Ontario covers approximately 266 million acres (107,636,418 hectares); 66% of which is forested. An estimated 85 billion trees spread between the four broad forest regions in Ontario—Hudson Bay Lowlands, Boreal, Great Lakes-St Lawrence, deciduous. Of that space, 114,110 hectares are harvested areas. While the forestry industry accounts for approximately 150,000 jobs and a revenue from sales of $12.9 billion, not all of the harvested wood goes directly into the forestry industry. Some of it ends up in the hands of local artisans, who transform it into a wide variety of wooden crafts.∗
∗Ontario forestry facts from MNR
Ontario Wood Products
Ontario Wood is an Ontario government initiative to raise awareness of locally grown and made wood products. It is a free program to join, but the benefits are invaluable for local artisans who choose to use Ontario wood. Qualified Producers, Distributors, and Supporters of Ontario Wood have access to the Ontario Wood logo, receive information on market research, and have the opportunity to network with other Ontario Wood members.
What does the Ontario Wood logo mean though? In order to qualify to become a member of Ontario Wood, your product needs to be made from 75% indigenous trees or commercially grown trees harvested in a sustainably managed forest in Ontario. A sustainably managed forest has strict laws and regulations on harvesting and renewal practices. Up to 25% of the wood used may come from sustainably managed forests within the rest of Canada, as long as the trees are indigenous to or commercially grown in Ontario. Manufacture of the product must take place within Ontario.
So what does that mean to you as a consumer of Ontario wood products? When you buy a wood product with the Ontario Wood logo on it, you know that product is made locally from a sustainably managed forest. You are supporting the local economy; more specifically, a small business who values every sale they make. Your consumer dollar is going towards an environmentally sound choice and one that is often more beautiful than cheap, plastic equivalents. Not to mention the fact that your Ontario wood product is also keeping its carbon out of the atmosphere. Win, win, win!
So the next time you are shopping for a new product, why not think about purchasing something made of Ontario wood. Cared for properly, it will last for years. Whether it be a sculpture, bowl, table, or kitchen cabinet, your Ontario wood product helps to protect Ontario’s forests. For anyone who has ever enjoyed a walk through the woods, you know how valuable that is.
Look for the Ontario Wood logo!