Making Maple Syrup - A Forest's Story

Homey accommodation and fascinating Maple Syrup Experience

Beautiful situation in a quieter part of Canada. The accommodation was comfortable, and although we didn't have an ensuite, we did have private use of a bathroom. Breakfast was excellent, and the Maple Syrup Experience was superb. The enthusiasm and knowledge about the forest environment, and how to ensure healthy trees for the future, as well as the experience of making our own syrup was highly memorable.

Neil Clarke   U K August 2019

We arrived very early in the area, but had been driving a long way so decided to see if we could check in. Don and Mary Helen couldn’t have been more welcoming and were happy to receive us so early. We were shown to our gorgeous room and were offered a very welcome cup of tea with the addition of Mary Helen’s incredible brownies. In fact this was just the start of their wonderful and kind hospitality. Our room was beautiful and spotlessly clean, looking out onto the surrounding countryside. There was a lovely en-suite shower room and we also had a gorgeous lounge area, with a TV, across the hall to use. The whole house is decorated with impeccable taste and includes some lovely pieces of artwork collected by Mary Helen. Breakfast was wonderful, a true feast that kept us going well after lunchtime. You are offered fresh fruits, oatmeal, French toast, toast, homemade jams, eggs, sausage and gorgeous peameal bacon. The Deakins are wonderful hosts, so very genuine and warm. Don’s incredible knowledge of forestry and the maple syrup making process is fascinating. Joining him on the tour of his forest and learning how to make syrup is an absolute must. Getting to take home our very own syrup was a real highlight of our whole tour of Ontario. We will really treasure our memories of our stay at the Deakins B&B. Oh and we got to see a hummingbird too!! Our stay really wasn’t long enough and we hope to return one day.

F. Thompson.  U K  May 2019

This location, this couple made the entire experience beautiful. Great property and amazing brunch! Thank you so much! Offering news and history of the area. Multiple activities including maple syrup making, caves exploring and hiking. Algonquin is so close that sightseeing is made easy!

 L. Jacques-Walker August 2019

Very nice, clean, cozy, well maintained home and property. Nice walk through maple tree forest with exploring of historical and restored work shop to produce maple syrup. Very accommodating owners eager to help guide guests about local points of interest. Very close to Barry's Bay and Killaloe. Beautiful country surroundings! Highly recommended.

P. Pietruszko   U S A July 2019

One of the best experiences you can have in Canada, enhanced by the wonderful hospitality of Don and Mary Helen. A truly memorable day.

Karen Farrar North American Travel Services  December 2018

Don showed us how to tap a tree and collect sap (which we got to taste) and then we took to the restored sugar shack to actually see (and participate in) the process of taking sap all the way to maple syrup. As a guest, you actually get to complete the process and then take home a sweet gift that you’ve bottled yourself. After you return from the forest, Mary Helen is ready for you with fresh scones, maple Devon cream, maple jelly and … you guessed it… syrup. Don walked us through a tasting of the different colours of syrup and then we enjoyed the treats.

Sara and Brent Dashboard Living from Nova Scotia  September 2018

Thank you SO MUCH for the pictures, I have shared them with the family and they are delighted to have such a great memento of our visit. It is no exaggeration to say that our visit was a major highlight of our visit to Ontario. You made a great impression on my parents, they said how lovely and warm you both were, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the full maple making experience. Thank you also for our incredible gifts. I haven’t opened my jelly or butter yet, but I know they are going to be scrummy J. Dad has eaten most of the maple syrup already!

 Karen F. from Leeds, England, September 2017

I stayed the night at the B & B and after the signature maple breakfast (pro tip: use it in your coffee instead of sugar) I went to make maple syrup with Don. On the way to the sugar shack Don walks you through the forest and it’s an adventure in itself. He has a game where he gives you a log of a tree and you need to find that tree on the route. Along the way he explains how maples grow, what makes for a good maple producing tree, and pests. Even before I met Don I thought he was brilliant He created an experience that no one else has (that I’ve heard of). Don is making maple syrup out of season so you don’t have to come during the small window of time during the spring. He collects the sap and boils it down 70% of the way and then freezes it. When a group comes that wants to make maple syrup he has enough on hand. At the sugar shack you can see everything in action. How to boil it down, measure its density, bottle it and then grade it based on colour. Maple syrup is one of the best souvenirs from Canada, but having your own syrup takes it to a new level.

Ayngelina Brogan Bacon is Magic, July 2017

Don and Mary Helen Deakin truly make you feel at home from the moment you walk in the door. ...
Don Deakin has figured out a way to bring the entire maple experience to his visitors any time of year.  …
The entire experience resulted in a beautiful bottle of Maple Syrup of my very own making for me to enjoy back home with my family.

Mary Chong Calculated Traveller Magazine 2016

In the 1910 style Sugar Shack we went for the next stage of the experience where we boiled the sap, tested, filtered and bottled our syrup.

Sharon Mandelaoui  Dream Travel Magazine 2015

Making actual syrup at Don's was an amazing experience that most people don't get to try.  Don's hands on activity was well set up, great to complete it in pairs instead of as a small group.  Really awesome. …

 Melissa Lindsay 2016                                                              

Dining and conversing at the Deakins with the hosts – afternoon snack and maple syrup tasting set the tone well and was delicious. Breakfast was delicious and the Deakins are so hospitable and warm …
I loved the interaction component during the guided forest tour with Don – identifying trees, holding the pieces of logs, trying our hand at ‘tapping trees’, the surprise sap, etc. Don was an approachable guide and I thought he did a great job of storytelling rather than look/see through the woods – as in, how these pieces of wood tie into the maple syrup story. Great job!   …            

Stephanie Hessel 2016

The tour of The Deakin’s sugar bush: I loved all the hands-on activities and sugar making at the shack. Don’s teaching ability definitely shines through …It was really neat that every place talked about the importance of sustainability of the trees and the various forest management practices in place.

Stephanie Park 2016

Making maple syrup with Don is a truly hands-on experience that I believe every visitor (especially the int’l market) would love to try. Not to mention the back and forth banter between Don and Mary Helen and Mary Helen’s hilarious sense of humour! Don and Mary Helen ARE the Deakins’ experience!  …

Melissa Marquardt 2016 




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