Camping in the Greater Toronto Area

The Greater Toronto Area is home to over 6 million people. There are five regions in the GTA: Halton, Peel, York, Durham and the City of Toronto. Surprisingly, there is quite a bit of camping in the area.

Halton Region

Halton Conservation Authority operates two campsites, Kelso and Rattlesnake Point. They are both located on the Bruce Trail and offer hiking. Both parks are very popular with rock climbers. Their campsites start at $50 per site and are located on grassy fields with little privacy. In addition, Kelso has a beach, canoe rentals, and mountain biking trails.

Rattlesnake Point

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Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival

When the European Settlers arrived in Canada they learned about the native people’s way of making sugar from the sap that pours out of a maple tree every spring. They emulated this but brought with them metal so they were able to innovate on their methods to bring down the time required for the process.

Bronte Creek 200 year old tree with sap

On the last day of March Break this year, we stopped at Bronte Creek to check out their Maple Syrup Festival. It was the middle of March and the sap was still running from the trees. The first thing we did was join the Interpretive Walk that shows us the Maple Syrup making innovations.

Bronte Creek - Native people's method The first step in the tour showed us how they tapped into the tree and put a bucket in to catch the maple syrup running out of the tree. Then there was a station that had the native people’s method on display. They had a campfire where they warmed up rocks. There was a log that was hollowed out that had the sap in it. Using two stick carefully they dumped the rock from the campfire to the log to heat the sap. It took 48 hours to turn the sap into maple syrup using this method.

The walk taught us that with each innovation, the time to make maple syrup was halved, with the ultimate time being 6 hrs to get it from sap to syrup. There was no syrup or sap to taste on the tour, unlike at the Kortright Conservation Area, where we went a few years ago.

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