What’s Available for Springtime Maple Syrup in British Columbia
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 British Columbia.
Like its prairie neighbours, the climate of BC is not suitable for growing sugar maple trees and is not home to many dedicated maple farms. However, Maples' Sugar Shack at the Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver is about the closest many British Columbians will come to that traditional maple farm experience – complete with maple taffy on snow. They also offer Bigleaf Maple Syrup, a distinctive west coast maple syrup produced in small batches on Vancouver Island.
BC’s Okanagan Valley is better known for its wineries than maple syrup farms, but Summerland, British Columbia is home to local shop specializing in maple products inspired by the New Brunswick tradition: Maple Roch. Get a new appreciation for all things maple with an in-store tasting experience that lets visitors sample syrups, sauces, and other maple products, including maple granola, chips, and caramel. The company has even attempted to commercially produce a homegrown BC maple syrup, but even when locally blended nearly all syrup in the province is imported from Eastern Canada.
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