Every spring, members from the small town of Elmvale wake up from hibernation to the smell of pancakes and one of Ontario’s best maple syrup festivals. Maple syrup vendors line the streets, handing out samples from this year’s batch. If you’re new to this world of liquid gold, a Sugar Bush tour is a must! This year you could visit Greenlaw Maples or Lalonde’s Sugar Bush and children under 12 can visit for free. Here you learn about all the hard work that goes into making maple syrup, how much sap it takes to make a one litre bottle of syrup, and are taught why you must always refrigerate it.
No small town festival is complete without a main stage featuring local talent, a log sawing competition and naturally, a pancake eating contest. After the initial sugar rush wears off you enjoy the fact that spring is here and summer is just around the corner.
It’s been 1 month without a Tim Hortons cup of coffee, maple syrup soaked pancakes, some classic Swiss Chalet sauce and well, we couldn’t last any longer without them! To cure our homesickness for our staple foods we went to The Canada Shop in Covent Garden. Of course this is where plenty of Canadians go to pick up a few things they didn’t realize are different in the UK including pickles/relish, Christie cookies and Kraft products like KD and peanut butter.
Since there was a gathering of Canadians all in the store hovering around the maple syrup we felt like we knew them. It turns out we didn’t know them exactly but we did both know the same people! This is how it all happened, first the guy said he knew where Wyevale, Ontario actually was and had a friend there. I asked who (since it is a small town) and it turns out it was a family in Perkinsfield that I recognized the names of. It turns out he went to school with the brother of a girl I used to play hockey with. Yes, I AM CANADIAN!
The other “Canadian hot spot” in London is the Maple Leaf. It’s a pub just down the street from the Canadian Shop. It’s a sports bar that lets hope will show some NHL games if the strike ever ends. I think we found our place to go on Canada Day and to just hang out if we’re feeling a bit far from home.