I have spent a lot of time recently discovering Ontario. Like many other Canadians, Canada's 150th birthday has begun to stay closer and to learn about my own country. Lanark County is part of the Ontario Highlands, and after touring the Ottawa Valley Maple Adventures I stayed in the Highlands because Lanark's claim to fame is that it is the capital of Ontario's maple syrup.
What type of traveler am I?
I took a quiz on FindYourInnerWanderer.ca and says I am a rustic roamer. I was really surprised how precise this quiz was. Describes everything I like when traveling:
I look for the peaceful comfort of the lovely cities and the back roads and my only goal is to explore. I appreciate little things, authentic local experiences, warm hospitality, and humble people with a big heart.
Dive into local culture and accept the spirit of community helps me to escape my daily routine.
After the end of my stay in the Ottawa Valley, I spent the next three days traveling the Lanark County. While it is not the largest producer of maple syrup, it is the capital because it has the smallest, independent producers.
Maple syrup in Ontario
Ontario does not produce the most maple syrup in Canada with a long shot; Quebec holds this title with almost 85% of the production of maple syrup. It's a big business in Quebec for production, but also for tourism. Everyone wants to visit a sugar cottage in Quebec in the spring.
But what I found in the Lanark district was that because it was smaller and less well-known, there was more opportunity to have an authentic experience. In the most popular cafes or pancake houses you will find local people and nothing special for tourists. The region was beautiful, surprisingly affordable and everyone was so friendly.
Before this trip, I would not think that it would be possible to spend 3 days on maple themed holidays. And then I met so many people doing interesting things and I wanted to share them. I have to warn you that this is a long post. But I think everyone can find a few things that would be great for a weekend break.
Lanark County – maple syrup capital of Ontario
Significant al-mont, Almonte is a former mill town on the Canadian Mississippi River (unconnected with the US). With a population of 5000 it is a perfect escape from urban life, because it is also known as a friendly city and is a great base for exploring maple syrup in the Lanark district.
It's just 40 minutes from Ottawa, so it's a great night out because the city has all the instagrammable charm you want from a small town visit. You can kayak on the river, go to the waterfall or stay in the city where you can explore the boutiques and visit the tea room.
Where to stay in Almonte
I stayed at the Almonte Riverside Inn, a historic building with 6 very large rooms. My overlooked river with a view so nice that I did not want to go out that night.
It's not often that I'm in a hotel that really impresses, but it was such a good combination of modern equipment with a small town. The rooms are large and you can not hear your neighbors if you are not in a communal room for free snacks or in the breakfast restaurant.
I'm also glad to add coffee or tea to your room in the morning and you pick your breakfast before dinner and how much time you'd like to eat so it's ready when you come down. It's so tiny touches that really make the hotel special.
Almonte Riverside Inn
81 Queen Street, Almonte, ON
Meet King Sausage
Don may be the unofficial ambassador of Almonte. He does not go from here, but he is one of the most popular characters and often asks to do events and make hideous things like naked for a charity calendar. For this reason, you should talk to him in his store.
Although it is a butcher, Don is also known for his sausages and sells 250 kilograms a week. While his favorite is the gentle Italian sausage, the savory sweetness of the maple sausage sausage makes it his favorite.
If you do not have access to the kitchen, there are also many great packaged food and sandwiches. But you really come to Donov meat for people. This is the experience of a small town at its best.
Don's meat market
126 Mill Street, Almonte, ON
Tel: (613) -256-6801
Grab Maple Latte
The next must visit the stop in Almonte's Equator Coffee Roasters. Surely a lot of places are Maple Lattes, but this is a local center with a focus on organic coffee of fair trade.
I've been drinking coffee since 1988, and I've never heard of coffee for coffee. The team here is not only serving coffee, but explaining how to do it, how to store it, prepare it and whether you need an espresso machine (spoiler: save money and buy French press).
I was so passionate about energy, enthusiasm and enthusiasm for coffee. He is seriously committed to a sustainable model that also promotes coffee, but not too serious that they can not call coffee as "Freaking Good," the most popular or "Earl E. Bird".
They simply spread this place so they can host more cupping classes, which is a coffee tasting. I would call ahead and see if you can organize it because you will never look at the coffee in the same way.
Flat coffee beans
451 Ottawa Street, Almonte, ON
Try the malt fat from the maple malt
In the corner, you'll find Ed and Doris at the Healthy Food Technology Factory, which has a shop where you can try low-fat donuts.
Yes, this is true.
Ed is a serial inventor and a patented new donut maker that opens a donut and then bakes it. He is a revolutionary of the donut world and has all the great stores that want the donuts to appear again.
When testing the machine they needed to know if they could produce as much as the machine is currently in stores. In the beginning they simply donned donuts to anyone they could (the police station was careful over the gift because she thought it was sarcasm). Eventually the factory opened a store that has a fluctuating stream of people coming from Montreal for these donuts.
In addition to trade, they also produce donuts for local supermarkets and produce up to 12,000 weeks. If you like talking to Don, you have to ask if Ed is so close because he likes to talk and it's a fascinating peak inside the inventor's mind.
Healthy food technology
25 Industrial Avenue, Almonte, ON
Sample Maple Chocolate in Hummingbird Chocolate
Cross the street and see the original location of the Equator Hotel, which now owns new entrepreneurs Eric and Drew. This is such an epic story of business and perseverance.
They met in Afghanistan more than 15 years ago. As a foreign worker, chocolate was one of their few indulgences. In 2010, they worked in Haiti in schools after a devastating earthquake. There they learned about the cocoa market and they were thinking about how to create an enterprise that would sustain the farmer in a sustainable way while their next passion.
When they returned home, they began making chocolate. But it was not easy, because there were only four chocolates in Canada and none of them really liked business secrets. However, they kept on studying cookbooks and online online and eventually became a hobby in the award-winning business.
Their shop is priced with prizes, most notably Hispaniola, which uses cocoa from the Dominican Republic. You can taste different kinds of chocolates that use beans from all over the world (Fleur de Sel, using sea salt in Vancouver Island is my favorite).
A real treat is a tour to learn how to make chocolate. With 10 employees and small batch production, it is not possible to buy machines that are used by other big chocolate makers. For example, cocoa beans are baked in a chicken oven. Drew also constructed other elements of the process with wood, hardware and lots of ingenuity.
This means that employees need to be in place and really understand the process. It's not a "set it and forget it" operation. But that's the likely reason why they won the Golden Bean Award at the Big Chocolate Academy in 2016.
9 Houston Drive, Almonte, ON
Stop at Carleton Place for lunch at Chesswood
A newly rebranded restaurant with a fresh new name is worth eating in Chesswood before you move to Perth. They make maple-bourbon grilled bacon in the house. It's so popular that they have been asked to start selling in jars.
Do you want something nicer? Also look at the maple salad with strawberry sauce, which uses maple both in the meat leaf and in the autumn.
151 Bridge Street, Carleton Place, ON
Tour Sam Bat – Original Maple Bat Corporation
Like someone who says he just wanted to eat and walk, I was careful when I went to the industrial park to find out about baseball bats. But I needed a meal break and, while it was not a maple syrup in Lanark County, it turned out to be a fascinating story.
When the baseball boss said he was breaking too many baseball bats out of ash, he asked Sam Carpenter to come up with something better. Living in Almonte, where the maple was rich, it was wise to use this hardwood. Blue Jay Joe Carter has begun to use and today 75% of bats in the Major League Baseball are made of maple.
You can visit the factory and see your own form of bat for your favorite players and it is now very popular for bachelor parties to come and get special engraved bats that make a nice groomsmen gift (who needs a new bank) and great photos.
110 Industrial Avenue
Carleton Place, ON
Go to Perth
Without grinding words Perth is wonderful. It's a historic city 40 minutes outside of Ottawa and it's so beautiful that many people come from Perth to Ottawa or take off in Perth. I do not blame them.
Originally it was military settlement in the early 1800s and many of the early immigrants were Scottish stonecutters and you can see their work across the city. The city is very pedestrian friendly and there are many cute cafes, bakeries and restaurants.
Surprisingly well stocked with interesting shops with only 6000 inhabitants. Even though it has become a favorite place for weddings. On Saturday I was in park four. Like Stratford, Perth is such a city where you wonder why you still live in the city.
Maple But in Perth Brewing
Family brewery ion road 7, using local ingredients including local maple syrup in the district of Lanark
While you can get some of their beer at the LCBO, it is worth all the locals choose all the beer and of course try Oh Canada Maple But. It is not very sweet and I heard a group that next to me says it would be a perfect breakfast of beer. If beer is not your thing, there are also a number of lagers, IPA and stouts – perhaps oatmeal will also be good for breakfast?
Just as the company expands, so it's a place. Currently you can buy and sample beer before buying, and now some seating opens so you can enter the flight or pint.
Brewery in Perth
121 Dufferin Street, Perth, ON
Maple Moonshine at Top Policka Distillers
Ontario is home to craft distillers and Top Shelf Distillers gets great reviews for their traditional products like vodka and gin, but people in the distillery will try out more creative offerings such as maple or cherry moon.
They open their doors in 2015 using local products including local maple syrup. They do not take too seriously, which is evident from the water logos and the service is refreshing fun.
Top distillation spirits
14 Warren Crescent, Perth, ON
A meal to sample a maple in a stone cellar
The stone cellar has been in Perth for years and is a local favorite. Organizes a series of events throughout the year, using a local product and matching Canadian wine and crafted beer.
However, one special dinner is a five-hour local maple dinner where you can sample seasonal flavors and local maple syrup in Lanark County. You must book 48 hours in advance. At the top is tartar salmon, maple ricotta with thyme oil. I chose a few wines that were really thoughtful and worked well with local flavors.
If you come for a moment without booking for a tasting, you can try the maple sweet potato chips that are always on offer.
71 Gore Street East, Perth, ON
Tel: (613) -267-0200,
Maple Pecan Brush Butter
Everything is done from scratch in this small bakery in downtown Perth. Although I was for the very popular tarty butter I was told a loyal customer that I also needed to try their carrot cake as it was "die for" and others in the store nodded after agreement.
I took mine to go so Dave could try, but I was very tempted to stay and eat on the terrace overlooking the river. Besides sweets, you can also find bread, prepared dishes, a salad bar and a variety of dishes.
100 Gore Street, Perth ON
Take a Sunday ride and come across the Coutts Country Flavors Store
I can not even start talking about all the possibilities of tasting local maple syrup in Lanark County in Coutts. Although the most popular are maple apple cake, maple granola and maple chocolate candies.
The shop is located on the farms of Coutts Farm, a family farm of the fifth generation in the district of Lanark, where they produce natural beef, maple syrup, vegetables, canned food and pastries.
They also have plenty of naturally growing local products from other farmers and fair trade products but what struck me most was that it was a typical rural business and did not sell local, organic or natural products because it was trendy, the price just because that they still do it.
On the side note I can guarantee maple apple pie. I thought it would be too sweet, but it was not at all. It's a sample.
Coutts Country Flavors Store
1240 County Road 18, Perth, ON
Pancakes have real maple syrup
This is a stop-up visit and at a time when there's so much to see at Wheelers Maple Sugar Camp.
I stopped to try the maple terroir tasting (golden, orange, dark and very dark) and learned a bit more about maple syrup in Ontario and specifically in Lanark County. I wanted to listen to Vernon Wheeler for several days. He has great views on how to maintain the high quality of maple syrup production. You know he's thinking a lot about what he's doing.
I was wondering if the maple syrup in Ontario had the same problems as honey – were fake bottles there? Is it sometimes cut with corn syrup? How can supermarkets sell for cheaper? Vernon has pointed out that this is not a problem, and the worst case of quality is that the supermarket is choking A Grade Syrup (with what you get from local producers) with 1/3 grade B syrup (what is used for baking and dog food). So even the worst case is still a 100% maple syrup.
You really need 2-3 hours to get a full experience at Wheelers, including Guinness World Maple Artefacts (you will be amazed), visiting a blacksmith who actually works on real projects rather than an exhibition and a pancake house where you find weekends all local residents (for a tip: sit by the window and look at the hummingbird).
There is also a hut with an incredible number of antique chain saws and a small area with farm animals, including alpaca. Wheelers take the maple syrup very seriously, and the local people are crowding on weekends so make sure you come early.
Wheelers Maple Sugar Camp
1001 Highland Lane, McDonalds Corners, ON
Maple roasted arctic Char in Maberly
Continue a little further west along Highway 7 to find the Fall River Restaurant in Maberly. The owner of the Dutch family are small decorative touches from Holland that make the dining room charming and home. If the sunny head is on a lush terrace, you would never know that you are near the highway.
I had an arcade mapped maple and a wonderful bruschetta. But their luncheon dinner was provoking my interest in another kitchen. The Lebanese and Austrian nights were huge, and the owners of Tess and Jeroen made their favorite recipes for the Indonesian night.
There is also a country store, so it is worth stopping for food or just looking around the shop.
Fall River Restaurant
21980 Highway 7, Maberly, ON
Tel: (613) -268-2197
Where to stay in Perth
The largest hotel in Perth is Best Western, which includes a White House annexe. It is a historic building with 7 rooms but modern amenities such as a hot tub (which I used and was incredible).
It is next to the Parkside Spa, which looks out over the park, popular for weddings. Complete Aveda Spa and Salon Service I was so happy to offer the Maple Mani Pedi package. It contains the use of maple syrup in a milk bath, maple sugar sand in a pedicure shake, maple juice in shea butter and body milk.
I also got an inner bottle of two personal pedicures. The regular pedicure is $ 59, but you can get a private room for two people to get a pedicure and enjoy the wine and cheese at $ 140 – just $ 11 per person.
Best Western Plus Perth and Parkside Spa
82 Peter Street, Perth, ON
If you know about another great location in the Lanark District where you'll find the wonderful quality of maple syrup in Ontario, I'd like to hear about it in the comments below.
Publishing: This paper on Ontario's Maple Syrup: Lanark County has collaborated with Ontario Highlands Come Wander, the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association and Lanark County. I was so excited to see such an authentic experience, which is not just a product for tourists, but something that local people do. For all my friends who are asking me to go to the Quebec confectionery, I'd recommend sending them to Lanark County for a real experience.
13 Reasons to Visit Lanark County is a post by: Bacon Magic