Skip to content

The Urban Sugaring Project returns to Guelph

Residents can pick up a kit on Saturday, Feb. 5th
20200201 pancake ts 8
Multiple tree sap gathering kits from the Ubran Sugaring Project in 2020. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

In a sweet bit of news, the Guelph Tool Library has announced they will be resuming the Urban Sugaring Project next month.

On Feb. 5th, residents will be able to pick up sap collecting kits between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Church of the Apostles, on 86 Glasgow St. N. To participate, there is a $10 cash fee for renting a kit and an additional $10 cash deposit. The deposit will be returned to residents after the season, along with their share of maple syrup.

Due to the pandemic, the GTL will not be hosting a pancake breakfast, but it will be making 50 pancake breakfasts that will be donated to The Bench charitable effort in Downtown Guelph.

"People can show up and take up to three kits and I'll sell them until I've sold out," said the Urban Sugaring Project coordinator, John Dennis.

A release from the GTL about the event says participants in the Urban Sugaring Project will be asked to provide their name, email address, and phone number to be contacted with sap drop off times and any additional information around tree tapping. It adds the GTL will be documenting the process through social media, with live demos hosted by the Backyard Caring Program, and livestreams will include the tree tapping process throughout the season. 

For this project, Dennis said residents have to tap a tree in their own property and it must be at least 12 inches in diameter to insert one tap into. While the tree doesn't have to be a sugar maple tree, Dennis mentions that it does have to be a maple tree.

"It's one of those projects that you can do, it's a wintertime project, it's outside, it's fun to actually tap a tree and see what happens and collect the sap," Dennis said about the benefits of participating in Urban sugaring Project.

The GTL came up with the Urban Sugaring Project five years ago after someone pointed out how many maple trees in Guelph are not tapped during maple syrup season. This year, the GTL hopes to tap over 100 trees.

"Our friends at the parks department tells us that just in private residences, there are up to 10,000 maple trees, and if you include the parks and other locations, there are up to 40,000 maple trees, and a vast, vast majority of them go untapped," said Dennis. “Part of the reason they go untapped is…people don’t have the equipment or the knowledge to tap their trees.”

Now, he said many people in Guelph are quite keen to be a part of the project.

“The people that participate love the idea that, ‘Hey, I’m having maple syrup on my pancakes or my waffles that partially came from a tree in my backyard.’”

To learn more about urban sugaring, go to