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Algoma & District

Learn About this Local

The Algoma local of OMSPA covers a huge area and is, in fact, the largest local in size in Ontario. It includes Manitoulin Island to the east, Thunder Bay to the west and all areas in between. It may not include the largest number of producers but there is great potential in such a vast area, much of which is beginning to be developed. Our membership consists of some of the largest producers in Ontario to some who are just starting out using buckets.

We like to get together when we are able although our huge area sometimes makes that difficult. The members have the opportunity to contact any of the directors whenever they need help or just want to talk. Our members are always willing to lend a hand, an opinion or some advice.


2023 Events in this Local

January 20, 2024  9:00am

AMSPA Info Day

Gilbertson’s Pancake House

St. Joseph Island


OMSPA Summer Tour

Algonquin & District

April 6 - 7, 2024

Maple Weekend


September 28 - October 6 2024

Fall in Love with Maple



Visit our News Archive for past

event photos and news stories.

Meet Your Local Representatives

Local Executives and Board Representatives

Tolbert Stinson – President 705-246-3093

Kyle Gilbertson – Vice President 705-255-4004

Judy Hughes – Secretary 705-248-3038

Sharon Stevens – Treasurer 705-246-2264


Don Manchur

Norm Hughes

Calvin Gilbertson

Hillary Glawson

Brian Bainbourough

Contact this Local

Tolbert Stinson – President


Kyle Gilbertson – Vice President


Judy Hughes – Web Journalist 2

Steven Veldt - Web Journalist 1

Spotlight on a Local Producer

Black Bird Management

Black Bird is an Ontario based corporation that has been managing the forestland holdings of
Astina Forest AG (Astina) since 2016. The team at Black Bird manages Astina’s 60,000 acres in a
sustainable manner through its Maple Products and Forestry divisions.
CEO – Pat Rosebrook
Chief of Operations (maple products) – Clyde Bridge
Chief of Operations (forestry) – Pat Rosebrook
In 2017, a feasibility study was conducted by ownership in collaboration with Pat Rosebrook
and Clyde Bridge. A short-list of proposed sites that provided optimal sugar bush potential was
narrowed down to the Harmony River Valley, located in Goulais River, Ontario.
Sugar bush installation broke ground in late 2018 while construction of our 20,000 square foot
processing facility started in spring 2019. Our first year of production was the 2020 sugaring
season when we had 81,000 taps installed.
We will continue to expand until all trees that flow by ‘gravity’ to our facility are tapped. Our
trees consist of 85% hard maples and 15% soft maples. Once complete, we will have 2000 acres
tapped (140,000 trees) which all flow to a single pump house (room) located in our main
facility. To date we have 115,000 taps installed and will be producing with 120,000 taps during
the 2022 sugaring season.
We use 1/4 “spouts, 5/16” laterals and 1”- 1-1/4” mainlines. The mainlines run into conductor
lines up to 4” in diameter. All conductor lines are buried underground and gradually slope to
our production facility. Our only pump house is located in the basement of our facility and
houses all of our extractors and vacuum pumps. The sap is pumped and stored in open tanks
located in the facility and/or in 4 silos located outside. We will have approximately 550,000
litres of sap storage capacity for the 2022 sugaring season. Reverse osmosis is used and we
concentrate anywhere from 18 to 32 brix depending on many factors. We use two 7’x18’
propane-fired evaporators.

Black Bird currently produces bulk maple syrup. However, we are actively looking at value-
added products and innovative ideas from the industry.

Our first season started right around the Covid19 outbreak so it has been quiet at our sugaring
operation. I suspect in the future it will get busier. We are always open for fellow OMSPA
members and the public to view our operation. We always have and always will continue to
share with our fellow producers the strengths/weaknesses of our operation to help better the
maple syrup production in Ontario. The members of OMSPA provided us with a vast amount of
knowledge in our early days which helped with our success.
A few highlights for younger generations concerning our operation is that the entire
management team from our initial feasibility through production was in their 30’s and our first
year of production with 80,000 taps was completed with only one year of prior sugaring
experience with no outside help during the first season as well.

Local Classifieds

Send your classifieds to Tolbert Stinson, or

Judy Hughes,

Local News

OMSPA Directors Meeting

On October 3, 2022 the Algoma Maple Syrup Producers hosted the Provincial Directors meeting of OMSPA. The meeting began at 9:00 with a greeting from the local president, Tolbert Stinson, and the local provincial rep, Kyle Gilbertson. It was held as a hybrid meeting with some of the board members in person and the others on ZOOM. There were also some members of the Algoma local in attendance to watch the workings of the provincial board.
The meeting finished just after 12:00 followed by a lunch supplied by the AMSPA local. The afternoon continued at the sugar bush of Dr. Steve Roedde, where Steve Bedard, from Lapierre, gave an on-site demonstration of remote line monitoring.

Visit our News Archive for past

event photos and news stories.

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