Strategically located next to the world’s largest market

Gain a long-term strategic advantage by locating your business next door to the world’s largest economy – the United States. As the U.S. and global economies grow, the demand for Ontario wood products will continue to rise.

Proximity to markets

Ontario is strategically located right next door to the world’s largest economy. In 2018, Ontario exported almost $6.5 billion (CAD) in forest products to the United States, accounting for over 96% of the province’s total wood product exports.

Ontario has the infrastructure to get your product moving. For instance, the province is home to the Windsor-Detroit trade route, the single most important international land crossing in North America. The Windsor-Detroit trade route is responsible for 30% of Canada-U.S. trade carried by truck.

A growing global opportunity

Ontario’s opportunity does not end at the U.S. border. In 2018, Ontario exported over $6.7 billion (CAD) in exports worldwide. Exports to countries such as India and Singapore have increased significantly (over four and almost nine times respectively) in the past five years, highlighting the growing global demand for our forest products.

Summary of wood product exports by destination (CAD)
Country 2014 2018
United States 5,260,213,913 6,478,552,503
China 33,485,939 63,996,581
Mexico 37,093,346 38,773,956
United Kingdom 24,205,092 16,306,369
Hong Kong 2,198,922 14,842,201
India 3,508,278 14,267,952
Singapore 1,402,875 12,335,565
Japan 13,016,606 10,553,034
Australia 7,327,918 6,986,783
Germany 9,981,150 5,074,561
Sub-total 5,392,434,039 6,661,689,505
Others 117,094,158 74,810,190
Total All Countries 5,509,528,197 6,736,499,695
Source: Industry Canada – Trade Data Online

A diverse and abundant resource makes Ontario the logical choice

Ontario has a vast and diverse forest resource to support your business needs. Whether you are looking to make lumber, pulp, or value-added products, we have what you need.

$18 billion and growing

Ontario’s forest industry generated $18 billion (CAD) in total revenues in 2018 – and there is room for growth. The province’s forests can support a sustainable harvest of 30 million cubic metres annually, not all of which is currently being used. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry works with forest management unit managers and existing industry stakeholders to estimate the available wood supplies on each management unit in Ontario. This information can be used by potential investors looking for new manufacturing opportunities.

A productive resource that meets your needs

Ontario is home to 2% of the world's forest and is one of Canada’s most forested regions. Ontario’s forests consist of a variety of valued species including spruce, pine, poplar, birch, oak and maple which support a broad range of in-demand products such as lumber, pulp, furniture, flooring, oriented strand board, plywood, veneer and wood pellets.

Harvest volume by species
Species 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 5 Years Average
White Pine 334,506 303,169 336,116 374,543 395,304 348,728
Red Pine 210,022 188,687 202,229 188,144 209,024 199,621
Jack Pine 3,338,574 3,349,585 3,792,590 3,865,515 3,954,139 3,660,081
Spruce 5,861,628 5,513,742 5,870,787 6,108,754 6,083,019 5,887,586
Balsam Fir 377,046 437,953 414,366 510,878 497,157 447,480
Other Softwood 84,166 48,149 48,302 66,732 41,954 57,861
Poplar 2,015,373 1,988,276 2,170,390 2,165,680 2,317,716 2,131,487
White Birch 310,068 287,975 287,662 272,013 277,492 287,042
Maple 475,753 437,170 461,358 465,406 393,348 446,607
Oak 47,643 33,539 25,352 34,659 41,411 36,521
Yellow Birch 43,447 43,275 34,728 30,249 35,590 37,458
Other Hardwood 44,951 46,996 40,033 46,097 36,122 42,840
Mixed wood 303,945 412,979 649,530 523,532 286,243 435,246
Total 13,447,122 13,091,495 14,333,443 14,652,202 14,568,519 14,018,556
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario’s forest sector is supported by a reliable and well-maintained network of roads to help you access the resources and raw materials you need. Through government cost-sharing programs, approximately 20,000 kilometres of forest roads are maintained and 800 km of new roads are constructed each year to provide reliable and cost-effective access to the province’s forest resources.

Secure access to your resources

The vast majority (81%) of Ontario’s forests are owned by the province. Ontario’s government operates within one of the world’s most financially stable jurisdictions, ensuring secure, reliable and long-term access to the resources you need to succeed.

Ontario’s available fibre supply consistently exceeds the actual volume harvested annually, giving forestry companies the confidence to invest.

Available and actual harvest volume over time

Harvest volume - available and actual
Year Actual Harvest Volume (m3) Available Harvest Volume (m3)
2003 21,412,920 32,326,330
2004 21,846,670 32,268,810
2005 21,681,990 32,174,880
2006 17,857,900 31,474,740
2007 14,895,580 31,601,110
2008 11,658,240 31,079,640
2009 9,691,260 30,181,400
2010 12,515,770 30,070,020
2011 11,738,400 30,116,370
2012 11,773,940 30,393,880
2013 13,447,120 30,352,450
2014 13,091,500 30,190,540
2015 14,333,440 30,035,930
2016 14,652,200 28,577,140
2017 14,568,520 28,617,900
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

A recognized leader in sustainable forest management

The global marketplace is increasingly demanding proof that wood products are coming from well-managed forests. As a demonstrated leader in sustainable forest management, Ontario provides companies with a distinct advantage on the world stage.

International recognition

International studies by both Finnish research company Indufor Oy and Yale University have concluded that Ontario forest management standards are among the most responsible in the world and that Canadian provinces, including Ontario, are global leaders in sustainable forest management.

Canada (British Columbia and Ontario) and Australia (New South Wales) are the countries with the most demanding legislation on the studied elements

Source: Indufor Oy. Comparison of Selected Forest Certification Standards.

Provincial inspections and third-party certification audits play an important role in showing the world that Ontario is a leader in sustainable forest management.
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Third-party certification

Ontario is a world-leader in third-party certification. Currently, over 75% of Ontario's Crown-owned lands that contribute to commercial forestry are certified to internationally recognized standards for sustainable forest management practices. Globally, it is widely reported that only about 10% of forests are certified. When it comes to customer assurance, Ontario is ahead of the pack.

Recent surveys indicate that the demand for certified forest products will only continue to grow. By investing in Ontario, you are securing your access to the global marketplace.

Area by certification system - 2008 to 2017
2008 7,023,640.00 8,062,970.00 10,508,770.00 0.00 25,595,380.00
2009 3,401,970.00 11,063,300.00 10,508,770.00 621,340.00 25,595,380.00
2010 2,429,890.00 11,264,420.00 9,598,560.00 621,340.00 23,914,210.00
2011 1,490,560.00 10,695,010.00 10,771,240.00 2,565,620.00 25,522,430.00
2012 1,490,560.00 6,653,800.00 12,600,130.00 2,565,620.00 23,310,110.00
2013 593,419.00 6,216,861.00 11,706,593.77 6,457,873.00 24,974,746.77
2014 593,791.53 6,253,254.03 11,688,902.71 6,382,958.36 24,918,906.63
2015 593,791.53 6,253,254.03 12,147,023.45 7,136,521.15 26,130,590.16
2016 593,791.53 6,859,350.66 10,975,053.91 7,702,394.06 26,130,590.16
2017 593,791.53 7,945,855.36 9,981,654.00 7,702,394.06 26,223,694.95
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. State of Resources Reporting: Forest Certification in Ontario.

Forestry certification in Ontario

Value scale for slider

Competitive cost reducing programs

Ontario’s commitment to creating a competitive business environment does not end with low corporate taxes – there are multitudes of programs in place to help reduce costs for the forest sector across the board, including:

Other key initiatives in place to reduce costs and provide financial support to the forest sector include:

Log truck loading logs
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

A commitment to innovation

Ontario is a proven leader in forest product innovation. Through strategic partnerships and financial support for various research and development initiatives, Ontario’s forest sector is entering a new era of the bio-economy where value-added bio-chemicals and bio-materials are produced alongside existing products such as pulp and lumber.

Today, wood fibre from Ontario is already being used in the development of new and innovative products such as car doors, clothing, chemicals, cosmetics, and liquid bio-fuels.

Research and development

As part of Ontario’s efforts to transform to a new bio-economy, the province established the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-economy (CRIBE) to support the creation of new and innovative jobs and businesses in the forest sector’s expanding bio-economy.

Since 2009, CRIBE has invested over $23 million in research and development projects, leveraging over $96 million in capital investments. That means that for every research dollar spent, almost four dollars have been invested in developing new product lines, demonstrating a high degree of investor confidence.

Forecast CRIBE expenditures by sector 2015-2018
Sector Expenditure (%)
Precision Harvesting and Forest Management 4
Admin 9
FPInnovations (FPI) Lignin Support 6
FPI Evaluation of new products from wood 5
FPI Sugars Pilot (Capex) 8
FPI Sugars Pilot (Opex) 6
Biological Pulp Pre-treatment 7
Fast Pyrolysis/Polyol 13
Partnership with Bio-Chemical Industries 2
Renewable Composites 10
Renewable Energy Systems 3
Primary and secondary wood products 16
New products and new applications 11
Source: Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-economy. Strategic Plan 2015-2018.