It’s maple syrup season in Canada, and sugar shacks across the country are boiling down sap into that sweet, gooey goodness. Families flock to maple festivals to partake in this unique tradition. For centuries, maple syrup farms, also known as sugar bushes, have been crafting this quintessential Canadian product using traditional techniques, which many farmers still employ today. 

When my son was a child, we used to visit local farms to experience the syrup-making process firsthand, wandering through maple forests and indulging in pancakes drenched in golden syrup.

During my recent visit to the sugar bush, I discovered that the maple syrup production process is slowing down due to climate change. For optimal sap flow, spring temperatures must drop below freezing at night and rise above freezing during the day. The cold temperature helps the tree absorb water from the soil, while the warmer weather during the day creates pressure that pushes water down to the bottom of the maple tree, making it easier to harvest the sap. However, with one of the warmest winters on record, Statistics Canada reports a five-year low in maple syrup production. Given that Canada produces 85% of the world’s pure maple syrup, with Quebec contributing 91% of that, persistent climate trends could have significant long-term effects on North America’s maple syrup industry.

To support local businesses, take your family to a nearby sugar bush participating in the beloved Canadian tradition of maple syrup harvesting. Don’t miss out—there’s still time until mid-April!

Check out these Maple Syrup Festivals across the province of Ontario: 

Maple Town at Conservation Halton

2596 Britannia Road West
Burlington, Ontario
L7P 0G3

Maple Syrup Festival at Bronte Creek Park

1219 Burloak Drive
Oakville, Ontario
L6M 4J7

Sweet Water Season at Crawford Lake

3115 Conservation Road,
Milton, Ontario
L9T 2X3

Maple Sugar Festival aBrooks Farms

122 Ashworth Road,
Mount Albert
L0G 1M0

Maple Syrup Festival at Westfield Heritage Village

1049 Kirkwall Road,
Rockton, Ontario
L0R 1X0

Tap into Maple at  Orillia & Lake Country
22 Peter Street South
Orillia, Ontario
L3V 7A3

Maple Syrup Festival at Pefferlaw Creek Farms
12300 Concession Rd.6
Uxbridge, ON
L9P 1R2

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

Explore more about the Maple Syrup Season and dive into the rich history and facts surrounding Canada's iconic maple syrup here

Discover the delightful tradition of making Maple Taffy on snow and learn how to create this sweet treat yourself here