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Charity the Cow returns home to the Royal Winter Fair

MEREDITH BOND | posted Wednesday, Oct 31st, 2018

A cow statue that caused controversy in a Markham community is back in the spotlight, but this time, it’s being welcomed with open arms.

The massive 25-foot chrome statue modeled after Charity the Cow, an award winning cow at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair back in the 1980s, is now standing in Exhibition Place.

The larger-than-life installation was erected in a small park on Charity Crescent near Woodbine Avenue and Elgin Mills Road East in July of 2017. It was created by CEO of Romandale Farms Helen Roman-Barber, the daughter of one of the owners of Charity.

But just three months after it was installed, homeowners in the area complained of the sculpture’s “imposing nature.” After the artist and donor refused to modify it, Markham council agreed to move the cow.

The cow was still standing in April of this year when a metal leaf from the garland that circles Charity’s neck fell from the statue, renewing calls from the community to get rid of it.

In May, it was finally moved from the neighbourhood and returned to its owner, Romandale Farms. A $4 million lawsuit filed by Romandale Farms against the town of Markham to force them to keep the cow in place was rejected.

Royal Agriculture Winter Fair CEO Charlie Johnstone said he thinks visitors will be delighted to see the statue at the fair. “I think people love it,” he said. “I mean, it’s beautiful, it’s absolutely beautiful. We have lights on her. She’s overlooking the ring of excellence. I don’t know how you couldn’t love it.

He said it’s fitting to have the tribute to Charity as she was one of the winningest cows in the history of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

The Fair opens to the public on Friday and runs through to November 11.

It’s not yet known where Charity the Cow will end up after the Fair ends.


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