As you drive east on highway 401 out of Toronto, you can’t help but notice a giant apple with a cheery face on the side of the road. Not to be confused with a certain city, the Big Apple is a rest stop in Colborne that wouldn’t be out of place among the towering Big Things dotting Australia.
While the site features activities such as a petting zoo and mini golf, the real focus is an array of apple-based treats. The Big Apple is a bakery and market that is packed with any and all products involving apples. You can watch the pies and cakes get made through the bakery windows. There are also more adventurous options such as “pie in a cake” and “tart in a muffin.” For a sweet Canadian specialty, look for the apple-topped Beaver Tails, slabs of fried dough coated in cinnamon and sugar. Savory meals are also on the menu, including smoked apple hot dogs on freshly baked apple buns and grilled cheese on apple bread. Just about everything pairs well with the fresh apple cider, pressed on site.
The Big Apple itself has an observation deck, where you can marvel at the Canadian highway and the traffic east and west across Ontario. It’s not the most spectacular view at 35 feet high, but the draw is that you’re standing on a giant smiling apple.
The whole site has a country chic decor that extends to the restroom. The stalls are designed to look like outhouses, complete with a floor covered in grass-like tiles.