Maple Fun at the Sugar Shack

By Stephen Johnson

March typically means one thing for our family – a trip to a cabane à sucre (sugar shack) for maple syrup and yummy pancakes!

We had been to many of the sugar shacks on the Ontario side so decided to check out Cabane à Sucre Chez Ti-Mousse.  It is located about one hour east of Ottawa near Papineauville, Quebec. 

We arrived at Ti-Mousse with our appetites.   The first thing we noticed was the traditional Quebecois music being played by a DJ.  It added to a festive ambiance to the place.  We purchased our food tickets and sat down to an all you-can-eat brunch style meal.   The server immediately brought us a hearty helping of beans, ham, omelettes, pancakes and something called oreilles de crisse.  I found out they were deep-fried smoked pork jowls and are traditionally served at Quebec cabanes à sucres. 

Sixe-year-old David had fun on the sugar-shack adventure.


After a filling and tasty meal, we were looking for an activity to get the blood moving.  David quickly found a huge mound of snow which he and other children turned into an impromptu slide.  The snow mound also served as a climbing mountain.  I could see David’s six-year-old imagination pretending he was reaching the pinnacle of Mount Everest.   For the adults, our main form of exercise was watching David go up and down the hill.

One activity we wanted to take in at Ti-Mousse was the horse-drawn wagon rides.   For a small fee, we loaded up on to the sleigh and headed off.  We explored a beautiful trail passing by snow-laden trees and pails filling with maple sap.   It was cool seeing where our delicious maple syrup had come from.  

We ended our time with a visit to the maple taffy hut.   The maple taffy is made by pouring heated maple syrup on to crushed ice or snow.  You then use a popsicle stick to collect the hardened maple syrup.   It tastes as good as it sounds.   David loved the after lunch snack and was quickly asking for more.

We had a chance to meet the owner and he explained about how maple syrup was produced.  He showed us a little museum which was done up like a kitchen you would find one hundred years ago. 

I would certainly recommend Cabane à Sucre Chez Ti-Mousse.  I liked some of the small Quebec variations like the traditional music and the slightly different food.   It had a family atmosphere and the service was excellent.  Ti-Mousse will be open well into April, so there is still time to visit. 

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