Sugar Shacks

The Ottawa/Gatineau region has a long history of maple syrup production. Each year, maple farms open up seasonal restaurants, serving pancakes, bacon and sausages, and other items that go deliciously under a generous helping of maple syrup.

Breakfast is one of my favourite meals, and sugar shack breakfasts are the best. Here is a list of my favourites in the region.

This is entirely subjective. Your tastes may vary.

a small child in a blue coat and a purple knit hat peers into a galvanized metal sap bucket hanging on a tree. Two other sap buckets can be seen on trees in teh background

My favourites

  1. Sucrerie du Terroir
    Currently my favourite, possibly assisted by the fact that it only ten minutes from my home. Sucrerie du terroir is a family farm and is proudly ranked as one of the top ten sugar shacks in Québec. They are only open during the tapping season, but can accommodate groups of up to 22. The meal is all-you-can-eat, served at your table by friendly staff in a rustic farm building. Follow-up with some taffy on the snow. There are some nice trails through the woods to help you walk off some of the carbs and sugar. On Friday and Saturday evenings they have a live music show, but I can’t personally attest to it’s quality!
    I’m looking forward to my visit there in April!
  2. Bean Town Ranch
    Unfortunately, it would appear that Bean Town is no longer operating as a sugar shack… they’ve moved their focus to entirely hosting weddings. I’ll update this if I ever see them return to hosting maple parties, as they did provide a spectacular experience in a beautiful location.
  3. Le Domaine de l’Ange-Gardien
    This location is actually part of a larger recreation complex north-east of Gatineau, offering camping, tubing hills, horseback riding, and probably more. The sugar shack restaurant is quite large, and can be busy and a bit noisy. It feels a bit like a cafeteria.
  4. Fulton’s Sugar Bush and Maple Shop
    So, my list isn’t going so well… Fulton’s have also shut down their pancake house operation. You can still visit their sugar bush and purchase maple products, which was, in fact, the highlight of visiting their farm, anyway. Their meal service was a-la-carte, so wasn’t the same experience as the all-you-can-eat approaches that the others on the list offer.
  5. Stanley’s Olde Maple Farm
    Stanley’s has one of the largest operations on the list. They serve their pancake meal in a large modern dining hall, but offer a lot of extras on the side, including wagon rides, maple taffy on the snow, and other activities (most of which come with an extra fee). When I went, years ago, it was a buffet style, and the food was good and plentiful. Now their website says they have a new (innovative!) charge by weight (!!!) system. I’m not sure that I would want to risk it… especially if you have people in your group who are likely to leave food on the plate.
  6. Vanier Muséoparc
    The Vanier Sugar Shack is the only one on this list accessible by public transit. In fact, it advertises itself as the only urban sugar shack in North America. I haven’t been there in years, which means I was there before their building burned down and was rebuilt. It was a fun experience, and you got to see the maple syrup being boiled down. They don’t take reservations, and their meals are plated from a fixed menu with three size options (so not all-you-can-eat).
  7. Proulx Maple and Berry Farm
    Proulx farm was my least favourite sugar shack experience. The dining facility was cramped and crowded, and felt more like an army mess hall then a restaurant. The business model seemed to be geared towards extracting as much money as possible without a significant investment in providing a good customer experience. Maybe things have changed… it was around 2016 that I went there.


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