Spring in Canada means warmer weather is finally on the way, bringing with it the opportunity for outdoor activities that don’t always require a parka or snow boots!
For many Canadians, springtime isn’t just about blooming flowers and budding trees, it’s synonymous with one thing: maple syrup.The process of collecting maple sap and boiling it to create the sticky, sweet syrup was practiced by Indigenous peoples for centuries before the arrival of European settlers. By the 1850s, maple sap harvesting had transformed from small-scale agriculture to a thriving industry in North America, and today maple syrup is considered as quintessentially Canadian as poutine or hockey.
The spring maple syrup harvest is big business in the eastern half of Canada – from Nova Scotia to Manitoba – and if you live in any of these provinces a trip to your local maple syrup farm or sugar shack is a wonderful (and delicious) way for people of all ages to get outside after the long winter.
In the western provinces, there are many festivals that celebrate maple syrup and its history – and even some intrepid farmers attempting to defy both a landscape and climate that make syrup production difficult.
Here is a list of some of the best maple syrup farms, sugar shacks, and festivals in Manitoba.
The traditional maple syrup that most people are familiar with comes from sugar maple trees – a tree that doesn’t grow in significant numbers in the Canadian prairies. But that doesn’t mean that provinces like Manitoba don't produce any maple syrup.
A visit to the St-Pierre-Jolys Museum south of Winnipeg will teach visitors about the storied history of French Canadians in Manitoba, as well as the important role that maple syrup played in the lives of Métis people of the region. The museum's Maple Syrup Tour and annual Sugaring Off Festival features a visit to the sugar shack and sweet treats aplenty.
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