From Torontoist: Maple Syrup Tapping Signals Start of Spring

Warm days, cold nights: that’s the special recipe that gets the sap running in sugar maple trees across the Greater Toronto Area.

This year’s weather hasn’t exactly been co-operative — but that hasn’t stopped visitors from coming out to the annual Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival, now underway at four GTA locations, including Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area and the Kortright Centre for Conservation.

READ: BT’s Frankie Flowers Samples the Sweetness of Springtime

Maple syrup was part of life in Canada before there even was a Canada. The tradition began with the First Nations, who would tap the trees to collect the sap for making syrup — a process taking days.

youngsters sample maple syrup at the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival

Even today, it still takes a lot of time and effort to produce the country’s favourite sweet treat, as Torontoist‘s Catherine McIntyre discovered when she ventured to Kortright for the maple syrup fest. In this article, she examines the role that maple syrup has played in Canada’s history, and learns about local efforts to keep the long tradition of syrup-making alive.

The Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival continues through April 2.