Spotlight: Ainsworth

Posted by Rumin Mann
April 2nd, 2012

The Ainsworth Story:A resourceful family builds a world leader

The Ainsworth saga began humbly. In 1952, David Ainsworth and his brother Tom moved to BC’s Cariboo country, bringing a sawmill with them-a small one, that could be towed behind a tractor or truck. They set up in the forests of Williams Lake, then Clinton, and finally settled in 100 Mile House. Along with the brothers and David’s wife Susan, the company boasted three employees. They lived and worked in tents, moving into portable cabins as the business grew. Today, Ainsworth employs over 600 people and operates four manufacturing facilities across Canada.

Products carrying their signature AinsworthEngineered® brand are trusted across North America and are increasingly popular in Japan. After more than half a century, 100 Mile House, the site of Ainsworth’s first OSB mill, is still a centre of activity, and the home of one of their most advanced OSB operations.

Early in their history, David Ainsworth made the strategic decision not to rely on large, old growth timber such as Douglas fir, and instead chose to utilize fast-growing, small-diameter lodge-pole pine. This put him at odds with much of the prevailing opinion of the day, which doubted the viability of the smaller trees, considered a “weed” species by some. They feared the wood would warp and twist. They thought it would be impractical to work with the smaller logs-that they would be labour intensive to handle and weigh.

David saw things differently. He understood that old growth timber was a finite resource that would only diminish over time. He felt that the future was in fast-growing, renewable wood, and he went ahead with the decision to use lodge-pole pine for Ainsworth lumber.

David Ainsworth’s innovations and foresight set the tone for the company. AinsworthEngineered wood products are manufactured from a number of fast-growing, renewable woods, and also from pine-beetle killed trees that would otherwise be wasted. “Our wood resources are harvested from sustainably managed North American forests, and manufactured with virtually no waste.” Ainsworth is a strong supporter of “green” construction practices, and as a company, they are committed to sustainability in every aspect of their operations.

Today, although no longer a family owned enterprise, Ainsworth remains a leading manufacturer of engineered wood products including oriented strand board (OSB). The company operates four OSB mills located in 100 Mile House, British Columbia; Grande Prairie and High Level, Alberta; and Barwick, Ontario.

Ainsworth is a Canadian forest products company with a reputation for reliability, stability, and is unsurpassed in customer service to vendors, builders, architects, and homeowners.

For more information on Ainsworth and AinsworthEngineered products, visit their website at 


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