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Sugar Shack Toronto

Large crowd shows up for Sugar Shack event in Toronto

Toronto's Sugar Beach drew Torontonians out of hibernation for two days of a Quebec-style Sugar Shack on the waterfront.

Billed as a weekend of maple sugar tastings, authentic Quebecois food, traditional French Canadian music and live entertainment, in actuality, the event entailed one sound stage, three food trucks, one hot chocolate station, an ice carving demo, a Quebec tourism booth, maple taffy on ice, and a whole lot of lineups.

Sugar Shack Toronto

On the food truck front, it seemed like poutine was the main-event - but seriously where were the pancakes and sausages?

Sugar Shack Toronto

BeaverTails dished out its namesake fried dough along with poutine...

Sugar Shack Toronto

The Great Canadian Food Truck served up moose balls (mashed potato and cheese curd balls) and poutine topped with peameal bacon...

Sugar Shack Toronto

Wickedly Sinful dished out deep fried maple cookies and smokey maple buttered fries plus - you guessed it - poutine...

Sugar Shack Toronto

But, hey, among the four different variations on offer was a tempting Tourtiere Poutine.

Sugar Shack Toronto

Alas, the queues to eat anything were over an hour long and the lineup to buy tokens for maple taffy tastings looked equally daunting. Removed from the action, Against the Grain had its patio open, which was welcome on the sunny day -- though a beer garden on event grounds would certainly have been appreciated.

Sugar Shack Toronto

Lounging on the beach was the activity of choice for most out to socialize and soak in some vitamin D.

Sugar Shack Toronto

Meanwhile the hands-on ice carving demo put some sharp tools into the hands of wee ones, which was kind of fun to watch.

Sugar Shack Toronto

Live performances and cooking demos took over the main stage, while a singalong helmed by Choir! Choir! Choir! proved most popular and drew large crowds.

Sugar Shack Toronto

My enthusiastic group of friends were happy to entertain themselves for the first hour but left shortly after to seek out food and drink elsewhere. The silver lining was that at least admission was free.

The day hardly lived up to a true sugar bush experience, but fear not, Maple in the County kicks off next weekend (March 19 and 20) in Prince Edward County for those still craving their maple sugar fix.

Photos by Hector Vasquez.

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