shearing, riding the ferry, and enjoying snacks and outdoor fun!”

Medically-challenged individuals with families can be welcomed.

If you want your kids to have their party on Topsy’s Sheep Farm, we request:
• a high proportion of adults to children
• a maximum of 10 children to ensure quality hands-on experience
• casual country clothes and thinking
• you bring and take all food and beverages and serving requirements. (A neighbour on Amherst Island take orders for cakes; enquire of us.)

fee to be discussed.

Kids party - animals and action

Exploring the Wool Shed treats

The ferry leaves once an hour on the HALF hour and costs $9/vehicle. You’ll leave the farm a little after the half hour to catch the return ferry ON THE HOUR.

Our Wool Shed will be open while you are here, with all these products and many additional hand-crafted items for adults and children.

Guaranteed your special people will have a joyful experience they’ll remember.

Wool Throws and Lap Robes

Wool Throws and Lap Robes are again available at Topsy Farms.

Wool Throws and Lap Robes

Roustabout, Shearers and Ewes being shorn

Lap Robes and Throws and our other wool bedding are made from a combination of the 6000 lbs of wool annually shorn from our sheep combined with others, then processed gently to retain natural lanolin. That means they are soft to the touch, not prickly, and have all the wonderful characteristics of wool – hypoallergenic; naturally fire resistant; resilient, cool in summer and warm in winter and importantly, entirely washable.

Wool Throws and Lap Robes are woven of 100% pure Canadian wool.

Wool Throws and Lap Robes

Snuggling in a Throw

The Throws are half the size of a Queen blanket; measuring 6’ 6” by 4’ 4”, close to the size of a single bed blanket. They are now available only in the popular checkerboard patterns, which combine two or more colours in both the warp and the weft, both natural and dyed tones. They are perfect for curling up with on a couch or in recliner, long enough to wrap around shoulders. The man modelling in this photo with his little girl is over 6 feet tall.

The Wool Lap Robes are 4’ x 5’ in dimensions. They are available in natural white with colour bands and also in our tweed colours, with the natural white yarn in the warp, woven with your choice of colour in the weft. They are wonderful and cosy, perfect to keep a lap warm; decorative for any setting. They also work well to keep toes warm, when placed on the foot of a bed.

Wool Throw and Lap Robe

Nana, granddaughter and Lap Robe

The tradition of processing wool gently, without harsh chemicals, has been maintained by the woollen mill in the Maritimes. Most of their looms are old too, and the Lap Robes haven’t been available for awhile. Thankfully, this Woollen Mill, once water-run, has again made them available to Topsy Farms and to you.


Visit Amherst Island

Discover the many reasons why folks love to visit Amherst Island. It’s an old-fashioned traditional rural community, with lots to see and to do.

Ferry emerging from the mist

Frontenac ll in morning mist

It’s easy to visit Amherst Island.

A 2 – 3 hour drive from Ottawa or Toronto will bring you to our ferry. See contact us for detailed directions. Our ferry leaves the mainland on the half hour from 6:30 am to 1:30 am. For more information click here.

For information for sailors, there are government-maintained docks and excellent harbours for mooring your boat.

You can choose where to stay when you visit Amherst Island.

The Lodge, Foot Flat Farms and the B&B, Poplar Dell (613 389-2012) rent rooms or cabins. The Neilson House, Summerlea and The Stone Cottage (613-389-3545) are available too.

Two women at market stall with berries and baking

Barbara and Leslie with fresh-picked berries and baking

Your hosts will offer some meal options or you can choose housekeeping and bring your own food, supplementing from Island gardens and kitchens. (Our pie is renowned). The community-run diner, The Back Kitchen offers meals Thursdays through Sundays or holiday Mondays in spring and fall, and daily in summer. The Women’s Institute has a bake sale Fridays of each long weekend. Allen Farms has a veggie stall (by the ferry) Archibald’s Farm Fresh Eggs are available  and Terry McGinn from Maplemarsh Farm and Barb Reid have produce at the weekly Saturday market.

There’s lots to do when you visit Amherst Island.

Chickadee feeding from a hand in the Owl Woods

Chickadee in the Owl Woods

  • explore over 40 miles of bicycle trails on the Island, most by waterfront, as well as many in the nearby area.
  • enjoy our birding wealth, envied throughout North America
  • have fun at our seasonal events: orphan lambs or shearing at Topsy Farms, Canada Day Parade, Fantastic Island Fiesta, Back Kitchen Talks, Women’s Institute Bake Sales, Fish Fry, Percheron wagon rides, Annual Cow Count, Dances, St. Paul’s Garden Party, Amherst Charters fishing summer and winter, The Wooly Bully race along the shoreline, The Fall Festival, and the Parade of Lights. An International Dry Stone event took place September 2015 with many free activities for kids and adults, with more workshops planned for 2016. For information on the above check, the Beacon or CJAI radio, on the Amherst Island website. Or get a self-guided tour book at the Museum or The Wool Shed.
  • St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, St. Albans Anglican Church and St. Bartholemew’s Catholic Church welcome you. (At present there are no regular services at the latter.)
  • public sand beaches, and quiet corners with water and rock are here for your quiet pleasure.

    Goup of sheep with guardian dog

    Rosie Peeking Out

Music abounds when you visit Amherst Island

There are places to go when you visit Amherst Island

  • The Neilson Store Museum and Cultural Centre
  • The Weasel and Easel, Fine Art and Handicrafts Gallery
  • The Wool Shed at Topsy Farms, offering lamb, sheepskin and wool products, and some garden produce and cut flowers, seasonally
  • Shirley Miller at has Watercolours Etc gallery in her home where she also offers classes
  • Island Gallery at 125 MacDonald’s Lane is open seasonally by appointment. call Woody Woodiwiss at 613 384-0887
  • Paper/Scissors/Stone at 12485 Front Rd is open seasonally by appointment. call Elizabeth Barry or Don Newgren at 613 389-7782

Media blankets Amherst Island

  • CJAI 92.1FM Music from the Barn also broadcasts on the internet, with many live eclectic shows
  • The Beacon, Amherst Island’s monthly 20 page (or so) newsletter is free on-line and has been published for close to 40 years.

There’s lots more too for you to discover when you visit Amherst Island.

You’ll enjoy the fact that there are far more sheep and cattle than people; that there are many services and a great deal of mutual-aid caring on our Island; that you can trust our ferry crew to guide you. Most of all, that when you visit Amherst Island we all wave at each other, confidently expecting you will wave back.


Cardboard-clad colourful 'warriors'

Cardboard Wars

Colourful chairs grouped by water

Water, rocks, sun and shade await


Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous en français à, ou par téléphone: 1-888-287-3157. Demandez à parler à Sally.