Tap into spring at the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival

Story and photos by Julie Williams, Pretty in Pictures

The sweetest time of the year, maple syrup season, is here and the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival gives families a chance to tap into spring, get out into nature, learn and explore.

Held in partnership between Toronto Region and Credit Valley Conservation, the festival is offered at three locations within the Greater Toronto area – Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area at Stouffville, Kortright Centre for Conservation at Vaughan and Terra Cotta Conservation Area at Halton Hills.

 With a variety of locations to choose from and activities to keep families entertained, the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival is a seasonal favourite with visitors who come to discover the history, customs, production methods and even the taste of real maple syrup. There are demonstrations, wagon rides, family activities, stacks of pancakes to eat and lots of maple syrup to try and buy. The Bruce’s Mill attractions include a hay mountain, a maze and an interactive live wild-animal exhibit (featuring a chinchilla, Senegal parrot, blue-tongued skink and Savannah Cat).

The festival continues until April 8. Hours and days vary by location. Visit MapleSyrupFest.com for information and to purchase tickets online. Tickets purchased from the website allow for unlimited general admission to all three festival locations.

In the photos:

  1. Matthew, Samantha and two-year-old Marlowe are first-time visitors to the festival.
  2. Victor, Jayson, Chloe and Geffrey dig into the pancakes and sausages topped with yummy sweet maple syrup.
  3. Lana is captivated by this Savannah cat, one of the many creatures at the live wild-animal exhibit.
  4. Sefi Chassid takes his turn with the hand drill to create a hole for the spile.
  5. Main photo: Martin demonstrates the old-fashioned way maple syrup was produced, using three cauldrons: cold sap was put in the first cauldron only, then gradually transferred to the second cauldron and then to the third. It would take approximately 24 hours to make a small quantity of maple syrup, which would then be taken to the home to take to the sugar stage and put in molds to harden.

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