Growing Up
The history of pulp and paper in Canada


Pre-Columbian times-19th century

Canada's indigenous peoples use forests as a source of energy, building materials and medicine. The forest also serves an important function in religious ritual. By the 18th century, Canada's forests are a source of timber used mainly in ship-building.


19th century
New craft of paper-making revolutionizes industry.

First Canadian paper mill built at St. Andrews, Argenteuil County, Quebec by Walter Ware and Benjamin Wales, two New Englanders. They manufacture writing, printing and wrapping papers.

First of many paper mills in Portneuf County, Quebec, built by Artemus Jackson, one of the original partners in the Argenteuil mill.

First paper mill in the Maritimes built near Halifax by Anthony Holland, to supply his newspaper with paper.

First paper mill in Ontario started up by James Crooks near Dundas. A few months later, in Don Valley (Toronto), a mill run by John Eastwood and Colin Skinner begins production.

Charles Fenerty of Nova Scotia makes the first groundwood paper in the Western Hemisphere, although not commercially.

First chemical wood pulp mill in Canada built at Windsor Mills, Quebec using the soda process, by William Angus and Thomas Logan. Their pulp is used mostly for wrapping papers.

First groundwood pulp produced commercially in Canada at Valleyfield, Quebec.

First pulp and paper mill in British Columbia started up by William Hewartson and Herbert Carmichael at Alberni on Vancouver Island.

In Canada there are now 53 mills employing 6,236 people with an annual value of production of $8.6 million. These plants are, for the most part, small converting mills making a wide variety of products including: writing paper, newsprint, books, wrapping and bag papers, board and building papers.

The U.S. government, having lowered the tariff on newsprint in 1909, now removes it altogether, giving stimulus to the growth of the newsprint industry in Canada.

Canadian Pulp and Paper Association forms: Now the Forest Product Association of Canada.

For the first time, the pulp and paper industry generates more than $100 million in revenues for the Canadian economy. Canada becomes the world's largest exporter of paper.

Expansion of the Canadian industry continues and the great papermaking centres of North Western Ontario and Quebec's St. Maurice Valley, Ottawa Valley and Lac-Saint-Jean regions experience rapid growth. In 1926, Canada's newsprint production exceeds that of the U.S. for the first time.

Production of pulp and paper in Canada declines by one third in volume and one half in value as the great depression strikes.

After the output restrictions of the war end, companies adjust to peacetime operation. Output rises sharply, by 1950 reaching 9 million short tons, worth $950 million.

Industry-sponsored Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (PPRIC) develops twin-wire former, a quantum leap in technology resulting in faster and more energy-efficient paper production.

1964 to 1969
Industry boom leads to construction of new mills across Canada, especially in B.C.

In 1964, world production of paper and paperboard exceeds 100 million short tons for the first time.

Increased international competition and environmental concerns lead to the development of new, more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly technologies.
The 70s are marked by high interest rates and slower economic growth. Nevertheless, in 1979, the industry produces 20 million metric tons of pulp, paper and paperboard, valued at over $8 billion.

Between 1989 and today, Canadian mills respond to increasing environmental challenges by earmarking more than $6 billion for environmental improvements. During the same period, the industry invested $1.7 billion in the capacity to recycle recovered paper, making Canada a leading producer of high quality, recycled content paper products.

Up to now , the industry has spent over $6 billion on new technology and equipment to reduce emissions and effluent wastes. It added significant recycling capacity to its mills and has embarked on a $88 million research project to develop closed-cycle technologies. If successful, these will virtually eliminate pollution and be applied to all types of mills.

Canada's forest products industry is now a $53 billion business directly and indirectly employing more than 1 million people. It is also the biggest net contributor to Canada's international trade balance - $36.8 billion - a figure which represents about two times that of the next largest sector.

Courtesy : Forest Products Association of Canada


Alain Chebroux, Count of Argenteuil :
Count Alain Chebroux of Argenteuil. The Seigniory and the County :