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Ryan first became interested in harvesting maple syrup in 1987, at the age of seven after a school trip to a conservation area where students were shown how maple syrup was made. Ryan approached his father, Bill, with his desire to learn the maple syrup craft and that year, he tapped his first three trees.

Ryan quickly expanded his operation in the next year when he moved from tapping three trees to 60. The maple syrup he made from the sap was primarily sold at a roadside stand in front of his parents’ home. He also ended up shipping some maple syrup out to Quebec and overseas.

Encouraged by his success, Ryan’s Sweet Maple became an official Ontario business in 1992, and Ryan continued to expand his business up to present day where he now has over 3,300 taps making on average 6,000 litres of maple syrup per year. He has also made other changes to his production of maple syrup.


Trees Tapped


Litres of Maple Syrup per Year

Ryan is utilizing a wet/dry pipeline system to collect sap instead of the old bucket method. This has allowed Ryan to expand his operation because sap does not have to be collected as now it comes right into the maple syrup building underground in food grade pipes.

Once collected, the sap does not sit around for long. Ryan processes his sap through his Reverse Osmosis machine, and then into his oil-fired evaporator. Every 22 seconds a litre of maple syrup is made. It is then transferred to be bottled into custom plastic jugs, glass bottles or 55-gallon stainless steel drums. From the start to the finish every process is automated as much as technology allows. Ryan can even track the entire process from any computer, tablet or smartphone through his many sensors in both the woods and syrup building.

Ryan’s ‘SWEET MAPLE’ is a member of OMSPA (Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association) and is recognized as a leader in Food Health and Safety. There is more to his operation than the monetary gain though, when asked Ryan says, “The best part of this maple syrup business is I get to work alongside my family and parents. Not just in the initial tapping of the trees, but when we are boiling and bottling the maple syrup.”

Notable compliments:

  • First small operation in Ontario to process sap to syrup using High Brix Technology
  • First operation in Ontario storing all processed maple syrup in a cold storage
  • One of the top five largest collections in Ontario of antique maple syrup and related equipment in our Maple Museum
  • Pioneer in the maple industry for cleanest and hygienic operation for Ontario

Three Generations of Vandenberg’s