March 16, 2018

Sugar Shack at Sugar Beach

The best thing about March in Canada is that it's Maple Season. It is that sticky time of the year again when sugar shacks open their doors for all of us to see how maple sap is tapped from trees and then boiled down to the purest, golden, maple syrup. We can also enjoy simple sugar shack food from pancakes, sausages and baked beans cooked in a wood-fired oven to the most important one of all, the quintessential Canadian sweet – Maple Taffy. On snow. 
For all of you who are not familiar with this dessert, it is basically a sugar candy that is made by boiling maple sap poured over fresh snow and rolled onto a stick. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? 
Traditionally, sugar shacks are found in the country, amidst the sugar bush. However, there are winter festivals during the maple season that create an urban sugar shack experience for big city dwellers.   
This past weekend, Toronto's waterfront got a big dose of sticky sweetness from the 3rd annual Sugar Shack TO. Yes, you read that correctly – maple syrup at Sugar Shack at Sugar Beach at Toronto's waterfront.
How much more sugar-sweet can it get? 
Torontonians were melting away the winter blues while were celebrating all things maple
live music, 
traditional sugar shack treats,
organic food, 
hot mulled cider,
ice carving sculptures,
maple sugaring demonstrations, 
and much more.

Design by Alexandra Tanner

For those living in the city, I highly suggest putting the Sugar Shack TO Festival on your calendar for March next year.
If you are willing to get out of the city, there are many operating Sugar Shacks and Maple Syrup Festivals around the Greater Toronto Area for you and your kids to enjoy as well:

Maple Syrup Festival at Bronte Creek Park
1219 Burloak Drive
Oakville, Ontario
L6M 4J7

Maple Town at Conservation Halton
2259 Milburough Line
Campbellville, Ontario
L0P 1B0

Sweet Water Season at Crawford Lake
3115 Conservation Road,
Milton, Ontario
L9T 2X3

Maple Syrup Festival at Horton Tree Farms
14844 Warden Avenue
Stouffville, Ontario
L4A 4M8

Maple Sugar Festival at Brooks Farms
122 Ashworth Road,
Mount Albert
L0G 1M0

Maple Syrup Festival at Westfield Heritage Village
1049 Kirkwall Road,
Rockton, Ontario
L0R 1X0

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival at Toronto and Area Conservation
March 10 – April 8, 2018, various locations


  1. Dearest Sylvia, when I see that you have posted a new issue, I anticipate an experience like no other. You never disappoint. That first photo of the pink umbrellas and the's as if everything has fallen into perfect place for you, as if you had staged it all. I find that when I am OUT in an uncontrolled setting for photos, that many obstacles are in my way, such as unwanted colors in the background, people or unattractive things such as cars or whatever. How you manage to find the right moment and things is an art in itself. You capture your city so beautifully with the composition of magic. Thank you for this wondrous tour of Toronto! Anita

  2. Sylvia,

    Reading about something new-to-me is as good as it gets! I've never heard of these festivals, and never, ever heard of this technique for rolling up the hot maple on top of snow! How cool! And shhhhhh...I don't like maple syrup, but I think you could make a convert out of me with your pictures and the illustration.

    I wonder if they have these tests in the States. Mmmmmm...Vermont maybe? I'd be there!



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