Maple Syrup Season in Ontario
No matter what any groundhog says about the arrival of spring, one of the sure signs that winter is coming to an end is the start of Ontario's annual maple syrup festivals. Maple syrup festivals in the GTA generally take place during March, making them a great option for anyone looking for family activities during March Break.
What to Expect at a Maple Syrup Festival
Maple syrup festivals generally focus first and foremost on how maple syrup is made - both historically and how it is made today.
Visitors will see how sugar maple trees are tapped for sap, how the sap is boiled down, and what products can be the result. Of course there's always some maple syrup products available to try or buy, and most festivals have fresh pancakes cooking up all day long so you have somewhere to pour all that syrupy goodness. Other activities may include horse-drawn wagon rides, family entertainment, historical interpreters, crafts, games and more. Dress in layers and bring your sweet-tooth, a re-useable shopping bag, and your camera.
Maple Syrup Festivals in the GTA
- Please note: Admission fees listed below generally will not include pancakes or other food, or activities such as wagon rides. Check each event's website for full pricing information.
Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival (Woodbridge, Stouffville, Orangeville and Halton Hills )
This annual event is run by Toronto and Region Conservation at four conservation areas near Toronto.
Families (and school groups) can visit the Kortright Centre for Conservation, Bruce's Mill Conservation Area, Island Lake Conservation Area or Terra Cotta Conservation Area to enjoy maple syrup demonstrations, horse drawn wagon rides, guided maple syrup walks, sap sampling, and live entertainment plus plenty of maple syrup treats, including pancakes with maple syrup.
Buy your tickets online and you get unlimited general admission to all four festival locations. Just note that dates and times vary for each location, so check the website before you go.
When: March 4 to April 2, 2017 (dates and times vary for each location)
How much: $8.85 for adults, $5.75 for kids 5-14 (kids four and under are free)
Maple Syrup Festival at Bronte Creek (Oakville)
At Bronte Creek Provincial Park, the history of maple syrup in Ontario is celebrated with a festival. Demonstrations are provided by 1890s costumed interpreters, and visitors can browse the maple museum or tour a 100-year-old farmhouse. Of course maple products are available for sale, and a wagon can take you to a heated pancake house where you can order fresh pancakes, pure maple syrup and sausages.
When: Every weekend in March and the week of March break from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
How much: The festival is included with park entry fee, which is $17 per vehicle
Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival (Oshawa)
Visit the sugar maple forest in the Purple Woods Conservation Area to learn how maple syrup production methods have changed over 400 years and to visit a pioneer cabin. You can also enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides and pancakes, and shop for maple sugar products at The General Store.
When: March 13 to 17 (March break) and weekends: March 25-26 & April 1-2
How much: Tickets go on sale February 6. Check the website closer to the date for ticket prices.
Maple Town (Campbellville)
Conservation Halton also offers a maple syrup festival at one of its conservation areas. During the Maple Town festival at Mountsberg Conservation Area, visitors can see how maple syrup is made, plus enjoy the Play Barn, check out the Wildlife Walkway, see bird of prey demonstrations, and more.
When: Weekends, holidays, and daily during March Break; March 13 to 17, 2017
How much: General Admission: Adults $7.50, children ages 5-14 $5.25 (children 4 and under free)
Horton Tree Farm Maple Syrup Festival (Stouffville)
Visit this family-run farm to see how maple syrup is made, enjoy some pancakes, sample some maple syrup, take a wagon ride, and hike the trails.
When: Saturdays and Sundays March 11 to April 16 and Good Friday April 14, 2017, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
How much: General Admission (cash only; no debit/credit): Adults $7, seniors and students $6, Children ages 5 to 12 $5