A tradition rich in history

A sugar shack is much more than just a friendly place to indulge in the many joys of maple syrup. It’s also the storehouse of a rich tradition going back millennia.

Long before the arrival of the first European colonists, the people of this land knew the sugar maple’s secret. One legend attributes the discovery of maple syrup to an Iroquois chief by the name of Woksis. Having planted his hatchet in the trunk of a maple tree, he and his wife discovered that the sap of the tree had a delicately sweet taste. The kind of taste that keeps you coming back. Before long, maple syrup had spread to many First Nations and become an important activity. Every spring entire villages would set up in the woods to tap maple trees. The sugaring-off season was hard work, but it was also a time of rejoicing. Popular belief had it that dancing when a tree was tapped would help the sap flow.

The birth of the sugar shack

Europeans were introduced to this age-old know-how early in the colonization period. Over time, the methods for turning sap into syrup were refined. For decades, giant outdoor cast-iron cauldrons were used for boiling sap. Then came the idea of building a shelter for protection from the weather. Voilà—the first sugar shack!

Then and now

Bit by bit an agrotourism industry grew up around this precious resource. Today only a tiny minority of Québec’s 7,400 maple-syrup producers serve sugar-shack dinners. The local tradition that brings us together year after year is being kept alive by fewer than 150 sugar bushes.

Over the last ten years, nearly one-third (30.5%) of Québec’s sugar shacks have closed their doors. Many are planning to rebuild to concentrate exclusively on maple-syrup production. Others have resolved to shutter their operations or sell their sugar shacks to the highest bidder. In the midst of it all, those who are taking part in the joint “Ma cabane à la maison” initiative see it as a ray of hope.

By the numbers


sugar shacks have a mission to uphold the tradition.


of sugar shacks have ended their agrotourism operations in the last 10 years.


of the world’s maple-syrup production is done in Québec.

Proud Owners

Discover the faces behind your local sugar shacks.

Érablière Charbonneau

Mont Saint-Grégoire

Mélanie Charbonneau has always known she’d be in the maple syrup industry. “In 2004 my husband Alexandre and I discovered we had maple syrup in our blood. We truly found our passion!” It’s a passion that comes out in every tasty dish they cook up and serve to guests with love, like their renowned maple coulis and that irresistible sugar pie. But Érablière Charbonneau gives you much more than a sugar-shack dinner to fill up on—their incredibly beautiful location and down-home atmosphere alone are worth the trip.

Chalet des Érables


For Chantal Lampron and Daniel Laurin, co-owners of this beautiful and large sugar shack established for nearly 75 years, the 100 employees are part of the family. "Here, we make the best curly pancakes! Our sugar shack is also great fun for both kids and adults." General store, antique buggy rides, bumper cars, mechanical bull, farmhouse... Impossible to get bored! Happy that their sugar shack is having a more traditional season to blow out its 75 candles, it is with pride that Chantal and Daniel continue the tradition of Ma Cabane à la Maison!"

La Goudrelle et La Grillade

Mont Saint-Grégoire et Saint-Alphonse de Granby

What do La Goudrelle and La Grillade have in common? The Gingras family, which has been immersed in maple syrup for four generations. Each year, the two sugars shack attract a good number of sweet tooths and outdoor enthusiasts. ”People who come to La Goudrelle love to enjoy our pancakes and maple butter. That's not counting our beautiful mountain trails,” says Luc Gingras. As for La Grillade, it is rather the buffet formula, the maple pulled pork and the vegan options that make the visitors happy.

Domaine de l'Artisan


Look no further: this is where the best donuts in maple syrup are made. Since 1997, Michel Thibodeau and his team have been welcoming sweet tooths to their beautiful domain located in the heart of the Eastern Townships. After a good homemade meal, young and old are invited to venture into the trails of the domain, where nature is revealed in all its splendor. Although the past year has brought its share of challenges, Michel Thibodeau remains enthusiastic about serving his loyal clientele in a different way by focusing on boxed meals again this year for a third season.

Érablière aux Quatre Vents


Mother of four beautiful children and proud owner of L'Érablière aux Quatre Vents, Marie-Ève Plouffe has already seen snow. The woman who took her first steps at her father's sugar shack is entering her thirteenth sugar season as owner. Her eyes light up when she talks about her delicious ham and her succulent little dishes that you will find on site at her pretty boutique as well as in your beautiful meal boxes to take away. For them, quality and service is a priority, meeting their customers is a privilege and a source of inspiration...

Les Boisés d’Amélie


It is in adversity that the passion for entrepreneurship takes on its full meaning! For Les Boisés d'Amélie, the Ma cabane à la maison adventure marks a turning point in its history and in the ties it has created between us, the public and those who share the desire to bring to life and share this tradition that brings people together during the sugar season! Amélie, Benjamin, Émile, Frédéric and Fabiola!

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