Kolapore Springs Trout Farm is located two hours northwest of Toronto, and the closest town is Thornbury. The location is perfect for an inland fish farm because there is an abundant supply of cold water.
Cold spring water runs down from the escarpment, through a water run that channels the water to an on-site hatchery. That’s right; all these trout are spawned and hatched on site. The hatchery itself is gravity fed, and the only mechanical component is a small air pump to keep the building air circulating. The fish live their entire lifespan onsite, living exclusively in fresh Ontario spring water that up from the local Highland aquifer, before travelling down the natural springs in the face of the escarpment.
The trout themselves are about three years old and weigh about 4 lbs at the time of harvest. That is a long time to raise such a small fish! Raising the fish slowly in clean, fresh, cold water has many benefits. As chefs, the flavour is paramount. These fish are delicious and are also very healthy because the water they live in is so cold and comes from an ample supply of natural provision, the water itself is highly oxygenated. The cold temperature also helps keep the bacteria count very low, so the fish live in a naturally healthy ecosystem that requires little to no intervention.
The trout we provide through West Side Beef is the same trout we use at Richmond Station. While Kolapore does grow Brown Trout and Speckled Trout, we offer only the Rainbow Trout.
We receive a fresh order of fish every week. When we receive the fish, we process them in a cold room, so the fish continue to stay fresh, and the flesh remains firm. The trout we offer at West Side Beef are always boned, whole fillets that receive a quick 60-minute cure in a sugar/salt mixture. The lightly cured fish will be firmer in texture and will have a slightly longer shelf life.