Happy 150th Birthday Canada!


OFIA Celebrates Canada's 150th Birthday with Habitat for Humanity GTA:

Trump May Not Want Ontario Lumber – But Habitat for Humanity GTA Does!

Ontario Wood Builds Homes for 15 Toronto Families


TORONTO, ON, May 15, 2017 – In honour of Canada's 150th birthday, the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA), alongside the Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, will be rolling up their sleeves to help Habitat for Humanity GTA build 15 homes for working, low-income families.  As the Official Wood Sponsor for these 15 homes, OFIA is proud that these homes will be built with Ontario Wood – the only naturally, renewable resource.
OFIA’s forestry community, members of provincial government, Indigenous leaders and students will be providing sweat equity at two build days taking place on May 18th & 19th at the Pinery Trail site in Toronto (140 Pinery Trail). Weston Forest will be facilitating the delivery of Ontario Wood to the build site.
In a sector that is older than Canada, OFIA's member companies have been producing wood to build local communities for over 150 years. By upholding some of the world's best forest management practices, Ontario's forestry community sustainably harvests our forests to ensure that there are renewable wood products available to build and furnish homes for families today and for generations to come.
Canada's future is in our forests. OFIA's members are committed to continuing the forest sector’s remarkable legacy of growing local economies by harvesting and growing trees. Ontario's forestry community will continue to put wood to work responsibly by providing wood products to support Habitat for Humanity and the wellbeing of all Ontarians.
So when will Ontario Harvest its last tree and build its last home? Never.
I'm happy to put on my hard hat and get my hammer out to help with this great project for Habitat for Humanity and I'm proud to see representatives from Ontario's forestry sector stepping up and giving back to our communities. Through these new houses, OFIA is helping working, low-income families here in Toronto and showcasing the great things we can build with quality, locally sourced, and sustainably harvested Ontario Wood.
  • Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Considering the challenges presented by the Trump Administration trade action, Ontario’s forestry leaders are glad to be working hand in hand with partners to do what our sector has been doing for generations – provide provincially sourced sustainable wood for the building of homes. Building communities is in our nature. In addition to honouring our sector’s legacy as part of Canada’s economic foundation, the Habitat build is also an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the future of forestry.
  • Jamie Lim, President & CEO, Ontario Forest Industries Association
We were thrilled when the OFIA came to us and offered to be the Official Wood Sponsor for these fifteen homes as their way of celebrating the wood industry's role in building Canada over the last 150 years. In the process, we have been learning a great deal about the constant renewal of our forests as a result of sustainable forestry and also about the incredible role Canada's forests play in mitigating climate change.”
  • Ene Underwood, CEO, Habitat for Humanity GTA
Weston Forest is very excited to be involved in the partnership between OFIA and Habitat for Humanity GTA. Facilitating the Ontario wood to be used to build the 15 homes at Pinery Trail has been a great honour. It really is encouraging to take part and support the use of the OFIA members’ locally sourced, sustainable wood products right here in Toronto.
  • Rob Hruby, Vice President - Purchasing & US Commodity Trading, Weston Forest
We were honoured to be asked by OFIA to participate in their Habitat for Humanity build. The Carpenters’ Union contributes to creating a stronger society while building the infrastructure and opportunity for our future. Building with wood is just as important to the members of our Union as it is to the forest sector. That’s why it is so important that we educate our youth in investing in a sustainable future. Building these homes alongside students that may be interested in a future in carpentry or forestry, is a very exciting opportunity.”    
  • Mike Yorke, President, Carpenters’ Union Local 27
Ontario home builders are proud to utilize Ontario wood products and support jobs in the forestry industry. Builders believe that wood is good, but Ontario wood is better.
  • Joe Vaccaro, CEO, Ontario Home Builders’ Association
  • Ontario has approximately 85 billion trees
  • Ontario’s forests cover two-thirds of the province – a land area equivalent in size to Germany, Italy and the Netherlands combined
  • Less than 0.5% of Ontario’s trees are harvested annually
  • Crown land forest management plans are renewed every five years and laid out five generations into the future – we plan for generations!
  • Wood is the only building material that is both renewable and recyclable
  • 2 out of 3 people would buy wood products from Ontario if they were clearly identified as such
  • 66% of Ontario is forested (71 million ha) – this is approximately 17% of Canada’s forests and 2% of the world’s forests
  • 80.8% of Ontario’s forests are on Crown land (57.5 million ha)
  • 44.2% of the forest in the boreal region is unavailable for harvest
Source: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Website, 2016
- Farming Feeds Cities: Forestry Builds Communities -
Join us on for our media event at 8:30am on Thursday, May 18th at 140 Pinery Trail in Scarborough. Among our volunteers will be honoured guests: Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Honourable David Zimmer, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and His Worship Roger Sigouin, Mayor of Hearst.
For more information please contact:
Lauren McBride
Director of Communications
Ontario Forest Industries Association
T: 416-368-2842
C: 647-646-9600
Joanna Dwyer
Sr. Director, Marketing & Communications
Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area
T: 416-755-7353 ext. 259
C: 416-277-3064


Ontario Forest Industries Association Partners with Habitat for Humanity GTA to Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday

Pinery Trail Project to be Built With Ontario Wood


TORONTO, October 5, 2016     In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) last week announced their new partnership with Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area (Habitat for Humanity GTA) during OFIA’s 2nd Annual Forestry Reception at Queen’s Park. The partnership will focus on Phase II of the Pinery Trail Project, Habitat for Humanity GTA’s largest building project in the organization’s history. Located in Toronto’s east end, the Pinery Trail project is a “back-to-back” stacked townhouse project that is being built in three phases.   This project will enable 50 working, low income GTA families achieve stability, self reliance and a better future through affordable homeownership.

Speaking at last week’s forestry reception at Queen’s Park, the Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, commented “This is a wonderful initiative and through these new houses, OFIA is helping families in need and showcasing the great things we can build with locally sourced, sustainably harvested Ontario Wood.”

As the Official Wood Sponsor of the Pinery Trail project, OFIA’s members will be donating the wood products necessary to build the 15 townhomes that makeup Phase II of this project which begins in spring 2017.  Beyond donating the wood products, OFIA and its members will also be rolling up their sleeves, volunteering their time and energy to put their wood to work responsibly, building these sustainable houses that will be called home to families for generations.  To ensure easy access to Ontario wood products, OFIA has teamed up with Weston Forest Products.

“What better way to honour Canada’s birthday, than by continuing to do what the Ontario forest sector has done for over 150 years, grow Ontario’s forests to ensure renewable wood products are available to build homes for families” commented OFIA’s President and CEO, Jamie Lim.

“For many years, the Ontario forest industry has helped Ontarians and Canadians build this great province and this great country. Nowhere is the impact of this industry more personal and profound than in the walls and doors and floors and roofs of our homes” says Ene Underwood, CEO of Habitat for Humanity GTA. “We are tremendously proud that the OFIA and its members have chosen to celebrate and demonstrate this extraordinary legacy by helping us build 15 homes for working, low income families here in Toronto.”

Lim concluded, “As a sector that is older than Canada, we take great pride as being one of the foundational sectors of this great nation. Today, Ontario’s forest products sector continues to maintain healthy and productive forests and support families in communities across Ontario and will continue to do so for generations to come. The future of our nation is forestry.”

For further information, please contact:

Lauren McBride
Director of Communications

About Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA)
Ontario’s renewable forest products sector supports over 170,000 direct and indirect jobs in over 260 Ontario communities. Since 1943, the Ontario Forest Industries Association has represented forestry companies ranging from multinational corporations to family operated businesses producing advanced manufacturing technologies and products. OFIA believes that by working with government to address key competitive issues, secure long term access to affordable and accessible fibre and promote the province’s 21st century forest products sector, Ontario will be the number one jurisdiction in Canada for today’s green and growing renewable sector.

Carol Davies
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Habitat for Humanity GTA
416-755-7353 ext. 259

About Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area (GTA):
Habitat for Humanity GTA is a non-profit housing organization working with communities to give a hand up to working, low income families in the GTA to realize home ownership.  By offering zero down payment, no-interest mortgages capped at 30 percent of a family’s income, Habitat for Humanity GTA empowers families to achieve stability and self-reliance, so that they can build a better life for themselves and their children. With the support of donors and volunteers, we build homes along with partner families in Brampton, Caledon, Toronto, and York Region, serving two-thirds of the GTA. Since 1988, Habitat GTA has built more than 300 homes in partnership with families. Habitat GTA is one of more than 1,400 Habitat for Humanity affiliates worldwide sharing a common vision and purpose.

To learn more, follow us on Twitter @HabitatGTA, Facebook Habitat for Humanity GTA or visit www.habitatgta.ca