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Celebrating Spring with Fresh Maple Syrup

Why St. Joseph Island is Home to the Best Maple Syrup

One of our favourite ways to welcome Spring in Algoma Country is celebrating maple syrup season. Nothing beats the taste of fresh, sweet maple syrup served over a stack of steaming hot pancakes. Talk to anyone from the region and they'll tell you it's home to the best maple syrup. Maybe it's because of the clean air and healthy maple trees; or the hard work, dedication and family traditions that are put into every batch of maple syrup. And where does some of the best maple syrup in Algoma Country come from? St. Joseph Island!

A wealth of hard maple trees plus family tradition has put St. Joseph Island on the map as being the largest center of maple syrup producers in Ontario -- there are approximately thirty maple syrup producers who proudly produce 18% of Ontario's maple syrup. In fact, St. Joseph Island is renowned for its flavourful pure maple syrup and modern production techniques.

mountainmapleproducts tapping

A young girl learns about tapping maple trees, part of the maple sugaring process.

The St. Joseph Island Maple Syrup Festival is held annually featuring local maple syrup and vendors selling products. It's a must-do when visiting the Island. You can learn more by contacting the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 374 at (705) 246-2494.

A favourite maple syrup producer on the Island is Mountain Maple Products. Old technology and modern equipment, limestone base soils, clean air and healthy hard maple trees give Mountain Maple an edge in producing natural, excellent favoured maple syrup. This 6,500-tap operation produces an abundance of maple products.

The story of Mountain Maple Products

Ches Wallace learned the traditions of maple sugaring and started Mountain Maple Products. (Photo credit: Mountain Maple Products)

It all started with the Wallace Clan located in Hemmingford, Quebec. As a young boy, Ches Wallace remembers helping at the Wallace homestead where maple syrup has been made since the mid-1700s.

In 1964, St. Joseph Island captured his heart and with permission from his lovely wife Fran, they purchased a 100-acre lot of beautiful hard maple trees and established Mountain Maple Products. Pioneering with maple tubing and vacuum systems they tapped 300 trees. Ches welcomed the help from many enthusiastic young boys and he passed on his knowledge of maple sugaring. Many of those sugar bush boys have grown to become major producers today.

In 1986, Don Manchur became a valuable working partner and together with his family continued this springtime tradition.

Don Manchur & his family have kept the maple sugaring process alive and thriving. (Photo credit: Mountain Maple Products)

Where to Buy Mountain Maple Products

Mountain Maple Products takes great pride in its maple syrup and is proud to be a part of the Northern Ontario Pavilion at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, the largest indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world. Mountain Maple Products has also been serving its syrup at the Massey Marathon and at the Hymers Fair near Thunder Bay, Ontario for over 25 years!

Mountain Maple Products' pure maple syrup, maple butter, maple candy, and maple sugar can be found in 22 outlets, farmers' markets, country fairs and by farm gate from Toronto to Thunder Bay. Their maple products have been sold as gifts to 26 different countries around the world. For a list of locations check out the website or follow on Facebook.

mountainmaple mapleproducts
Mountain Maple Products has a variety of mouth-watering maple syrup products to choose from. (Photo credit: Mountain Maple Products)

Purchase Mountain Maple Products with a visit to their booth at Mill Market located on the waterfront in Sault Ste. Marie. You can also purchase Maple BBQ Sauce, Maple Butter and Maple-Infused Beef Jerky.

About Heather Bot

I'm a staff writer for Algoma Country and I hope my articles entice you to plan your next vacation in Algoma. Our beautiful area has everything you need for a true outdoor adventure: fishing and hunting, epic touring routes and breathtaking outdoors. We are home to many awesome places to eat, cool places to shop, museums and galleries, festivals and events. 

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