August 13 - Ontario Builder Promotes Concept of All Ontario Wood-Built Homes

August 19, 2009

Ontario Builder Promotes Concept of All Ontario Wood-Built Homes

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Oshawa, ON - Ontario builder Marshall Homes has built a home using Ontario wood products only, as a way to demonstrate the company's support for the province's forestry industry and to encourage builders in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and elsewhere in the province to do the same.

This is potentially a $500 Million shot in the arm to the Ontario forest sector for wood framing material, as GTA homebuilders purchase about $800 Million of lumber annually to frame wood homes and of that it is estimated that 70% comes from outside of Ontario.

"What's good for Ontario is pretty much good for Ontario builders… we're all in this together," observes Craig Marshall in reference to an industry which according to the OFIA (Ontario Forest Industries Association) directly or indirectly affects the livelihood of over 275,000 families. The economic impact is further amplified in light of the 365,000 direct or indirect jobs (Source: Will Dunning - CMHC) that the residential construction industry employs in Ontario. Ontario's forest sector generates over $14 billion in revenue from manufactured goods (2007 - Source: NRCan).

Currently, although some log and timber frame home builders in the province use only Ontario wood, few if any subdivision builders are just building with wood sourced from within the province. However if Marshall has his way, all of that is going to change.

 "Our wood products industry has been decimated by competition coming from outside the province and as a result of softwood lumber tariffs south of the border. So I think it's time builders and consumers in Ontario take a conscious effort to support this industry by building homes using most if not all of their wood from Ontario suppliers," says Marshall. "It not only makes good economic sense, it makes great ecological sense as well."

"The OFIA and the provincial government have been discussing opportunities to create a campaign for Ontario wood products similar to the government funded Foodland Ontario promotional campaign that will recognize our world class standards for forest management and that will support and promote local, Ontario wood products and Ontario jobs" says Jamie Lim, President and CEO of the OFIA.

"As we all make efforts to build a greener, stronger Ontario, BILD supports outstanding efforts like this, that work to promote homes made by Ontarians, for Ontario homebuyers," comments Stephen Dupuis, President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association.

How the All Ontario Wood Home Venture Began

Marshall says the entire exercise of building a home using only Ontario wood began when he took a closer look at the wood products they were currently using. He was surprised at the extent to which his company was using wood products coming from outside the province. "On fairly short notice, we were able to source the products needed" says Marshall, adding "we had to have a few products specially made, however, we don't see this as a major problem going forward."

"If the demand is there, Ontario companies will supply the products" states Jamie Lim. "Continued collaboration and dialogue between partners such as Marshall Homes, BILD and the OFIA, combined with public support from the provincial government will allow all parties to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity."  

In support of this All Ontario Wood initiative, Marshall Homes will continue to work with BILD and OFIA in order to encourage more Ontario builders to embrace the All Ontario Wood concept.