Thousands of visitors will soon be flocking to parks for a panoramic view of our magnificent fall colours – bulbous, rounded streaks of red, yellow and orange flashing across the horizon.
On the way to your favourite lookout through the maples, birch and poplars, look up and look around. Take a moment to breathe in the beauty of these living things called trees, and feel the visceral connection we have to these guardians of our planet’s future.
Look for the leaf
The Ontario Wood program, created by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, created this logo to encourage consumers to buy local in support of Ontario foresters, sawmills, woodworkers, artisans and craftspeople.
You can “look for the leaf” on many of the things you may have already picked up at your favourite park, such as firewood, signs, pencils, tabloids and guides.
Locally grown, sustainably sourced
With 85 billion trees and 71 million hectares of forest, buying local makes sense.
Most of Ontario’s forests are publicly owned and therefore managed sustainably under strict provincial rules and regulations.
Whether you’re in the market for an A-frame dream home, custom furniture, or a small kitchen or bathroom accessory, you can work with an Ontario Wood partner in your area.
Many Ontario Wood partners source their wood from local sawmills, reclaimed wood and barn board suppliers or their own woodlots.
Putting Ontario wood to work
Mike Graham is the owner of Calabogie Rustic Woodworks, an hour west of Ottawa.
Mike uses his two 2,500 pound Percheron draft horses, Chloe and Star, to help him drag felled trees from his 100-acre pine, cedar and poplar woodlot for use in making rustic log furniture, railings and stairs.
“We strongly believe that it’s our responsibility to carefully manage our forest for future generations by using sustainable forestry practices,” says Mike. “We use horses to minimize damage and optimize future growth.
“Plus, buying local is very important for small towns and for our type of industry because we are local business owners,” says Mike. “We also practice sustainable forestry, which is really important to consumers these days.”
Marcus Melo is the owner of Kaza Wood Furniture and Accessories in Hamilton. He has purposely structured his business with sustainability in mind.
He built his workshop at home, and located it near the QEW Highway for easier, faster delivery of wood from a nearby mill. For every piece he sells, he plants a tree.
“A lot of people think that buying custom-made, hand-crafted wood furniture is more expensive than buying pieces from a big box store manufactured with wood from another country,” says Marcus.
“Our prices are competitive, plus our products are one of a kind, made with love from sustainable, responsibly-harvested wood from Ontario Crown land and they come with a lifetime guarantee. My products are also better for the environment.”
Buying local Ontario wood feels natural
Buying Ontario wood and wood products also:
- Supports the local economy and creates jobs (woodworkers, artisans, retailers, foresters, lumberyards, sawmills)
- Provides affordable, one-of-a-kind, living pieces of all shapes, sizes and prices that are rich in quality and character that will last a lifetime
- Helps eliminate overseas shipping and transportation of goods
- Reduces climate change (Trees capture greenhouse gases and convert them into food through photosynthesis. The better we manage and sustain our forests, the more trees we have to capture carbon and cool the planet)
Many artisans says wood is a living, breathing organism that continues to live long after it leaves the forest.
If you like the look and feel of all things natural, and want to do your part to keep Ontario forests healthy while supporting your local economy, remember to always “look for the leaf” or visit the Ontario Wood website to find a partner near you.