For a century, the Despatie family has been tapping the maple trees on their Hanmer farm, enjoying the sweet rewards.
This year, however, they will be taking a break from the tasty tradition.
“It's not open this year,” Alice Despatie said.
Richard, Alice's son, has been running the public operation for the last eight years. His grandfather started tapping trees in 1912, which means a century worth of maple syrup has been produced by his family.
While Alice wasn't entirely sure why Richard was taking the year off, his travels out of the country were certainly part of the reason he couldn't run the sugar bush this year.
“It doesn't mean he won't be doing it again in other years,” she said.
After all, the farm holds a special spot to the family.
“For us, the maple bush was really special,” Alice said. “It was part of our earnings for the farm. We had our hearts in it.”
The community also enjoyed the bush, situated on 35.6 acres of farmland on Dominion Drive. It's the only public sugar bush operating in the city.
“It was appreciated around the area,” Alice said. “It's too bad it's not operating.”