Urban Sugaring

Logo with maple leaf and shapes of people holding hands

End of the Urban Sugaring Project

Hi Everyone:

2023 marks the last year for the Urban Sugaring Project. It has run for 7 years with just a year off for COVID.  The project was so much fun and we had over 1000 different people participate in the program!  The program was supported by grants from the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, City of Guelph, and Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Thanks to Beth McEwen, at John McCrae Public School, and Katie Gad, with the Upper Grand District School Board’s Community Environmental Leadership Program (CELP), for creating and running Syrup in the City with us.  Our maple syrup festival ran for three years and highlighted the sugaring season and the wonderful maple trees at John McCrae Public School.

Finally, for those that want to try making maple syrup themselves, the Guelph Tool Library has tools that you can borrow for this purpose.  We have two propane finishers in inventory and rotate 8 sugaring kits (spigot, bucket, and pail) into inventory in the early spring.  We even offer drills and a special drill bit to tap your tree!


John Dennis

Urban Sugaring Project Coordinator

Questions and Answers about the Project

Q – What is the minimum size to tap a tree? A – A maple tree should be at least 12 inches in diameter before tapping it. Larger trees can support multiple taps. For example, trees 21-27 inches in diameter can support 2 taps and trees greater than 27 inches in diameter can support 3 taps.

Q – Can I tap the trees in the park? A – No, please remember that you can only tap your trees or trees that you have permission to tap.

Q – Do you only accept sap from Sugar Maple trees? A – No, we will take the sap from any type of maple tree. You can get great syrup from a Silver or a Norway Maple, it just takes a bit more boiling.

Q – Is there equipment available for me to borrow from the Guelph Tool Library to make my own maple syrup? A- Yes, we have 10 sap collection kits, special drill bits for making holes, battery-powered and hand drills, two boilers, and two kits for bottling for those that want to make their own syrup.

About the Urban Sugaring Project

Launched in 2015, the Urban Sugaring Project allows maple tree owners to work together to produce syrup. Participants rent a kit (a bucket, tree tap, and instructions) for $10 (with a $10 deposit) and return the collected sap to a central location. The sap is pooled and boiled down by volunteers to syrup and redistributed back to the participants. Participants receive a share of the finished syrup based on how much sap they contributed. Every participant receives a minimum amount of 250 ml to a maximum of 1 litre of syrup per tap.

To learn more about the project, please contact us by email.