The wood products manufacturing industries include businesses such as sawmills, veneer mills, and structural board and lumber plants, producing construction materials and specialty wood products. Pulp and paper mills are the largest types of plants for converting timber fibre to forest products.
The Boreal Forest is the 310 million hectares of forest that lie within the 545 million hectares of boreal region. The Canadian portion of the boreal forest starts in the Yukon and north-eastern British Columbia, and stretches across the northern parts of the Prairie Provinces, Quebec and Ontario, to Labrador and Newfoundland.
The forest envelops the economy and culture of Northwestern Ontario as inexorably as it covers the land. In this region, the dependence of humanity on the forces and resources of the boreal wilderness is virtually the same today as it was a hundred, even a thousand, years ago.
In Ontario, there are a wide variety of coniferous and deciduous trees that support a healthy forest-products industry. For the past 100 years, Ontario has supplied world markets with a growing array of high quality forest products from pulp and paper to lumber and veneers. Visit the Ministry of Natural Resources – Ontario’s Forest Industry website for more information.
The forestry industry in Thunder Bay and the surrounding region has historically been one of the primary private employers in the area. As newsprint and paper usage in general has declined, this has created a major challenge for the region. However, in a push for a more sustainable economy, the forestry industry is poised to adapt and prosper.
The following report of the forestry bioeconomy will offer an analysis of the different possibilities offered by developing new industrial sub-sectors which would take advantage of the vast wealth of biomass present in Northern Ontario.