maple syrup season

Three sugar shacks to visit near Toronto before the end of maple syrup season

Spring is synonymous with a lot of things: fluctuating temperatures, the promise of patios and a general breath of fresh air, both literally and figuratively. But the season is also prime time for maple syrup. As such, various farms across the province are busy harvesting the coveted pancake topper and you can witness the process with a visit to a local sugar shack.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, many of the farms have cancelled their maple-related festivities, meaning that options for a sugar shack experience have moved further outside the city. That being said, if you’re willing to travel for a bit longer, there are a few farms worth your time.

Mountsberg’s Maple Town


Make your way to Mountsberg Conservation Area in Hamilton to enjoy some spring maple festivities courtesy of Mountsberg’s Maple Town, running through April 11, 2021. The sugar bush here has been producing maple syrup for more than 150 years. With Hamilton moving to the grey zone of the province’s COVID-19 restrictions framework, guided tours are no longer available. However, visitors can still explore the maple exhibits through Mountsberg on their own. Activities include a maple maze, maple trivia mall, historical sites, wildlife walkway, a natural playground and fireside lounges. Reservations are required and masks are mandatory for all guests and staff, both indoors and outdoors at the park.

Cost: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for kids (ages 5 to 14), free for kids 4 and under

 

Maple Grove Syrup


Severn Township near Orillia is home to Maple Grove Syrup, offering socially distanced maple syrup activities, bookable through April 4, 2021. These include a guided walk through the active sugar bush (approximately one hour) for a chance to see how the sap is collected, take in the scenery and learn about the process of making maple syrup. Price of admission also gets you 500 ml of pure maple syrup to take home. Due to COVID, guests must pre-book a tour through the website with a maximum of eight per tour.

Cost: $40 per group

 

Proulx Maple & Berry Farm

 

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The festivities at this Ottawa farm were supposed to run until April 18, 2021, but with the new provincial lockdown, Easter weekend will be the last weekend for sugar shack festivities. It will be offering two-hour time slots complete with taffy on the snow, access to the sugar bush and sugar shack, dessert, a hot or cold drink and maple candy. In addition, admission also gives visitors the chance to check out the petting farm, playground and four nature trails ideal for walking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Due to COVID, masks will be required for certain activities where the two-metre distance can’t be maintained. After Easter weekend, the farm store will remain open on weekends for curbside pickup and will have a breakfast box available for a limited time for families who want to make a pancake feast at home. Please note, if the province shuts down public parks, all activities will be cancelled.

Cost: $10.99 for the full experience, $5.99 for general admission

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