File 2003.8.4.01.4.02 - Northwood Mills - Southern BC Operations 1963-1964

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Northwood Mills - Southern BC Operations 1963-1964

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2003.8.4.01.4.02

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  • 1963-1964 (Creation)
    Creator
    Northwood Mills Ltd.

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2 cm of textual records

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(1961-1985)

Administrative history

Northwood Mills was Noranda's first foray into the forestry industry. Northwood Mills was resurrected from National Forest Products when it was purchased by Noranda in April 1961 (Zimmerman p. 33). National Forest Products was in receivership and had 6 sawmills in the Okanagan Valley (Summerland Box Company, Tulameen Forest Products, and the Osoyoos and Oliver mills) and in Prince George (Upper Fraser Mills and Sinclair Spruce Mills) (Zimmerman p. 31). The Prince George mills were larger and more successful, making Prince George the centre of Noranda's forest investment. Included in the purchase of National Forest Products was the harvesting quota for the sawmills and a 3 million acre pulp-harvesting area (pre-approved for a pulp mill) that had been created by the provincial forestry minister, Ray Williston (Zimmerman p. 31). Dick Porritt was named the first president and CEO of Northwood Mills (Zimmerman p. 34).

An agreement between Noranda Mines and the Mead Corporation dated April 24, 1964 provided for the formation of a new company called Northwood Pulp. The capital stock of this new company was divided evenly between Northwood Mills Ltd. and Canamead Inc. (later named Forest Kraft Company). Northwood Pulp purchased from Northwood Mills all the outstanding stock of two of Northwood Mills' wholly-owned subsidiaries: Upper Fraser and Sinclair Spruce Mills. Northwood Mills would provide knowledge and experience with respect to sawmills. Mead would provide knowledge and experience with respect to the engineering and design of pulpmills. Northwood Mills was Northwood Pulp's exclusive agent for soliciting and servicing sales of logs, lumber and other sawmill products globally.

At 1976, Northwood Mills continued to operate four sawmills in the Okanagan region of British Columbia with the capacity to produce approximately 200 million board feet of lumber per year, principally western white spruce. It had a building materials division which operated a lumber brokerage and wholesale building materials business through warehouses across Canada. Early in 1975, it acquired Airscrew-Weyroc, which was then renamed Northwood Panelboard Ltd., with a 145,000 tons per year particle board plant in Chatham, New Brunswick.

Between 1964 and 1985, Northwood Mills purchased holdings in other subsidiaries, including Fraser Inc., W.H. Miller Co Ltd., James Maclaren Industries, Lynn Stevedoring Co. Ltd., MacMillan Bloedel Ltd., McBride Lumber & Building Supplies Ltd., Northwood Properties, and Northwood Panelboard Ltd (Stats Can).

Northwood Mills' Sales Division marketed its own production as well as that for Northwood Pulp and Timber and other non-affiliated producers. Over 80% of the sales were to North America.

Sources:
Zimmerman, Adam. Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?: Reflections from a Life in Business, (Don Mills, Ontario: Stoddart; Distributed in Canada by General Distribution Services), 1997.

Royal Commission on Corporate Concentration, Noranda Mines Limited: A Corporate Background Report. 1976. p. 64.

Statistics Canada. Inter-corporate Ownership Directory, 1975, 1982, 1985, 1987.

Name of creator

(1927-2016)

Biographical history

Adam Hartley Zimmerman, O.C., B.A., F.C.A. (1927 - 2016 ) was born in Toronto. From 1930 to 1941 he lived with his family in Youngstown and Niagara Falls, New York while his father worked with the Moore Corporation as a mining engineer. Adam moved back to Ontario to complete junior high school and attended Upper Canada College from 1938-40, Ridley College from 1940-44, the Royal Canadian Naval College 1944-46, and Trinity College, University of Toronto, 1946-50. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Arts with a major in Philosophy in 1950. He also served six years in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve rising to the ranks of lieutenant.

After graduation and a brief term with Proctor Gamble, Zimmerman decided to join Clarkson Gordon (now Ernst & Young), as a student-in-accounts from 1950-54; received his CA and worked as a Chartered Accountant (1956) and Audit Supervisor, 1956-58. Mr. Zimerman then joined Noranda Inc. first serving as an Assistant Comptroller at Noranda Mines (1958-61), and then Comptroller (1961-1966). He subsequently became Vice President and Comptroller (1966-1974), Executive Vice President (1974-1982), President and CEO (1982-87), Vice Chairman of Noranda Inc. (1987-1992), as well as CEO, Noranda Forest Inc. (1987-1991), Chairman (1987-1993), and Director (1987-1994), as well as Chairman (1983-1990) and Vice Chairman (1990-1993) of MacMillan Bloedel after it was acquired by Noranda Forests Inc. Zimmerman also served as an independent director of Algoma Steel and as a foreign director at Royal Dutch Paper Mills (when MB was a dominant shareholder). Zimmerman retired from Noranda Inc. in 1994.

Mr. Zimmerman has served on over 40 private and public sector boards throughout his career including directorships on the following Northwood Pulp and Timber Ltd.; Confederation Life Insurance Co.; The Toronto Dominion Bank; Battery Technologies Inc.; Economic Investment Trust; Maple Leaf Foods Inc.; The Pittston Co.; Southam Inc; and Hydro One (2002- ). He has had had many professional affiliations during his career including with: C.D. Howe Institute (Former Chairman & Dir.); Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (Fellow); Canadian Pulp & Paper Association (former Chairman); Canadian Forest Industries Council (former Chairman); University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry (Advisory Board.); The Hospital for Sick Children (Honorary Trustee); The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation (Director); Roy Thomson Hall (Director); World Wildlife Fund Canada (Executive Committee); Zeta Psi; York Club; Toronto Golf Club; Craigleith Ski Club; Madawaska Club.

Publications: Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?: reflections from a life in business, (Don Mills, Ontario: Stoddart; Distributed in Canada by General Distribution Services), 1997.

HONOURS: Distinguished Business Alumni Award, Univ. of Toronto, 1992; LL.D. (Hon), Royal Roads Military College; D.S.L., Trinity University, Toronto. Member of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry; a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario; Past Chairman, Canadian American Committee; and board positions with the Mining Association of Canada; Canadian Forest Industries Council; Canadian Pulp and Paper Association and with Zeta Psi.

Scope and content

File contains correspondence, memoranda, and bound reports regarding Northwood's southern BC sawmill operations.

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  • English

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Personal or academic use of materials is welcomed under the standard fair use and educational use clauses of Canadian Copyright Law. Commercial use is, however, forbidden without the express permission of the copyright holder. For information on obtaining written permission from the copyright holder, please contact the Northern B.C. Archives and Special Collections.

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