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Mar 23, 2009 10:15 AM

Sugar Shack in Ontario

Hey all,
So I can't make it to Martin Picard's sugar shack in Quebec but I'm hoping to find a good place to go to sample some maple syrup while the sap is running. Does anyone have any recs for a good place that one could do a day trip from Toronto to?

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  1. never been but i was planning on going this year... don't think i will have a chance to make it tho...

      1. Here is one in the Oshawa area, excellent place. Remember going there as a child for school every year.

        1. Years ago I went to this one in Mennonite country:

          I remember it being very busy. Crowds were worth it for the pancakes though! And you could always combine it with a visit to the St. Jacob's farmers market...

          1 Reply
          1. re: dxs

            Second the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival rec. My friend who grew up in Elmira introduced me to the festival. There are a lot of tasty foods there and the people are very friendly. Many of the goodies are homemade. The prices for maple syrup are a steal as well. If I recall, a large 4L jug of grade A medium amber only cost me $29.
            A note: make sure you arrive early to avoid the long lineups-- especially those for the pancakes. I was there at 8am and it was already quite busy

          2. There is also Horton's Tree Farm in Stouffville which I plan on checking out this coming week-end. I have been to both Bruce's Mill and Kortright centre previous years, but neither measured up to memories of family run sugar shacks that we visited in the Ottawa Valley when I was growing up.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cheesymama

              After oh, a 20 year absence, I went to the maple festival at Kortright Centre last winter and although the pancakes and sausages were really yummy the crowds, lines, and screaming kiddies were just unbearable. And they were insanely disorganized - not handling the crowds well at all. Would definitely NOT go back, unless it was a weekday. Even then I imagine it would be crowded, though not as bad as a weekend. Man it was crazy. Too bad too, I did like the food. And great memories from class field trips back in the day… and great syrup.

              Any of these places chill (no huge crowds/lines)? If they were quiet and relaxed I'd be interested in going.

              1. re: magic

                I had a free family pass for the Toronto conservation area festivals and I still couldn't bring myself to take the time to travel and visit because I knew there'd be crowds of kids and urbanites with more money than sense..

                Love all the maple products! Until recently I helped bring in the old-style buckets and boil down the syrup all night under a brilliant moon using a wood fired boiler at a friends retreat in Madawaska, but we've both got too old to manage the hard work.

                We should continue to help kids connect to real foods and their heritage but it will take some outstanding, young, and dedicated teachers to do it.

                1. re: torontovore

                  Agreed! Childhood memories of Kortright Ctr. maple outings still resonate. So important. Well said.