As the white stuff begins to melt and winter fades something sweet is in the air in Ontario. Maple syrup! There are a multitude of maple farms, sugar shacks and maple-inspired festivals to check out this spring. Learn how it’s farmed and produced, taste-test different grades of syrup or take in taffy on the snow or a pancake breakfast.
Bella Hill Maple Syrup
Founded in 2007 by Dan and Lori Costello, Bella Hill is in Powassan, about 25 km south of North Bay. Book a personalized tour of the shack and sugar bush (a plantation of maple trees) on weekends and holidays from 10am-4pm during late March and early April. Group tours and weekday visits are available with a reservation. See first-hand how the trees are harvested and enjoy free samples of their latest batches. The Costellos may even put you to work!
47 Bella Hill Rd, Powassan
Blyth Creek Maple Farm
Twenty-five minutes inland from Goderich on Lake Huron is a third-generation maple farm offering hands-on sugar bush tours. Blyth Creek Maple Farm operates tractor-pulled wagon rides by appointment during the weekday (tours available March break), Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm from March 4 until April 8. General admission is $23, kids under 23 months are free (advance purchase recommended). The tour features stops where you can learn about the earliest known sugaring techniques of the Ojibwe and pioneer culture, where you can try archery; there are also farm animals to visit. Sweet Shop hours are daily from 10am-4pm; make sure to check out their maple barbecue sauce. Goods can also be found at the Huron Artisan Market in Clinton and at Crichet Handmade Designs in Bayfield. Blyth Creek is owned and operated by Val and Steve Bachert.
42232 Moncrieff Rd, Blyth
Breedon’s Maple Syrup
Breedon’s Maple Syrup uses modern technology to produce pure syrup from over 5,000 sugar maple trees around Alliston, in Simcoe County. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm, the family also welcomes the public for tours and demonstrations during March and April. Products are also available every Saturday at the St Lawrence Farmer’s Market.
3662 Concession Rd 3, Alliston
Fulton’s Sugar Bush & Maple Shop
An hour west of Ottawa in Pakenham is Fulton’s, which has operated as a family sugar farm since 1840. It features a sugar bush, maple shop and farm pickup options. The property also features eight kilometres of well-maintained cross-country ski and hiking trails. Its 2023 sugar bush season will run until April 16; the Maple Shop is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am-3pm.
399 Sugar Bush Rd, Pakenham
Gilbertson’s Maple Products
East of Sault Ste. Marie on St Joseph Island is Gilbertson’s Maple Products and Pancake House, a regional sweet spot known for its Norwegian-style pancakes. Farm founder Bernt Gilbertson arrived on the Island from Norway as a youngster and began producing syrup in 1936. Restaurant dates for this year are March 6-April 22 (8am-3pm Monday-Wednesday and 8am-7pm Thursday-Saturday; closed Sunday). It’s wheelchair accessible and there’s a gift shop to peruse. Contact Gilbertson’s direct for educational tours.
R.R. #1, 3090 Huron Line, Richards Landing
Maple Tap Farm
Minutes from Kitchener-Waterloo in New Dundee you’ll find Maple Tap Farm, which goes back three generations. What started out as a few dozen buckets in 1969 has grown to a 3,600+ tree tap vacuum tubing operation. Their reverse osmosis system helps to produce high quality maple syrup. This year the public can tour the farm on March 18 from 10am-4pm and March 19 from 12pm-4pm. Maple Tap Farm will also participate in the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on April 1.
1654 Queen St, New Dundee
Celebrate the end of winter in the Ottawa region at Proulx Farm with a visit to its sugar bush. Reserve ahead for weekend visits and outdoor farm activities. While there, check out the store for many products or visit the pancake house (admission not required). The restaurant operates on a first-come-first-serve basis and offers indoor and outdoor dining options and take-out. Its 2023 Maple Fest dates are March 5-April 10.
1865 O'Toole Rd, Cumberland
Snyder Heritage Farms
On a quiet country road in Bloomingdale between Kitchener and Guelph you’ll find Snyder Heritage Farms, a working family farm for five generations. Maple products can be purchased from the on-farm store which is open to the public year-round every Friday and Saturday from 9am-5pm. The farm takes part in the Ontario Maple Weekend festival (see below). During this time visitors can tour the sugar house, sample sweets and dig into a pancake and sausage breakfast. Snyder Heritage also raises and sells GMO-free turkeys.
1213 Maple Bend Rd, Bloomingdale (near Breslau)
Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm
Located southeast of Ottawa, Stanley’s kickstarts their 29th maple syrup season March 4 and will be open on weekends from 10am-3pm until April 16. Guests can look forward to an activity center, walking trails, maple taffy on the snow, tractor-drawn rides and barn animals. Admission is $10/pp; children two and under are free (food and beverages not included). Their sugar shack is a log cabin with a wood-burning evaporator and has been used to make maple syrup for over 200 years! The Pancake House (no reservations; closes 1:30pm) will be open for the first time since 2020 and prides itself in their family pancake recipe.
2452 York's Corners Rd, Edwards
Tap into spring with a maple syrup festival
There are many maple syrup festivals in the province in March and early April including the Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival in Oakville, the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival in Oshawa, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival and the weekend event of Sugar Shack TO at Sugar Beach in Toronto. North of the capital in both Woodbridge and Stouffville is the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival, with demonstration and activities.
Pefferlaw Creek Farms in Uxbridge is run by four brothers. This year, starting March 4-5, the farm will have eight Maple Weekends. Private bookings are available during the week. Try a tapping and sugar shack tour, hiking and scrumptious pancakes.
Maple Town at Mountsberg Conservation Area northwest of Burlington has produced syrup for over 150 years. Visit the Sugar Shanty or take in a guided tour of the park with Conservation Halton.
A big two-day event for maple farmers and producers is the annual Ontario Maple Weekend, held this year from April 1-2. Organized by the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association it allows its members to show how syrup is made – look out for free samples and confections. Location dependent, enjoy pancake breakfasts and explore trails. The Association’s website has a handy map listing its Maple Weekend producers, from Mountain Maple Products on St Joseph Island in Northern Ontario to Wightman Sugar Bush in Lancaster in the east of the province.
Note that many of the farms and festivals require or recommend advance online ticket purchase.