The Very Best of Maple Season in Ontario | Ontario Culinary
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The Very Best of Maple Season in Ontario

Springtime is finally here! The season of renewal, growth, daylight saving time – and perhaps most importantly, Maple Season! The counties across Ontario are tapping into this opportunity to flex their maple muscles and invite you to explore the maple-themed festivals near you. Looking for some guidance? You’re in the right place. Ontario’s sugar shacks, cabins, bushes, shanties, and festivals are the best way to experience this special season.

Every year in March and April, when the temperatures dip below zero at night and rise above zero in the day, maple trees in Ontario are tapped for their sap. This watery sap is boiled, usually over open flames, and reduced down into syrup.

A visit to a sugar shack usually involves standing by the fire, pouring hot syrup on snow, sampling a plethora of maple products and – if you’re lucky – digging into a piping hot pancake breakfast made with fresh from the pot syrup.

Here’s our list of the very best sugar shack experiences in Ontario.

Head to Lanark County – the maple capital of Ontario


Known as the Maple Capital of Ontario, Lanark County is packed with maple activities like museums, sugar bush trails, and farms for the full maple experience!

Be sure to check out Wheeler’s Maple Heritage Museum. It was named one of the Top 10 maple experiences in Canada by Canadian Geographic and contains the largest collection of maple artifacts in Ontario.

We know you want to visit some sugar bush trails and taste that delicious maple so head to Fulton’s Pancake House for some delicious breakfast and maple desserts. There’s also Nordic Trails and snowshoeing available.

Want to learn how maple syrup is made? Ennis Maple Products makes it the old fashion way using wood fire, and they even have maple products on site as well!

If you’re a history buff at heart, Lanark County is full of amazing historic sites.


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Maple Syrup Festival at the Kortright Centre

Woodbridge, ON – March 14th to April 12th

Bring your kids to the Kortright Centre on weekends or during the March Break. Offering maple syrup demonstrations and guided maple syrup trail walks throughout the day and even a Maple Syrup by Lamplight tour offered at twilight. Festival activities include face painting, balloon artists, wagon rides, and of course, pancakes with real maple syrup!

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Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival

Oakville, ON – Every weekend in March, all of March break

Enjoy a guided tour of  Maple Lane, where interpreters costumed for the 1890’s demonstrate different historical ways of collecting and making maple syrup. The tour ends in the middle of Spruce Lane Farm where you can learn how to make fresh maple sugar or enjoy a stick of delicious maple taffy before visiting the various farm animals in the yard. Hop on the wagon and you’re off to the pancake house for a perfect stack of pure maple syrup covered flapjacks.



Ottawa, ON – Weekends until April 13th, all of March Break

Proulx Farms, a 3rd generation sugar bush begins its activities in the last week of February and ends mid-April. On the weekend, watch the sap being collected in the individual buckets from their sugar maple trees – some being more than 200 years old! Visit the syrup shack to see and smell the sap being transformed into real maple syrup, then enjoy a pancake meal or a full traditional sugarbush meal. Have a taste of the real 100% pure taffy on snow, enjoy a horse-drawn hay ride through the maple bush, take a hike on one of the walking trails, and visit the petting zoo!


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Holstein Maple Festival

Holstein, ON – April 11th & 12th

Come spend a day in the 40-acre sugar bush and enjoy edu-tainment at its best! All-day pancake and sausage breakfast, craft sale, kids entertainment, plus 30 demonstrations, vendors and displays. Demonstrations and activities include a fire eater, a dog trick show, a raptor show, craft making, zip lining, a rope bridge and more. Dress appropriately for outdoor activities and bring your appetite!


Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival

Elmvale, ON – April 25th

Boasting more than 50 years of tradition, the town of Elmvale explodes with sweet activities like a pancake eating contest, arts & crafts show, sugar bush tours, local entertainment & vendors, and a log sawing competition. Don’t miss classic rock band, The Mugs on the main stage, and stop by the pancake house for all-day breakfast.


Sugar Shack TO

Toronto, ON – March 14th & 15th

Winter just got a little sweeter on Toronto’s waterfront. This event brings the Sugar Shack to the city at Toronto’s aptly named Sugar Beach! Celebrate all things maple with maple taffy, maple sugaring demonstrations, and a bunch of maple infused food and drinks like maple szechuan fried chicken sandwiches and maple buffalo tater tot poutine.


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Maple Madness

Kingston, ON – March break + March 28th & 29th

March means maple syrup at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. Take a tractor-drawn wagon back to our sugar bush and learn how maple syrup was made in the olden days and how it’s made it now. Enjoy pancakes with real maple syrup and check out the special activities like puppet shows, tree tapping demonstrations, First Nations Display, Face Painting, Sugar Bush Tours, the Annual Conservation Foundation Bake Sale and much more. You may need a couple trips to experience it all!


Stay sweet friends!