STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
A lot of effort goes into filling this bottle, and by the time the maple syrup 
is accenting pancakes or vanilla ice cream it all seems like magic.


It's all hands on deck on Maple Grove Lane.

The sap buckets are full and hardwood woodsmoke from the sugar shack is wafting through the bush. The Sukes and the Tettenborns are ready.

Overnights below freezing and daytimes above get the maples pumping. Collection buckets must be emptied into pails, the pails need to be collected, the sap has to be filtered and then readied for evaporation.

It's a lot of waiting and walking, carrying and pouring, stoking and waiting, and then waiting some more on the way to bottling the final prized product.

Sugar content in maple sap runs around 2 per cent, syrup is about 66 per cent; it's a 40:1 ratio.

To produce a 500ml bottle of maple syrup, 20 litres of sap must be collected. In more traditional terms, one quart of syrup would need almost a contractor pail of sap. For a gallon, you'd need a barrel of sap.

It's a stop and go operation, sap flow isn't constant as winter and spring tussle for dominance. It has about the same shelf life as fresh milk so the boiling-off is not a one-off affair.

The Sukes and Tettenborns help the evaporation process along by preheating the sap in an immersion heater made from a converted foot bath, and then taking half the water out with their new reverse osmosis unit, feeding warmed 4 per cent sugar concentration sap into the evaporator pan. A fan provides airflow over the pan, another efficiency in the operation.

Maple Gove Lane is one of six stops on the annual Kemble Maple Tour running Saturday, Apr. 1, the first since 2019.


STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
Marilyn Suke gathers sap from the 60 maples tapped for syrup production.
Traditional hanging pails have been augmented with taplines leading to sealed buckets.
STMapleLane 21Mar23 Marilyn gathering


STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
Ralph Suke throws another log in the fire as Mike Tettenborn shows up for sugar-shack duty.


STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
Overnights below freezing and daytimes above are best for sap production.


STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
Ralph Suke uses an ATV and customized trailer to pick up the gathered sap,
a recent innovation Mr. Suke says is an improvement to a lot of long-armed walking.
STMapleLane 21Mar23 Ralph gathering


STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
By the end of the season the sugar shack, coated in sugar crystals, will need a hosing down.
Until then, Mike Tennenborn enjoys the golden scent of maple sugar and smoke
mixing in the warm steamy air.


STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
The sap wagon arrives at the sugar shack at the Suke property on Grey Road 1 in East Linton,
one of the six stops on the annual Kemple Maple Tour.


STMapleLane 21Mar23 endresult
Marilyn Suke pours the sap she just gathered. It's heated passing through a
water bath before reverse osmosis removes half the water prior to evaporation
in the wood-fired evaporator pan. The syrup is filtered just prior to bottling.


The Kemble Maple Tour takes place in and around Kemble, 15 minutes north of Owen Sound and 15 minutes east of Wiarton.

There are six stops in the 2023 tour:

Maple Lane Grove
– 319055 Grey Road 1

All of sap is collected with buckets. The smallest pan evaporator that Dominion and Grimm makes is fired up to make 65 litres of syrup made each year in the old-fashioned way. Marilyn and Ralph Suke team up with neighbours Martha and Mike Tennenborn to produce syrup for family and friends.

Kemble Mountain Maple Products
– 310132 Kemble Rock Road

The south-facing slope of Kemble Mountain gathers sap by using gravity. Sap from 730 taps is boiled in a wood-fired 4x12’ forced-air evaporator. Maple products for sale.

Paul and Connie Morris – 505616 Grey Road 1

Sap from 50 taps is collected in buckets and boiled down on a modified wood stove. Also see a vintage iron kettle boiling sap over an open fire.

Jim and Sharon McGregor – 444327 Concession 21

Sap is collected in buckets from 25 to 30 taps and boiled over a wood stove in our evaporator made by Jim. This provides our family with a year’s supply of maple syrup.

Miner's Maple Syrup – 330351 Georgian Range Road

Producing maple syrup and maple products for 26 years and enjoying being part of the Kemble community. A variety of tasty treats made with maple syrup will be available for purchase.

Regal Point Elk Farm
– 462081 Concession 24

Regal Point Elk Farm's 2,500 tap operation is home to Ontario’s first and only electric evaporator. See the elk this year for the last time. Maple syrup for sale. This stop closes at 3:00 p.m.


This year’s maple-themed meal will be held at the Kemble-Sarawak United Church, located at the intersection of Kemble Rock Road and Concession 20.

Each tour participant or group will be issued a tour passport, which allows entry to any of the six maple production tour stops and acts as a ticket for the meal.

The tour stops are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m. (Regal Point tour stop closes at 3:00 p.m.).

The maple meal is available anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Passport costs:

  • $15 per adult
  • $10 per child 6-12 years of age
  • Free for children 5 and under
  • $40 for a family (2 adults and their children)

Passports will be available from March 4- March 25th at the following locations:

  • Kemble Post Office
  • Josie's Fashions, Wiarton
  • Bayshore Country Feeds, Owen Sound
  • Balmy Beach Convenience, Balmy Beach


Maple meal menu, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.:

  • Belgian Waffles​
  • Local maple syrup
  • Baked beans
  • Coleslaw
  • Peameal bacon

The dining room will be seating limited to allow for social distancing. A take-out option and outdoor picnic tables will also be available.


 – by Hub staff
David Galway


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