Ottawa Valley Wood - Profile Generator

Updated: 6 years ago - Created: September 20th, 2012
The forest industry is a major economic driver for Renfrew County and many residents rely on the employment it provides. The last 5 years have been particularly difficult for the industry and the downturn continues.

There is a general lack of awareness of the ability to buy local wood products, particularly in the under-40 demographic who are exercising their buying power and attempting to be informed consumers. Flooring, construction materials, solid wood furniture, cabinetry, firewood, siding, landscape materials, knife handles, bowls, wooden utensils and doors are just some examples of wood products available in the Ottawa Valley, harvested from our forests. The ability to walk into a big box store and walk out with everything you need, not knowing where the wood products came from or how they were harvested has led to a net import of wood products in a province that is capable of growing and producing enough wood to sustain ourselves. Part of the problem is the lack of accessibility of these products, particularly for the consumer who expects to find what they need through internet searching and clear presentation and marketing.

Studies have shown that there is an appetite across all demographics for purchasing Ontario-produced wood for home projects, if it is available and meets other criteria of price, quality and durability. A resource for locally grown and produced wood products would benefit the local economy and promote the long history and sustainability of the forest industry in the area.

Goals
- Stimulate local wood markets through marketing free of cost to producers.
- Raise awareness locally of availability of products that are in demand by the general public or contractors, e.g. value-added or building materials.
- Connect consumers to local producers who are interested and capable of selling in small quantities.
- Create a resource for contractors who may be requested to build using local materials.
- Create linkages between producers, increasing awareness of where raw materials for value-added products can be sourced locally.

Benefits of Project
- Creating and increasing marketing opportunities for local mills, producers, artisans and businesses that carry local wood products.
- Raising the profile of the sustainable forest management that occurs in the Ottawa Valley and the variety of wood products that can be obtained from our forests.
- Creating a sense of community pride in consumers with the ability to support the local economy through informed purchasing.

Funding for this project has been supported by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Eastern Ontario Development Program, administered by the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation