Tap into your sweet side this spring in Vanier!

Published on 05.02.2024

– Vanier Sugar Shack opens for the sugar season from February 18 to April 28, 2024 –

Ottawa, February 5, 2024 – With the sugar season fast approaching, the Vanier Museopark will soon kick off its first “real” one in five years.

The Vanier Museopark puts on several activities through the sugar season, which runs from mid-February to late April each year. Here are key dates to remember for 2024:

  • Saturday, February 17 (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.): Community maple tree tapping
  • February 18 to April 28: Vanier Sugar Shack opens for sugar season meals
  • March 18 to 24: Vanier Sugar Festival, Richelieu Park

“The Vanier Museopark is proud to keep traditional maple syrup-making alive in the Vanier community and the greater Ottawa area through its urban Sugar Shack, the only one of its kind in North America,” says Madeleine Meilleur, Vanier Museopark Executive Director. “We invite people from far and wide to come enjoy our activities throughout the season, for the maple tree tapping or the Vanier Sugar Festival. It’s our own way of preserving the French-Canadian cultural heritage of maple sugar parties and continuing a Vanier tradition that dates back to 1939, when the White Fathers (Society of Missionaries of Africa), built the first sugar shack in what is now Richelieu Park!”

Come tap some maple trees

On Saturday, February 17, 2024, the Vanier Museopark invites community members to come out and help its team tap maple trees in the Richelieu Forest—an activity that reconnects us with past traditions while teaching the art of traditional maple syrup-making to new generations.

The day’s target is to tap 400 trees in the urban sugar bush. Volunteers will of course be rewarded for their work, with hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and pea soup served up hot at the Sugar Shack.

To learn more about the event, visit the Museopark website: https://museoparc.ca/activities-and-events/maple-tree-tapping/

Come enjoy a tasty sugar season meal

The community maple tree tapping event will kick off the Museopark’s 2024 sugar season, with the Sugar Shack serving its first customers the very next day (Sunday, February 18).

The new Vanier Sugar Shack is proud to serve quality food from local producers in an enchanting setting that blends modernity with old-world charm!

Vanier Sugar Shack opening hours, 2024 season (February 18 to April 28)

  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (doors close at 2 p.m.).
    First-come, first-served. No reservations on weekends.
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last reservation at 2 p.m.)
    Reservation only; Groups of at least 15 people.
  • The Sugar Shack will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays through the 2024 season.
    It will also be closed for the Sugar Festival (March 13-15 and March 18-24).

Vanier Sugar Shack chef Julien Fournier (amateur maple syrup producer, chef, and Collège La Cité graduate) has created some tasty dishes for the 2024 sugar season:

  • The Classic ($18): 3 pancakes, plain Greek yogurt, maple & coconut granola, fresh berries, and maple syrup drizzle
  • The Urban ($26): 2 slices of French toast, vegetarian pea soup, sausages and bacon
  • The Lumberjack ($36): 3 pancakes, woodsy sugar bush omelette, maple baked beans, sausages, bacon, plain Greek yogurt, maple & coconut granola, fresh berries, and maple syrup drizzle
  • The Lil’ Lumberjack ($12, kids 12 and under): 2 pancakes, sausages and bacon

To make a reservation, contact the Vanier Sugar Shack at cabane@museoparc.ca or call 613‑842‑9871, ext. 1.

To learn more about the Vanier Sugar Shack, visit the Museopark website: https://museoparc.ca/vanier-sugar-shack/

Come discover the Vanier Sugar Festival

A flagship event in the Museopark’s public programming, the Festival celebrates the sugar season and helps visitors reconnect with or learn about the traditional art of maple syrup-making.

The Vanier Museopark is proud to announce its 2024 Sugar Festival, which will run from March 18 to 24. Besides enjoying a tasty maple taffy, young and old alike can experience sugar season traditions through a host of gourmet, cultural, and fun activities or events (Sugar Shack meals, live music by local artists, petting farm, inflatable play structures, space dedicated to FNMI culture, and much more)! The Festival will close with its popular lumberjack skills contest.

Full program details for the 39th Sugar Festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

Be a volunteer

The Museopark’s sugar season activities would not be possible without the commitment and hard work of its volunteers. For a unique and fun experience in the heart of an urban maple forest, why not visit the Vanier Museopark website and sign up as a season or Festival volunteer (https://museoparc.ca/become-a-volunteer/)?

Happy sugar season to everyone!

About the Vanier Museopark

The Vanier Museopark is a non-profit organization in the heart of Vanier, a working class district near downtown Ottawa, which celebrates the community’s rich heritage and history. Through exhibitions, talks, workshops, school programs, and interpretive tours, the Vanier Museopark helps curious people of all ages and cultures discover and learn about the habits and customs of the local Francophone community. The Vanier Museopark is Ottawa’s only French-language museum and one of the few Canadian museums devoted entirely to the Francophone community outside Quebec. The Museopark operates an authentic sugar shack in the heart of an urban maple forest, the only one of its kind in the world. It also hosts the Sugar Festival, an annual event that promotes maple syrup culture, showcases Franco-Ontarian and Indigenous artists, and is a hugely popular family activity. Proud of its roots, the Vanier Museopark has been a fixture of the community since it was founded in 2004. www.museoparc.ca

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For more information, visuals, interview requests, or questions of any kind, please contact:

Annick Normand
Communications and Marketing Manager
Vanier Museopark

© Vanier Museopark. All rights reserved.