Archive for Maple Syrup


Bowmanville knows how to throw a good “Fest”. A big part of their success is because of the people who live there. It is a community that loves its town and supports the activities that happen there. The recent “MapleFest” was a perfect example. They came in droves…young and old, families and couples, friends hanging out and even some four legged ones.


It was a perfect day. The weather was not too hot and not too cold. The sun shone brightly. Mincom Jo, Anna Stinson, her grandson Jack and Chris Cleaver couldn’t resist the call of the maple syrup.  Of course, there is only one way to start the day at Maplefest —  pancakes & sausages covered in maple syrup.

pancake anticipation

“Outa my way!”

The anticipation was almost unbearable as they moved through the line and found a table with their mouths watering the whole time.

eating pancakes

“Never mind the picture! We’re hungry.”

You can bet that maple syrup was the star of the show and there were plenty of sources.

Maple Syrup

Pancakes may not be your favourite conduit for the golden nectar. Fear not! There was an abundance of ways to satisfy the craving for all that is maple – Maple Bean & Bacon Soup, Maple Sugar Pie, Maple Sugar Tarts, Maple Donuts, Maple Fudge, Maple Peach Bourbon Pie, Maple Blue Berry Crumble, Maple Walnut Pie, Maple Taffy on Snow, Maple Cinnamon Latte – to name a just few.

Maple Fudge

Maple Taffy

If maple syrup isn’t your thing there was plenty of non-maple syrup vendors to make sure no one went hungry. Jamaican, Hawaiian and barbecue food trucks along with chip wagons and Italian sausage makers made sure of it.

Duffers Chip Wagon

Toasted Walnut

Tornado Potatos

Italian Sausage

Not for the faint of heart, there were some pretty exciting rides for the kiddies.

roller coaster


crazy ride

The Bowmanville Zoo provided camel rides. The camel just grinned when Mincom Jo asked to have a turn.



Janet Lange was on hand to bring face painting to a whole new spectacular level. Her creations were nothing short of magical!

Janet Lange Face Painting

The boys opted for something a little more masculine.

Joker and Hulk facepainting

Some folks got a good head start on their (dare I say it?)…Christmas shopping, with all the creative vendors displaying their wares.







After all the eating, riding and shopping, the best way to take a breather is to enjoy some of the music provided. From one end of the main street to the other there were talented musicians serenading you along the way.




As we said, Bowmanville really knows how to enjoy their community. You won’t want to miss their next “Fest”.

Sweet Spring

It’s officially Spring! The cold temperatures and heaps of snow may not have you convinced, but there is one sure sign that Spring has sprung — the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival. This is the 40th year for the Maple Syrup Festival held at Purple Woods Conservation Area in Oshawa.

Established in 1975, Purple Woods Conservation area is a 17 Hectare sugar maple forest and open meadow located on the provincially significant Oak Ridges Moraine. A favourite family destination,  Purple Woods Conservation area is host to the annual Maple Syrup Festival.”

As it also coincides with “Spring Break”, our Anna decided it would be a nice way to spend the day with a couple of her grandchildren and her daughter who was celebrating her birthday.  The sun was shining brightly but there was definitely a nip in the air so warm clothes were not optional.  The new Purple Woods Heritage Hall provides a nice place to warm up and enjoy some fresh pancakes with maple syrup either before or after exploring the area.  Completed in 2012, Heritage Hall is a wonderful setting for the Maple Syrup Festival with its rustic charm and unique structure using recycled post and beam construction.

Heritage Hall

Our wee group opted to work up an appetite first. If you are expecting to see each tree adorned with a pail hanging from a spigot you will be in for a surprise. These days it looks like the trees have all been joined together in a massive web.  The  modern method of collecting the sap through narrow plastic tubes that run like a maze from each tree down to a sugar shack where it is boiled into syrup is now the standard practice.


sugar shack

There was lots to see and do along the Sugar Bush Trail. Anna, always the Real Estate Professional, couldn’t resist checking out some historical Durham Region listings.

Real EstateThe whole area was laid out with activities for the kids (of all sizes), including Horse Drawn Wagon Rides.


Horse Drawn

Anna has never been one to shy away from hard work and she proved she was up to the task. She probably would prefer not to carry this around or cook maple sap in the big black cauldrons over an open flame. The new, modern way is just fine with her.

Anna Yoke

She would never ask anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself.

stiltsAfter soaring to new heights it was time to climb back up the moraine to those delicious pancakes waiting for them. They had definitely worked up an appetite with all the fresh air, sunshine and hard work.

pancakesAnna tells us,

“We had a marvelous morning and we learned a lot about the making of Maple Syrup. The best part was the people that work here. The staff was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The pancakes with maple syrup were pretty good too,” she says with a grin.

If you haven’t been out to the Maple Syrup Festival yet they will be open again next weekend, March 28th and 29th. Be sure to book your spot on line ahead of time here. Don’t forget to stop by the Heritage Store before you leave for all things maple.