Accomodating Quebec sugar shack burns down
Famed Quebec sugar shack burns down
Last Updated: Monday, March 22, 2010 | 1:19 PM ET
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The Érablière Au Sous-Bois in Mont-Saint-Grégoire drew criticism from some after it accommodated Muslim visitors. (CBC)
A maple sugar shack in central Quebec famous for accommodating religious and cultural minorities has been destroyed by fire.
The Érablière Au Sous-Bois in Mont-Saint-Grégoire burned to the ground overnight Sunday after a fire started in one of its buildings.
The sugar shack had no major water source near its kitchen and reception hall, so firefighters had to shuttle back and forth to the forest to fight the flames.
The fire destroyed all the sugar shack’s facilities.
Open since 1973, the sugar shack was one of the largest in the region and made headlines during Quebec’s debates over reasonable accommodation of cultural and religious minorities.
‘Our season is over now.’
—Patrice Gladu, sugar shack owner’s daughter
The sugar shack modified its traditions to welcome a group of Muslim visitors. The owners temporarily dropped pork from the traditional sugar shack lunch menu and transformed the hall’s dance floor into a prayer space.
Those accommodations infuriated some Quebecers who felt the compromises jeopardized traditional Québécois culture.
Owner Roch Gladu said he received death threats after his compromises made the news.
The fire means there will be no more maple syrup production at the site for the time being, said Patrice Gladu, Roch’s daughter.
“Our season is over now,” she told CBC’s French-language television.
The cause of the fire is not known, but authorities are investigating.