ORILLIA, Ontario --Local residents and visitors are encouraged to experience all things maple this spring on what just might be the sweetest route through one of the prettiest parts of the province.
“Last year, we changed the Flavours of Lake Country event where area restaurants featured maple-themed meals during maple syrup season,” said Jennifer Whitley, marketing manager of Ontario’s Lake Country.
|Tom Shaw shows the traditional method of tapping maple trees. (Jim Fox photo)|
The ambitious new venture has evolved into a tour of the region’s most popular eateries, resorts, sugar bushes, museums and shops, where every destination – all 23 of them – will have something to do with maple, the quintessential Canadian flavour.
“It’s a great idea,” said Tom Shaw of the Tap into Maple campaign which will run from March 1 to May 31. “We are thrilled to be part of this tour and encourage people to visit us and the other destinations to get a taste of what this area has to offer.”
|Terri-Lynn Shaw shows how to make maple taffy on the snow. (Jim Fox photo)|
|Horse-drawn wagon rides of the maple sugar bush are offered at Shaw's. (Jim Fox photo)|
Horseshoe Resort, for example, is not only offering a special bed and breakfast package as part of Tap into Maple, they are hosting Maple Fest on April 12. The inaugural event will include a pancake breakfast, activities for children, a recreational expo, live entertainment and the opportunity to enjoy local maple syrup and taste tempting maple beer.
“This is a new event Horseshoe has developed,” said Whitley. “It will include a maple syrup competition … it’s a great new event for Ontario’s Lake Country.”
If you want to venture off the beaten path a bit, you can try complimentary maple butter cream chocolate samples at Chelsea Chocolates in Craighurst, discover the maple syrup display and enjoy educational activities at the Coldwater Mill or Coldwater’s Canadiana Heritage Museum … there are many ways to Tap into Maple – all laid out in a colourful guide map that serves as your passport to fun.
The passport provides information on 12 different maple-themed events and the 23 destinations on the Tap into Maple route. Bring the passport along with you to get special discounts and free treats – and get a stamp at each stop. When you have at least three stamps, you can submit your passport for a chance to win an overnight stay and a basket filled with local maple products valued at more than $500.
“Ontario’s Lake Country has done a great job putting this tour together,” said Shaw, whose popular facility offers a tasty pancake breakfast – topped, of course, with delicious maple syrup produced from century-old maples on Shaw’s Line 14 forest. You can also see how the golden liquid is produced and take some maple spread, maple candy, maple barbecue sauce or maple syrup home with you.
Perhaps more important, you can participate in an age-old tradition.
“We have multiple generations of customers who come out to visit us each year … because we offer a family atmosphere where you can experience a tradition that is unique to this part of the world,” said Shaw. “Tap into Maple will help to remind everyone about this important tradition and the role maple syrup has played in our past and continues to play today.”
For more information, visit www.TapIntoMaple.com.
Ontario’s Lake Country is the Destination Marketing Organization for the municipalities of Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Rama, Ramara and Severn. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, the area is filled with nature’s best - beautiful, sparkling lakes and rivers, spectacular forests and rolling hills, and an expansive trail system. Ontario’s Lake Country offers major Ontario resorts with premier four-season recreation and getaway experiences.
A world-class casino, hotel and entertainment complex are just around the corner from a charming city where visitors can discover fascinating shops, enjoy showcase theatre, superb dining, and historical sites. Ontario's Lake Country is funded by Casino Rama and the following municipal funding partners; the City of Orillia, Oro-Medonte Township, Rama First Nation, Ramara Township and Severn Township.
Terri-Lynn Shaw, who owns Shaw’s Maple Syrup Sugar Bush with her husband Tom, left, pours their tasty maple syrup over a stack of pancakes while Diane Fotopoulos-Wright and Jennifer Whitley of Ontario’s Lake Country, look on. Shaw’s is one of 23 destinations on the inaugural Tap into Maple event that will run throughout the region March 1 to May 31 celebrating all things maple.