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Here’s how many BC sawmills have taken downtime so far

June 4, 2019  By  Maria Church

Photo: Annex Business Media

[This post was last updated on Jan. 17, 2020]

Hardly a week goes by that we’re not hearing of new sawmill curtailments or closures in B.C. We knew it would be a rough year for Western Canada’s lumber producers, but that doesn’t stop us from cringing each time a news release is sent out announcing planned downtime, to say nothing of the direct effect on employees and communities.

For those wondering about the extent of the situation, here’s a map and list of the mills that have been affected thus far this year:



  • Canfor sawmill in Vavenby, B.C.
  • Tolko Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel, B.C.
  • Tolko Kelowna sawmill in Kelowna, B.C.
  • Norbord OSB mill in 100 Mile House, B.C.
  • Louisiana-Pacific OSB mill in Fort St. John, B.C.
  • West Fraser sawmill in Chasm, B.C.
  • Canfor sawmill in Mackenzie, B.C.
  • Interfor Hammond sawmill in Maple Ridge, B.C.
  • Errington Cedar Products in Errington, B.C.


  • West Fraser Quesnel, Williams Lake, Smithers and Fraser Lake: one week in June.
  • West Fraser Chetwynd: three weeks in first quarter and one week in June.
  • West Fraser Chasm and 100 Mile House: three weeks in first quarter, and two weeks in May.
  • West Fraser B.C. plywood production: two weeks beginning Sept. 16.
  • Tolko Armstrong and Soda Creek: two weeks in May/June.
  • Teal Jones Surrey mills: Four weeks since January.
  • Interfor’s three B.C. Interior mills: unspecified time in May and June.
  • Conifex Fort St. James: Three weeks in February and four weeks in May.
  • Conifex Mackenzie mill: Three weeks in May; two weeks starting July 29, plus an additional three weeks until Sept. 3.
  • Western Forest Products Alberni Pacific Division Sawmill: Closed for a month beginning March 18.
  • Western Forest Products Duke Point sawmill: two weeks in June.
  • Western Forest Products Saltair sawmill: one week in June.
  • Western Forest Products Ladysmith and Chemainus sawmill since the United Steelworkers strike began on July 1
  • Canfor Houston  sawmill: one week in first quarter and an additional four weeks from June 17 to July 12.
  • Canfor Mackenzie sawmill: one week in first quarter and an additional six weeks from June 17 to July 26.
  • Canfor B.C. dimension mills: unspecified dates beginning April 29; two weeks in June at all sawmills except WynnWood
  • Canfor B.C. sawmills, except WynnWood: two weeks from Dec. 23, 2019 through Jan. 3, 2020
  • Canfor WynnWood sawmill: Five days in late December, 2019
  • Canfor Houston, Polar, Prince George and Fort St. John sawmills: week of Sept. 3.
  • Tolko’s Kelowna mill: six weeks from Aug. 6 to Sept. 15.
  • Sinclar Group’s Lakeland Mills in Prince George, Nechako Lumber in Vanderhoof and Apollo Forest Products in Fort St. James for two weeks starting Aug. 19.
  • Tolko Armstrong, Armstrong plywood and White Valley veneer operations for two weeks from Aug. 17 to Sept. 2; Tolko’s Heffley Creek plywood and veneer operation for one week from Aug. 24 to Sept. 2
  • Downie Timber Ltd. planer mill in Revelstoke, from Sept. 3 – 6

Shift/hours/production reduction:

  • Tolko Kelowna sawmill
  • Aspen Planers sawmill
  • Canfor B.C. sawmills in first quarter
  • Canfor Plateau and Houston mills in September until markets improve
  • Western Forest Products Chemainus sawmill
  • West Fraser’s five B.C. sawmill operations, variable operating schedules beginning Sept. 16
  • Canfor Isle Pierre sawmill, effective Sept. 20

If I’ve missed any please let me know: mchurch@annexbusinessmedia.com.

Stay on top of the news at www.woodbusiness.ca, including weekly lumber market reports from Madison’s Lumber Reporter.


Correction: An earlier version of this article listed all mill closures as permanent. Some of these closures are indefinite, rather than permanent.   

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