It’s that odd time of year when the temperature is creeping up but at the same, you need to always have hats, mitts, and big coats at the ready. But while this makes dressing the kids for school each day a pain, it’s the perfect weather for maple syrup harvesting. If you and your family are fans of Canada’s unofficial sugar product, this is the list for you! Below we’ve rounded up over a dozen maple syrup-focused events and sugar shacks in Toronto and around the GTA, all located 90 minutes or less from the city (assuming the traffic cooperates).
These events take place largely outdoors so be sure to come prepared with warm clothes. And don’t forget to bring your credit card/some extra cash as most of these spots feature an on-site shop where you can buy maple syrup and other treats.
Not seeing a location that works for your family? Or maybe you’re up for taking more a drive? Then check out Maple Weekend. It runs April 1 and 2 at dozens of sugar bushes and maple syrup producers across Ontario.
Maple Syrup Events & Sugar Shacks in Toronto and Close to the GTA
Maple Syrup Festival
Weekends in March & every day during March Break
Bronte Creek Provincial Park, 1219 Burloak Drive, Oakville
Costumed interpreters wearing outfits from the 1890s help bring history alive at Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s Maple Lane and Spruce Lane Farm. There your family will learn how to use to create maple syrup as well as what it was like living in 1899. Once you’ve played a few games, visited the farm animals, and maybe enjoyed some maple taffy, hop aboard a wagon and head over to the pancake house, where your family can enjoy a hot and tasty pancake meal. Access to the festival is $18 per car, with the pancake house being an additional cost.
Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival
Until April 1
Kortright Centre, 9550 Pine Valley Dr., Woodbridge
Bruce’s Mill, 3291 Stouffville Rd., Whitchurch-Stouffville
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is hosting its maple syrup festival at two different locations this year. While there will be some differences between the two spots, both venues are offering maple syrup demonstrations, access to hiking trails and special activities such as horse-drawn wagon rides. Pancake breakfasts, as well as maple syrup products, will also be available for an additional fee. General admission tickets start at just over $6 and kids ages three and under are free.
Maple Syrup Experience at Elliott Tree Farm
Until April 9
Elliott Tree Farm, 9467 Erin East Garafraxa Townline, Hillsburgh
Elliott Tree Farm’s “new and improved maple experience” starts off with a syrup-packed pancake breakfast that’s yes, held indoors. Once you’ve had your fill, your family can walk the farm’s sugarbush trail and explore its real, working sugar shack. There you’ll also get to taste maple syrup at its various stages and, depending on your timing, see a live, 20-minute presentation about the history and production of maple syrup. Maple syrup and other treats are also available for sale in the farm’s on-site shop. This experience requires advance registration and pricing starts at $17.50, with kids five and under being free.
Maple Town at Mountsberg
Until April 9
Mountsberg Conservation Area, 2259 Milburough Townline, Campbellville
Maple syrup demonstrations are just the start of the fun at Mountsberg. In addition to a sugarbush that has been supplying syrup for over 150 years, this site offers wagon rides, historic sites, shopping opportunities and even a raptor centre where your family can meet real birds of prey. But perhaps this attraction’s best feature is its Pancake Pavilion, where, for an additional fee, your family can chow down on pancakes and sausages. General admission tickets to Maple Town start at $8.75, and kids under five and Conversation Halton members are free.
Sweet Water at Crawford Lake
Until April 9
Crawford Lake, 3115 Conservation Rd., Milton
Maple sugar, also known as sweet water, has long held a place of importance with our region’s Indigenous. At Crawford Lake, home to a re-created Longhouse Village, your family can learn all about sweet water from an Indigenous perspective. Stop by at the right time and your family can watch a sweet water demonstration, taste maple syrup and, for an additional fee, eat maple taffy on snow. Tickets for start at $7.25 if purchased in advance. Kids four and under, and Conservation Halton members, get into this experience for free.
Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival
March 10, weekends in March, March 15-17, April 1 & 2
Purple Woods Conversation Area, 38 Coates Rd. E., Oshawa
Let your family move at their own pace with Purple Woods’ self-guided tour of its sugarbush. Then partake in some of the destination’s various games and other activities. Depending on the day, one of the area’s cultural organizations may be on site, offering additional entertainment. For an extra fee, your family can also eat maple taffy or ride around in a horse-drawn wagon. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, check out Purple Wood’s all-day breakfast menu, built around pancakes of course. Tickets are $8 a person (kids two and under are free) if purchased in advance.
Saturday March 11 & Sunday March 12
Sugar Beach, 11 Dockside Dr., Toronto
You don’t need to leave the city to indulge in a little maple syrup-themed fun. For one weekend in March, the appropriately named Sugar Beach transforms itself into a sugar shack in Toronto. Head down to Lake Ontario and enjoy fresh Ontario maple taffy and a wide variety of maple-themed foods including maple baked beans, maple cream cheese sandwiches and even maple chicken bao buns. There will also be a lumberjack show and other live entertainment and even a warming station (you are down by the water). Admission to the festival is free but make sure to bring cash or debit to buy your maple taffy.
Maple Syrup Tours on The Farm
Saturday March 11 – Saturday March 18 (no tour Sunday March 12)
WIllowgrove Farm, 11737 McCowan Rd, Whitchurch-Stouffville
Looking for a maple syrup experience that is short but jampacked with information and sticky sweetness? Then hop over to Willowgrove Farm, which offers hour-long tours that include a history lesson, a puppet show, and the chance to sample some of the syrup made right there on the farm. You can even try your hand at tapping a real maple tree. Tickets are $15 each, though kids two and under are free.
Saturday March 11 – Sunday March 19
Brooks Farm, 122 Ashworth Rd., Mount Albert
Brooks Farm is a beloved family destination for good reason: It’s filled with fun things to do including a playground complete with a pirate ship, a petting zoo, and even a train ride. And during maple syrup season, your family can take that train out to the farm’s working sugarbush where you can learn all about maple syrup. Afterwards, enjoy hot chocolate with marshmallows (included with your ticket) around a fire or buy a deliciously syrupy pancake breakfast. Admission is $12.99 for everyone but kids under two; they get in free.
Maple Syrup in the Park: A Sweetwater Discovery Experience
Saturday March 11 – Sunday April 2
Terra Cotta Conservation Area, 14452 Winston Churchill Blvd., Halton Hills
Island Lake Conservation Area, 673067 Hurontario St. S., Orangeville
The Credit Valley Conversation offers its family-friendly Maple Syrup in the Park: A Sweetwater Discovery Experience at two different locations, one in Halton Hills and one in Orangeville. Regardless of which park you pick, your family will be able to taste sweet maple treats, learn from Indigenous partners, engage in fun activities such as a scavenger hunt and even indulge in a pancake meal. Tickets, which start at $6.50, must be reserved in advance, and kids under six are free. The CVC also offers a couple adults-only experiences, one of which includes, “an interpretive wagon ride through the forest to an illuminated sugarbush.”
Maple Days at Black Creek Pioneer Village
Monday March 13 – Friday March 17
Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, Toronto
Enjoy your maple syrup with a side of history at Toronto’s historic village. Set in the 1860s, Black Creek lets your family step back in time and see how Toronto used to live and how it used to make maple syrup. There will also be live entertainment and hands-on demonstrations that will give your kids the opportunity to see what life in the sugar bush used to be like. And of course, the Village’s regular farm animal friends will be on display. Admission to the Village starts at $18.
Saturdays & Sundays: March 19 – 20, March 26 – 27, April 2 – 3 & April 9 – 10
Pefferlaw Creek Farms, 12300 Concession Rd. 6, Uxbridge
Enjoy an authentic sugarbush experience at this real farm. See how we used to make maple syrup, and how we make it now, and maybe even try your hand at helping out at this interactive experience! There’s also an on-site pancake house where your family can enjoy hot and fluffy pancakes. Admission is $5 per person or $20 for a family and your tickets include a sample of maple taffy.
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