The Magic of Maple Syrup

We’re entering that magical time in Ontario again: early spring! Children are looking forward to March Break, and if you’re a parent or grandparent or a special someone to a child, you might be thinking about the sweetest part of the season: maple syrup.

Here at Lagois Design·Build·Renovate we’ve put together some of the wonderful maple syrup activities happening around Ottawa. Our fingers are crossed for perfect weather for springtime road trips or just to find the freshest maple products in Ontario.

Authentic sugar shack experience

Hunter’s Maple Products and Pancake House

1909 County Road 21, Spencerville, Ont., about 45 minutes south of Ottawa off Hwy. 416.

Every Saturday and Sunday in March and April.

(Note: The restaurant does not take reservations.)

Three generations of the Hunter family work together in the restaurant. It has been a true family springtime tradition for more than 40 years. The current owner and operator, John Hunter, is the great, great, great-grandson of the original couple who came from Scotland to what is now known as Spencerville. Not long afterwards, the family began tapping for syrup on Hunter lands. The Pancake House has been there since 1979.

Alongside the restaurant is a working sugar bush where you can check out the sap buckets, walk through the maple trees and see sap being boiled into syrup.

For more information:


Vanier Sugar Festival

March 18–24, 2024

Richelieu Park, 300 des Pères-Blancs Ave., Vanier

Free admission.

Organized by the Vanier Museopark, the Sugar Festival is an annual family-friendly event where you can enjoy the traditions of the sugar season with sugar shack breakfasts, musical performances by local artists, a petting farm, inflatable games and more.

A feature of the festival is the Vanier Sugar Shack, 320 des Pères-Blancs Ave, open until April 28. (The Sugar Shack will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from March 13–15 and March 18–24.)

On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, it’s open from 9 am to 3 pm (the last admission is at 2 pm). You can make reservations for 15 people or more on certain days. Call 613-842-9871, ext. 1 or email for details.

Proulx Maple Festival

Proulx Maple & Berry Farm

Weekends, March 3–April 14, 9 am–5 pm

1865 Chemin O'Toole, Cumberland, Ont., just east of Ottawa.

This is a traditional sugar bush experience. Admission includes a guided tour, access to the small animal petting farm, a hayride through the forest, and play parks for the kids. Additional options during select periods include virtual tours, food kits, access to the Pancake House and weekend brunch (indoor/outdoor dining is available as well as takeout).

For more information: 613-833-2417;

Sugar shack, tractor rides, animal barn and more

Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm

Weekends March 4–April 16

2452 York's Corners Rd, Edwards, about 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa.

Admission includes access to the heritage sugar shack, tractor rides, animal barn, walking trails, family activity centre and more. And there’s a Pancake House for a traditional pancake breakfast and some sugarbush items.

For more information:

Pioneer-style working farm

The Log Farm

Weekends, March 4–April 10 and select days during the March Break. Reservations recommended.

670 Cedarview Rd. (Nepean), just west of downtown Ottawa.

This is a true old-fashioned pioneer-style working farm where you can meet the farm animals, enjoy taffy on snow, take a wagon ride, collect maple sap, and see how syrup is made. There are also play areas for kids, self-guided tours of the farmhouse and a farm shop.

For more information: 613-292-1219

Sleigh Rides, taffy and more

Fulton’s Sugar Bush and Maple Shop

February 17–April 14; trails open 10 am–3 pm

399 Sugar Bush Road, Pakenham, an hour’s drive west of downtown Ottawa

Some admission fees depending on activities.

You can explore Fulton’s outdoor trails (pass required) and browse the maple shop. During March break, there will be trail games, a playground, maple taffy and horse-drawn sleigh rides daily between 11 am – 3 pm.

For more information: 613-256-3867;

Deer, elk, bison, caribou, and wolves, oh my!

Parc Omega

399 Route 323 Nord, Montebello, Quebec, less than an hour’s drive from downtown Ottawa.

You can take a Canadian safari through the natural habitat of animals like deer, elk, bison, caribou and wolves. There are also various trails and seasonal activities.

This year the on-site sugar shack is open starting February 25. Maple taffy and other products are available for purchase.

For more information: 819-423-5487;

Sugarbush maple time

Mapleside Sugarbush

166 Reiche Road, Pembroke, about an hour and a half from downtown Ottawa.

Walk through nature and learn how maple syrup is harvested and processed every spring. The Mapleside Sugarbush is participating in Maple Weekend—a weekend where many maple producers around the province offer free samples of fresh syrup, sleigh rides, a pancake breakfast, and more.

For more information: (613) 735-2366;

Saturday maple festival!

Festival of the Maples

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Happening in the downtown core of Perth, Ont., along Gore Street, Foster Street and the Tay Basin. About an hour from downtown Ottawa. There will be food, retail and service vendors, maple producers and live entertainment.

For more information: Perth Chamber of Commerce, 613-267-3200;

Yummy, yummy pancakes …with maple syrup made on-site.

Wheelers Pancake House, Sugar Camp & Museums

1001 Highland Line, McDonalds Corners (Lanark Highlands)

Saturday and Sunday 9 am–3 pm

Reservations are recommended on weekends.

Taffy, syrup, fudge, candy!

Fortune Farms

10 am–4 pm daily

2242 Wolf Grove Rd., minutes west of Almonte, Ont., about 40 minutes from downtown Ottawa

Learn how maple syrup is made. On weekends, watch the small wood-fired evaporator and kettles over open fires. You can experience (and taste!) the whole range of maple syrup making: pioneer, traditional, and modern.

Take a walk in the sugar bush along an interpretive trail that explores the various aspects of the sugar bush. Listen to the Kettles Boys ‒ their tall tales and history of making maple syrup come alive with Shorty, Tubby, and Slim. If you like, bring your lunch and sit down at picnic tables by the fire.

During maple syrup season, and depending on conditions, you can cross-country ski and snowshoe on the trails. Dogs are permitted! But of course, they must be under control and well-behaved at all times.

This is a great place for photos, so bring your camera.

For more information: 613-256-5216;