Thompsontown Maple is a family maple syrup farm based in Clayton, Ontario.
Ray, with a background in forestry management, and Wayne with a background in computers, technology and teaching discovered a perfect fit for both of their passions. In the first year, they purchased a used evaporator from a neighbouring maple producer and moved into the sugar camp Ray’s father had built in 1954. The same camp that Ray and his siblings spent their springtimes in helping their father make maple syrup on the family farm. In the first year, they gathered sap from 1000 buckets.
At the end of the maple season, the maple syrup buckets were washed and then laid out in the sunshine to dry.
In 1984, the sugar camp was expanded and a larger wood-fired evaporator and an oil finisher was purchased. An additional 1200 taps on pipeline were added in the maple forests on the farm surrounding the sugar camp. Over the next couple of years, the maple sugar camp continued to grow, with the wood-fired evaporator converted to oil, and the number of taps growing to 2600.
Wayne Thompson is seen in the 1980's making maple taffy on snow.
Disaster struck on July 12, 1997 as a tornado-microburst hit the heart of the main maple stand. This resulted in a loss of 70% of the pipeline system and about 600 taps. The clean-up took three months and all of the damaged trees were removed. The following January the Ice Storm of 1998 struck, resulting in the loss of an additional 200 taps and damage to trees that are still evident in the forests today, over 20 years later.
In the spring of 1999, rebuilding of the maple business began with the installation of rigid tubing to service all of the remaining taps. Since then all of our taps have been converted to rigid tubing, except for the beautiful maple trees at the entrance to the Thompson Family farm. Each year the children (and now grandchildren) get to tap those trees and collect the sap. In years past this would have been the sap used for 4H projects that Ray and Wayne’s children were involved in. In those early years as Thompsontown Maple Products began to grow, Ray and Wayne along with their families also grew with their children spending each springtime in the sugar camp helping to tap trees and gather buckets. Passing down this information has always been a passion for Ray and Wayne.
Today, Thompsontown Maple Products has approximately 5,000 taps collected all by a network of tubing that runs throughout the beautiful maple forests on the Thompson Family farm. We make all of our products by hand in small batches in our sugar camp, including maple syrup, maple butter, sugar, spices, suckers and more! At our sugar camp you will meet Ray, his wife Ann, their daughters Leann and Lisa and their families. It is a tradition that continues on to the next generation and one that we could not be more proud of.
The maple community
Being connected to the maple syrup producers community is a passion and a value we hold very high. Over time we have learned how to make maple syrup from the best educators available; our family, neighbours and members of our maple community. Ray has been an active member of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association (OMSPA) for over 35 years, a Director of its local chapter (Lanark & District) including roles such as President, and he is on the Board of Directors for the Lanark County Tourism Association. Ray’s daughter, Leann, is also a Director for the local maple association, its delegate at OMSPA and is the chair of the provincial Maple Weekend (OMSPA’s signature tourism event).
Markets- One of a Kind Virtual Market, October to December 2020
- Cheerfully Made Virtual Market in Almonte, ON in 2020
- Perth Festival of the Maples in Perth, ON from 1984 to 2019
- Maple Weekend in Clayton, ON from 2016 to 2019
- Etsy Made in Canada a 3 day Etsy Market in Ottawa, ON from 2015 to 2018
- Lanark County Harvest Festival in Carleton Place, ON in 2013 to 2017
- Cheerfully Made Food and Drink Show in Almonte, ON in 2016
- Calgary Stampede an 11 day Etsy Market in 2015
- Almonte Farmers Market a weekly from 2011 to 2014
- Stittsville Flea Market a weekly from 2000 to 2006
- Ontario Plowing Match (5 days; 2003)
We have been very fortunate to be recognized amongst our peers. For us this is an incredible honour.- Perth Festival of the Maples:
Grand Champion 2007, 2018
Champion Maple Syrup: 2007, 2017, 2019
Booth Exhibit: 1st 2018, 2nd 2016, 2017
- Identified by the Ottawa Citizen as one of “Five Maple Syrup Makers Worth the Drive”
- George Deugo Memorial Award: Sugar Maker of the Year 2012
The primary goal of our business is to continue the tradition of making maple syrup in our family and to give back to our community that has given to us. The trees and the land that we work on are what excites us. Being able to pass on the knowledge of sugar-making and to continue this pure Canadian tradition is what motivates us in every aspect of our business. Our hope is that in another 100 years Thompsontown Maple Products will still bring smiles to the faces of those who share our sweet treat with their family and friends.
Ray, Ann, Leann, Lisa Thompson and family of Thompsontown Maple Products welcome you to the beautiful fall colours in the maple forest.
Blue maple pipelines are seen running to Thompsontown Maple Products' maple sugar camp, surrounded by the beautiful fall leaves.
Ray Thompson is seen making delicious maple butter.
All of the maple products produced at Thompsontown Maple Products are available during the sugar-making season in our store at our sugar camp.