Forestry

Grow your Forestry
business in Ontario

Forestry

Grow your Forestry business in Ontario

Global Forestry Industry

Wood - the future of construction
Earth's dominant terrestrial ecosystems - forests - sustain humanity with various products, services, and livelihoods. The global Forestry and logging industry grew from US $981.76 billion in 2022 to US $1083.25 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 10.3%.
The growth drivers for the Forestry sector include the popularity of wood over concrete as building materials. Buildings made of wood create less waste and are faster to erect than concrete structures.
The industry is also witnessing tech immersion to optimize operations. Harvester/forwarder systems, cable harvesting systems, and helicopter logging are advanced techniques being adopted by the industry.
However, the global Forestry industry is also evolving amid concerns over deforestation's climate and biodiversity impacts. Sustainable forest management is gaining momentum. A shift from monoculture to multi-use forests is evident, where carbon sinks and habitats coexist with lumber sources.

Canadian Forestry Industry

A country blessed with vast natural forest cover
Canada boasts the world's 3rd largest forest area, covering around 362 million hectares. This abundant resource positions the Forestry industry as a pivotal economic contributor. In 2021, it contributed 34.8 billion to Canada's nominal GDP and directly employed over 205,365 people.
88% of Canada’s forests are covered by boreal terrain, providing an important breeding habitat for 80% of North American waterfowl species, 63% of finch species, and 53% of warbler species.
Impressively, 90% of Canada’s forests are publicly owned (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal), emphasizing the nation's commitment to responsible resource management. Canada also stands as a global leader in sustainable forest management, with 35% of the world's certified sustainable forest management forest area located within its borders. The country's rich biodiversity is also reflected in its 138 native tree species, more than 40 recognized for their medical and pharmaceutical applications.
The Canadian Forestry industry comprises of three key subsectors:
  1. Forestry and logging: Includes field operations and timber harvesting, encompassing activities such as tree felling and transportation to mills.

  2. Pulp and paper product manufacturing: Includes diverse products, from newsprint and household tissues to dissolving pulp used in rayon production.

  3. Solid wood product manufacturing: Includes primary (like softwood lumber and structural panels) and secondary (such as millwork and engineered wood products) manufacturing, catering to domestic needs and exports.

Wood product manufacturing reigns supreme among the Forestry subsectors, registering a nominal GDP of about CA 12.6 billion in 2020.

  1.  

Canadian
Forestry Industry

A country blessed with vast natural forest cover
Canada boasts the world's 3rd largest forest area, covering around 362 million hectares. This abundant resource positions the Forestry industry as a pivotal economic contributor. In 2021, it contributed 34.8 billion to Canada's nominal GDP and directly employed over 205,365 people.
88% of Canada’s forests are covered by boreal terrain, providing an important breeding habitat for 80% of North American waterfowl species, 63% of finch species, and 53% of warbler species.
Impressively, 90% of Canada’s forests are publicly owned (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal), emphasizing the nation's commitment to responsible resource management. Canada also stands as a global leader in sustainable forest management, with 35% of the world's certified sustainable forest management forest area located within its borders. The country's rich biodiversity is also reflected in its 138 native tree species, more than 40 recognized for their medical and pharmaceutical applications.
The Canadian Forestry industry comprises of three key subsectors:
  1. Forestry and logging: Includes field operations and timber harvesting, encompassing activities such as tree felling and transportation to mills.

  2. Pulp and paper product manufacturing: Includes diverse products, from newsprint and household tissues to dissolving pulp used in rayon production.

  3. Solid wood product manufacturing: Includes primary (like softwood lumber and structural panels) and secondary (such as millwork and engineered wood products) manufacturing, catering to domestic needs and exports.

Wood product manufacturing reigns supreme among the Forestry subsectors, registering a nominal GDP of about CA 12.6 billion in 2020.

Why Choose Ontario
For Forestry

Home to 2% of the world’s forests
Ontario has 70.5 million hectares of forest, with its industry  generating substantial revenues exceeding CA $18 billion, and supporting nearly 147,000 jobs across various communities within the province. 
Approximately 90% of Ontario's forests are publicly owned Crown lands, licences and supply agreements like Sustainable Forest License (SFL), Forest Resource licence (FRL), and the Wood Supply Agreement support business ventures to gain access to Ontario’s resources.
In Ontario, public forests are sustainably managed under Ontario's forest policy framework. They are divided into administrative areas known as management units, ranging in size from 300,000 to 3.6 million hectares. 
Currently, Ontario's forestry industry encompasses a range of manufacturing activities, including pulp and paper production, sawmills, value-added processing, and panel manufacturing. In 2019, the industry's product portfolio comprised of paper, panels, pulp, engineered wood products, furniture, and lumber.
Looking ahead to 2030, the Ontario industry envisions a transformation towards sustainable offerings like bioproducts, prefabricated building solutions, and personal protective equipment, as well as a continued focus on engineered wood products and mass timber. Around 15 million cubic metres of wood currently remain unused, presenting a potential resource for investments in emerging markets.
In Ontario, the province is divided into different areas based on how the land is used and what kind of environments exist there. Here’s what those areas look like:
    1. Managed Forest Zone (43%): This is a region where the forests are actively managed. It covers 46.4 million hectares and includes managed Crown forests, water bodies, private forests, parks, tree wetlands, and other areas.

    2. Northern Boreal (41%): This area, spanning 44 million hectares, mainly comprises forests that humans do not actively manage. It includes unmanaged Crown forests, tree wetlands, water bodies, parks, and other areas.

    3. Southern Ontario and Great Lakes (16%): This region covers 17.1 million hectares and includes the Great Lakes water, agricultural fields, all types of forests, tree wetlands, and urban areas.

Additionally, regions like Timmins and Thunder Bay are well-known hubs within Ontario to do business in.

  • Timmins is central to the forests of Abitibi River, Gordon Cosens, Martel, Pineland, Romeo Malette and Timiskaming. As a result, Timmins has a robust Forestry industry with operators throughout all levels of the supply chain ranging from consuming mills, harvesters, transportation and construction.
  • Thunder Bay‘s Forestry industry has stood as a prominent local employer for decades. Nestled within Canada’s Boreal Forest, this sector has played a pivotal economic role since the late 1800s. Thunder Bay hosts wood products manufacturing enterprises such as sawmills, paper mills, and lumber plants.
Ontario's rich educational landscape has nurtured a strong foundation of expertise in Forestry and bioeconomy. The province is home to a plethora of esteemed institutions and centres dedicated to fostering innovation and knowledge in this sector. Below are some renowned organizations focused on developing a high-quality pipeline of talent in the sector:
In 2018, Ontario exported nearly CA $6.5 billion worth of forest products to the United States, constituting more than 96% of its total wood product exports. Notably, the Windsor-Detroit trade route, a vital international land crossing in North America, is situated within the province. This route, pivotal for truck transport, facilitates 30% of Canada-U.S. trade movements.
Canada’s trade agreements cover markets valued at over US $50 trillion with 1.7 billion consumers. Canada has free trade agreements with the largest manufacturing markets in the world: the United States (USMCA), the European Union (CETA) and Asia-Pacific (CPTPP).
Your business can have access to 187 million consumers within a day’s drive of the Greater Toronto Area. Ontario has 4 international and 300 regional airports, 250,000 km of roads and highways, a dozen border crossings and the 6th most internationally connected airport in the world.

Ontario’s Forestry Industry Facts

2%

of the world's
forests are here

66%

of Ontario has
forest coverage

$7.5B

in annual exports

$275M

generated in timber charges for harvested wood annually

$4.3B

contribution to GDP

30%

of Canadian-US trade movements by truck

Ontario’s Forestry Industry Facts

2%

of the world's forests are here

66%

of Ontario has forest coverage

$7.5B

in annual exports

$275M

generated in timber charges for harvested wood annually

$4.3B

contribution
to GDP

30%

of Canadian-US trade movements by truck

Forestry Funding, Resources and Organizations

Using the Business Benefit Finder, you can find many more government grants and incentives relevant to your tech startup.

Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) is a non-profit, charitable organization. The EOMF works with government, landowners, industry, First Nations, non-government organizations and others to develop new ways to sustain and manage our forest resources.

Forests Ontario is a non-profit organization focused on tree planting, forest stewardship, education, and awareness.

FPInnovations is a private, non-profit R&D organization that specializes in the creation of solutions that accelerate the growth of the Canadian forest sector and its affiliated industries to enhance their global competitiveness.

Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario is a non-profit wood manufacturing cluster serving Southwestern Ontario, facilitating the industry’s interests and needs.

Wood Manufacturing Council is a non-profit corporation that works to bring together stakeholders in advanced wood processing.

Wood Works! is a Canadian Wood Council program intended to help increase the use of wood in non-residential, mid-rise, and tall building markets in Canada.

Canadian Forest Service

part of NRC, they assume the mantle of national and international advocates for Canada’s forest industry. Operating under the umbrella of a federal government department, they maintain a presence in Ottawa and encompass six research centres dispersed across the nation. They are renowned the world over for creating the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System, which is the most widely used fire danger rating system in the world. Visit Site

protects Ontario’s biodiversity while promoting economic opportunities in the resource sector and supporting outdoor recreation opportunities. Visit Site

oversees natural resources, energy, minerals and metals, forests, earth sciences, mapping, and remote sensing. Visit Site

Forestry Companies in Ontario

logo of forestry company cascades
Cascades
66 Shorncliffe Rd, Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5K1, Canada
logo of forestry company columbia forest products
Columbia Forest Products
225 Prince St, Hearst, ON P0L 1N0, Canada
logo of forestry company greenfirst forest products
GreenFirst Forest Products
1060 Lakeview Dr, Kenora, ON P9N 3P7, Canada
logo of forestry company kruger
Kruger Products Inc.
2 Prologis Blvd, Mississauga, ON L5W 1N3, Canada
lecours-lumber-logo
Lecours Lumber Co.
Hwy 663 North, ON P0L 1N0, Canada
logo of forestry company murray brothers lumber
Murray Brothers Lumber Co.
24749 ON-60, Madawaska, ON K0J 2C0, Canada
resolute-forest-products-logo
Resolute Forest Products
2001 Neebing Ave, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6S3, Canada
townsend-lumber-logo
Townsend Lumber Inc.
1265 Jackson Side Rd, Tillsonburg, ON N4G 4G7, Canada
logo of forestry company west fraser
West Fraser
1 Toronto St Suite 600, Toronto, ON M5C 2W4, Canada
westrock-logo
WestRock
755 Passmore Ave, Scarborough, ON M1X 0A2, Canada
Show Companies
logo of forestry company cascades
Cascades
66 Shorncliffe Rd, Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5K1, Canada
logo of forestry company columbia forest products
Columbia Forest Products
225 Prince St, Hearst, ON P0L 1N0, Canada
logo of forestry company greenfirst forest products
GreenFirst Forest Products
1060 Lakeview Dr, Kenora, ON P9N 3P7, Canada
logo of forestry company kruger
Kruger Products Inc.
2 Prologis Blvd, Mississauga, ON L5W 1N3, Canada
lecours-lumber-logo
Lecours Lumber Co.
Hwy 663 North, ON P0L 1N0, Canada
logo of forestry company murray brothers lumber
Murray Brothers Lumber Co.
24749 ON-60, Madawaska, ON K0J 2C0, Canada
resolute-forest-products-logo
Resolute Forest Products
2001 Neebing Ave, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6S3, Canada
townsend-lumber-logo
Townsend Lumber Inc.
1265 Jackson Side Rd, Tillsonburg, ON N4G 4G7, Canada
logo of forestry company west fraser
West Fraser
1 Toronto St Suite 600, Toronto, ON M5C 2W4, Canada
westrock-logo
WestRock
755 Passmore Ave, Scarborough, ON M1X 0A2, Canada
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