This is Why Sugarbush Hill is the Best Maple Syrup Farm in Ontario
Ontario is a treasure trove. I say this as I thoroughly explore the province and uncover these gems that I seriously overlooked in my childhood. Places I took for granted. A Canadian staple that stood in front of me but didn’t get noticed. Yep, another admittance of backyard deficiency. Maple syrup is one of those gifts that I never appreciated…until now. I didn’t appreciate it until I visited Sugarbush Hill in Muskoka – the best maple syrup farm in Ontario. So to change this lack of appreciation, I did a tour to learn about the making and bottling of Canada’s favourite pancake and waffle accompaniment.
About this Awesome Maple Syrup Farm in Ontario
Sugarbush Hill Farm is located in the Muskokas – an upscale swanky area North of Toronto. I really don’t understand why, but the Muskokas are considered the luxurious cottage country haven for many. Perhaps the clout required to purchase land on this posh lake has something to do with it…(even Justin Bieber was refused real estate up here…) Nevertheless, the area is quaint and wonderful for the out of town folk to explore, to savour in the summer, and to enjoy Canadian essential experiences. Sugarbush Hill Farm figured this would be the case and started up a production of one of the top foodie sweets around.
Book a Tour: From Toronto: Algonquin Park 3-Day Tour
When at Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm, I wanted to know more about the owners who were producing the most maple syrup than any other farm in Ontario. Tom and Pauline worked as flight attendants for Air Canada the majority of their lives. Upon retirement, being from Quebec where over 80% of Canada’s maple syrup is produced, they decided to start their own production line in the heart of Muskoka just outside of Huntsville.
As we spoke, he mentioned that when they began the project to build their farm in the area on the block of 100 acres they had just acquired. They next jumped head first into learning how to become maple syrup producers. They never dreamed after all the hard work that their production would expand to the magnitude it is today.
Nowadays, Tom opens his farm to the public offering tours and education on the art and hard work of maple syrup producing in the province and all the hours and effort it takes to make even one bottle of the Canadian liquid gold. His wife sadly passed away in 2016 leaving a large gap in not only Tom’s heart, but also the hearts of all who knew her. Tom continues to run the business with her memory by his side everyday.
The Maple Syrup Tour Experience Logistics
- Tom offers tours of Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm once daily Wed-Sat at 10 am.
- The Farm is open from May-October inclusive.
- Fees are very reasonable at $7 per adult and $5 per child under 12. Children 5 and under are free.
- The majority of information is indoors so rain and other conditions won’t affect the tour.
- Tours are approximately 90 mins.
- Tastings and the opportunity to purchase products are available at the end of the tour.
Within the 90 mins at the farm, Tom takes you through various rooms and necessary steps to making maple syrup. He will ask questions to see how much the audience knows and explains the process during the tour. I personally got a kick out of his display of fake maple syrups sold in supermarkets. It was truly fascinating to see the equipment required and to learn the amount of time and effort it takes to make the delicious maple syrup we all enjoy. My mind was blown truly on the labour and hours.
Fun Quirky Details
During the tour, Tom describes the sugaring process, but also shows the group some super cool artifacts, tools, and other fun and interesting items specific to the history of maple syrup production and also to Sugarbush Hill Maple farm.
The Sap Buckets Through the Decades Across Ontario
Tom showed the group his rare sap buckets he has collected over the years. Some have truly heartwarming tales, while others showed their age after being used throughout the seasons. In particular, I loved the story behind the metal buckets with the hearts used in Ottawa Valley. These are deemed rare in the sugaring world and few and far between. He said if you come across one, keep it close as it is worth quite a bit!
The Wood Disc
Tom has a piece of the oldest maple to have lived in Ontario. This rare disc was given to him by the owner of the tree on the condition that it would be on display in his farm and production area. He kept his promise, has it on display beautifully in the factory area, and tells each group the story behind how he received it.
The Red, Blue, and Green Messages
At the end of the tour Tom figured we would have noticed the planks of wood with fun written messages in red, blue, and green. These are messages from all the visitors he has had over the years! Patrons on tour or who have come simply to purchase a maple treat. The Red messages were from Canadians. The blue messages were from anyone who travelled over water to get to Canada for the visit. And the green was to appease the Irish who love everything and anything green. Our messages were written in all three colours 🙂 I wrote in red being Canadian, Josh wrote in blue being from Australia, and Momo the mascot wrote in green as although she isn’t from Ireland, she was from a totally different world – Fraggle Rock… 😉
Tastings at this Awesome Maple Syrup Farm in Ontario
No maple syrup tour would be complete without tastings! For this sweet ending to the experience, Tom offered maple syrup tastes along with maple butter, maple barbecue sauce, and his maple nibbles. If you loved the product upon completion of the tour, Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm has a huge selection of products for sale including bottles of maple syrup in all sizes, his maple nibbles, maple butter, barbecue sauce, lollipops, commemorative bottles, books on the process, and many other delicious items.
Without any doubt, I would highly recommend heading to Sugarbush Hill Maple syrup farm in Ontario. It is educational, fun, delicious, and you are supporting a local business in the heart of the province. For me, it was enlightening and eased my backyard deficiency in a small way as being a Canadian, not knowing how maple syrup is made was outright embarrassing. No longer a problem! He is open from May-October with daily tours. It is a great addition to your Ontario road trip.
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