How The Tragically Hip Inspired MFG’s Vision

Event space is tricky to find, especially when looking for combined large indoor and outdoor spaces, ample parking, and the freedom to bring your vision to life. With Toronto being taken over by condo developments and large outdoor gatherings being pushed outside downtown, there is one hidden gem located just 45 min from the city that is an event planners dream.

The iconic Markham Fairgrounds is no longer just the home of their annual Fall Fair which has been going on for 177 years and counting, it’s also the new home of MFG Complex. MFG is transforming the 104-acre historic grounds with their modern and revitalizing vision and bringing together the old and new for the next generation. For their inaugural year MFG Complex put on the Together Apart event (an amazing concept of Canada’s first physically distanced cirque event), Caribana (9,000 people over 3 days), Reggae concerts and EDM parties.

Promoting themselves as “The Future of Socially Distanced Events” and utilizing the spaciousness of the grounds, MFG Complex has created an outdoor event space with 102 VIP/Bottle Service pods that can seat up to 6 people (more VIP booths than anyone else in the country). The VIP pods combined with the organic flow between the outdoor and indoor spaces, 8,000-car on-site parking, capacity to host large scale events and the opportunity to create something on historic grounds with lots of breathing space, is very much on par with our new normal. Markham Fair Grounds was also recently one of the production sets of the film Nightmare Alley by Academy Award-winning Director Guillermo del Toro who is known to film in Toronto and Hamilton.

The vision for MFG’s innovative approach was inspired by The Tragically Hip when they headlined the concert Another Roadside Attraction at the Markham Fairgrounds on July 24, 1993. With 30,000 attendees showing up to watch a line-up of mostly Canadian bands it brought to life the potential of all the ways the grounds could be used. The pride of one of Canada’s critically acclaimed bands playing on their grounds is still heard in the voices of those at MFG and Markham Fairgrounds today. Their goal is to continue having events such as these while accommodating the flexibility in keeping up with the current reality. By providing an enhanced experience and turnkey solutions, MFG Complex takes care of all the elements required to create and supervise your events from vendors to contact tracing.

Original picture of The Tragically Hip performing on the Markham Fair Grounds racetrack

Consisting of a massive outdoor space, 4 indoor spaces (that are all connected), 1 barn (that is in great condition), an arena with 2 connected indoor spaces on either side of it and ample parking, MFG is on its way to becoming the GTA’s premiere venue space. Their creativity of curating socially distanced events and their belief that moving forward in a post-covid world, people will still want a VIP outdoor booth experience for their party. MFG Complex is integrating the indoor and outdoor experience to accommodate concerts, corporate parties, brand launches, weddings, large scale gatherings, essentially allowing MFG to cater to a diverse spectrum of events.

Markham Fairgrounds will always be known for it’s annual Fall Fair that has been happening since 1844 (the only year the fair didn’t not happen was 2020) and is so popular (approx. 120,000 people over 4 days) that “Not even Beyoncé could book those days” yet outside of Sept 30th to Oct 3rd MFG Complex is inspiring a reawakening of an iconic landmark older than the CNE to a younger generation and having fun while doing it.

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