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.
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.