Forest industry programs

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry has programs and initiatives to help keep the forest industry competitive. We also promote innovation and investment in the forestry sector alongside the consumption of Ontario wood.

The primary forest industry produces lumber, pulp and paper.

Secondary (or value-added) industries produce items like paper bags, cardboard boxes or wooden furniture.

By connecting industry, associations and governments, we strengthen Ontario’s forest products sector.

Efforts to stimulate demand for Ontario-based forest products include:

  • building consumer awareness of local wood products through Ontario Wood
  • promoting a culture of wood use in Ontario
  • helping the forest industry expand its export capacity and access new markets for their products
  • attracting and retaining investment in the forestry and wood manufacturing sectors

Local wood promotion

The growing interest in locally produced goods is an opportunity for the province’s forest industry. Through Ontario Wood we help producers differentiate their product in the marketplace. We also help consumers quickly identify local products.

Forestry innovation

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry advocates for the industry by providing information about building code changes and how you can heat/power with forest biomass.

Research and innovation in the sector are supported through initiatives like the FPInnovations research programs.

FPInnovations program

We also help keep the industry competitive by:

  • assisting with the building of an industry cluster, the Bluewater Wood Alliance
  • helping develop workforce capacity to alleviate worker shortages
  • supporting FPInnovations’ Wood Products Manufacturing Initiative

Ontario’s forest product industries are responsive to the evolving market. Industry, governments, academic institutions and communities are working together to create a healthy future for forestry in Ontario.

We want Ontario to support a globally competitive and market-driven forest industry. Our goal is to create diverse array of wood products that can advance the province’s green economy.

MNR works with the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE), a provincial initiative to transform the forest products industry in northern Ontario. An independent, not-for-profit research corporation, CRIBE has a mandate to seek out partnerships with entrepreneurs, research organizations and industry to turn existing research and ideas into a commercial reality. CRIBE has also initiated a long-term partnership with FPInnovations to establishing research capacity in northern Ontario. This partnership provides financial contributions for developing new scientific and technical capacity, pilot plant capabilities and pre-commercial demonstration projects in northern Ontario.

Pulp and paper mills will diversify to become biorefineries. These create new materials, other forms of energy, pulp and chemicals (including petrochemical substitutes).

Advanced building systems will allow for taller wood buildings in new occupancy classes. We are currently supporting research in this field.

We are incorporating research findings into multi-disciplinary design and construction handbooks. These support the use of the following building systems in mid- and high-rise structures:

  • light frame
  • post and beam
  • cross laminated timber
  • hybrid

Research exploring innovative technologies like self-repairing finishes and novel bio-composites for green building construction is also underway.

Bioeconomy

A bioeconomy is based on the sustainable manufacture of products, in whole or in part, from renewable resources. In forestry, the bioeconomy refers to the sustainable manufacturing of next generation products from resources like forest biofibre. These include:

  • new building products and building systems
  • plastics
  • textiles
  • chemicals
  • cosmetics
  • pharmaceuticals
  • energy (e.g., heat, electricity, fuels)

We are identifying the currently un-utilized forest resources which can create new opportunities to diversify Ontario’s economy. We focus on:

  • research and innovation
  • investment and market development to drive industry transformation and new investment in order to stimulate market demand for forest bioproducts
  • policy, program and incentive development to support bioproduct creation
  • equipping companies with the necessary tools to make informed decisions about participation in bioeconomy supply chains

Bio-Products

Bioenergy

Bioenergy products include:

  • liquid transportation fuels (e.g., ethanol, jet fuel and biodiesel)
  • solid biomass fuels, such as pellets and chips to generate heat and power
  • gaseous fuels which can be used to generate heat and power

Biomaterials

Biomaterial products include:

  • bioplastics manufactured from plant oils and sugars
  • building products (e.g., cross- laminated timber, water-based finishes, biological stains)
  • biocomposites manufactured from forestry biofibres. They can be used, for example, in automobile door panel and part production

Biochemicals

Biochemical products include:

  • bioindustrial chemicals (e.g., basic and specialty chemicals and resins, including paints, lubricants and solvents)
  • biopharmaceuticals such as antibodies and vaccines produced by plant and naturally sourced medicinal compounds
  • biocosmetics including soaps, body creams and lotions

Heat and power

Using forest material (biomass) instead of fossil fuels in heat and/or electrical power applications can provide many advantages. These include:

  • reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur and mercury emissions
  • energy cost savings
  • waste reduction
  • local economic development

Using biomass for heat/power makes a substantial, positive impact on local and regional economies.

We work with industry to support biomass heat and power applications and the collection and transportation of biomass material. In areas where biomass is available, well-paying jobs in construction and operation make biomass the best choice for green energy projects.

As technologies improve and more types of bioenergy become commercially viable, the demand for Crown forest resources will include a wider range of forest products.

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is working to provide access to forest biofibre and supports the development of new technologies.

Ontario’s forest management guides and standards are regularly updated. This ensures new uses of Crown forest resources, like bioenergy, occur in a sustainable way.

Forestry industry partners

Our forest industry partners include: