Maple syrup lost after remote operation burns to ground in Cape Breton


BOISDALE, N.S. _ A maple syrup operation in Cape Breton has burned to the ground, destroying much of the family-run business’s product for the year.

Highland Gold Maple Products, which has produced maple syrup from about 8,000 trees in the Boisdale Hills for more than 15 years, said on its Facebook page that the operation was levelled by the fire Wednesday.

“We are very sad to inform our customers that our operation was destroyed by fire this week,” the owners said. “No one was hurt. We wish to thank you all for your support and patronage over the years. We have some very limited product left and will contact customers over the coming days.”

Joe MacDonald of the Boisdale volunteer department said Friday that they were called to the operation at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

He said the building is in a remote area with a road that was covered in deep snow, preventing them from easily accessing the site.

MacDonald, who didn’t go the site, said firefighters trudging through the snow were met by the company owner who told them the building was already extensively damaged, along with much of this year’s maple syrup.

“It was obviously gone before they got there,” MacDonald said. “There was nothing left.”

He said the community usually has a pancake breakfast every May 1, with the syrup being provided by the company. He said they will likely have to cancel that.

“It’s really devastating,” he said. “We feel it here because they are friends.”

The company owners were not available for comment.