Buffalo in the 70s: Turned back at the Peace Bridge from “Canada’s Woodstock”

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation called The Strawberry Fields Festival outside Toronto “Canada’s Woodstock.”

Anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 people, mostly teens and college students from the northeastern U.S., showed up for the festival at Mosport Raceway in Bowmansville, Ont. Days before the event, local officials tried to shut it down – saying the permits were gained until false pretenses (and by all accounts they were).

With the province worried about the number of young people streaming in – only a year removed from Woodstock – Canadian border police started turning away massive numbers of young people at the Peace Bridge and other border crossings.

WKBW’s Stan Roberts talked with some of those who were turned away, including WKBW Newsman Brad Casey. Channel 4’s Chuck Healy sent film to New York that was used on a national CBS broadcast.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.