There’s much to celebrate when the mercury begins its gradual ascent. The snow banks slowly recede, the smell of spring wafts through the air, and friendly faces emerge from behind woolly scarves. But most of all, maple syrup lovers rejoice at the thought of the sap starting to flow, ready for another batch of that sweet liquid gold.

And what better way to enjoy maple syrup than at a sugar shack’s pancake house, poured with a heavy hand over a steaming hot stack of pancakes? Read on to find out where you can get a delicious meal you can smother with real Ontario maple syrup.

Wintergreen Maple Syrup and Pancake Barn

3325 Gelert Rd., Minden

About 2.5 hours northeast of Toronto near Minden, you’ll find an iconic red-roofed barn with steam billowing out the top, beckoning you to stop in and celebrate the start of spring and maple syrup season. Wintergreen is open weekends in March and April from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and while they aren't offering a sit-in breakfast right now, you can still pick up a full pancake breakfast of frozen waffles, pancakes, French toast and sausages to take home for a breakfast at home in your comfy clothes.

Temple’s Sugar Bush

1700 Fergusons Falls Rd., Lanark

Less than one-hour drive from Ottawa, Temple's Sugar Bush is a beautifully crafted timber frame barn where you can enjoy a delicious sugarmaker's breakfast in March and April, Wednesday to Sunday. This is a menu you won’t want to miss! Choose between their Buttermilk Pancake Meal featuring buttermilk pancakes, maple sausages, beans, and blueberry compote or their Blueberry Special with buttermilk pancakes and blueberry compote. Gluten free options are also available. 

Wheelers Pancake House & Sugar Camp

1001 Highland Line, McDonald's Corners

This maple destination is a destination for everything maple. Budget some extra time to wander the grounds, meet the farm animals, and visit the maple heritage museum, the Guinness World Record holder for the largest collection of maple syrup artifacts. In March and April Wheelers is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves a full pancake breakfast using their famous (and secret) recipe. Before March 6 they are open weekends only.

O’Hara Mill Homestead

638 Mill Rd., Madoc

If you like your pancakes with a history lesson on the side, stop in to O’Hara Mill Homestead on Saturday, March 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the annual 1800s Sugar Bush event. O'Hara Mills Homestead is tucked away off Highway 7 almost halfway between Toronto and Ottawa in a historic homestead from the 1800s. Plan a visit to watch blacksmith demonstrations, see how maple used to be made, and make your own maple taffy. You'll also be able to enjoy wagon rides, entertainment, and of course, pancakes and syrup.