Fonds PR-0126 - Western Forest Products Ltd. fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Western Forest Products Ltd. fonds

General material designation

  • textual record
  • graphic material
  • multiple media
  • cartographic material
  • technical drawing

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • [ca. 1906-1979] (Creation)
    Western Forest Products Ltd.

Physical description area

Physical description

3 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

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Administrative history

In 1980, in a joint venture, three B.C.-based companies (Doman Industries Ltd. of Duncan, Whonnock Industries Ltd. of Vancouver and British Columbia Forest Products Ltd. of Vancouver) acquired the B.C. holdings of Rayonier Canada Limited (a division of Toronto-based ITT Canada Ltd.). The three companies, with equal shares, organized Western Forest Products Limited (WFP) as the purchaser.

WFP was a fully-integrated forest products company, bringing together logging, milling, and pulp operations; none of the parent companies had significant holdings in all three aspects of the industry prior to the acquisition of Rayonier Canada’s B.C. operations. Through this purchase, WFP acquired two pulp mills (Woodfibre in Squamish and a sulphite dissolving pulp mill at Port Alice on Vancouver Island), three sawmills in the Vancouver area, and cutting rights to extensive timber resources in British Columbia. Each of the three parent companies leased one of WFP’s sawmills, and WFP also operated several tree farm licenses. In 1983, WFP formed another company, Western Pulp Ltd. Partnership, in order to finance a $200 million modernization at Woodfibre and capital improvement projects at Port Alice.

In 1989, Doman Industries Ltd. acquired 56% control of Western Forest Products Ltd. by purchasing the shares in that company held by Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. (formerly BCFP) and Interfor (formerly Whonnock Industries Ltd.). The remaining shares (44%) were held by the Royal Bank of Canada and the Toronto Dominion Bank. In 1992 Western Forest Products Ltd. became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Doman Industries Ltd. when the latter acquired the remaining shares from the two banks.

In 2004, emerging from bankruptcy protection, Doman Industries Ltd. was restructured and a new company, Western Forest Products Inc., became Doman’s successor (substituting “Incorporated” for “Limited.”) Western Forest Products Inc. was formally established in April 2004.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records transferred to BC Archives by Western Forest Products Limited, and is divided into two series: MS-3216 - Predecessor companies, photographs, and, MS-1996 - Predecessor companies, textual records. The records were inherited by Western Forest Products Ltd. when it acquired the B.C. holdings of Rayonier Canada Limited in 1980. These inherited records therefore represent the activities of predecessors of Western Forest Products Ltd., including Rayonier Canada (B.C.) Limited, Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd., British Columbia Pulp and Paper Company Ltd., Alaska Pine Company Limited (later, Alaska Pine and Cellulose Ltd.) and Universal Lumber and Box Company Ltd., formerly Universal Box Company Ltd. The fonds includes the records of many other smaller predecessor companies dating back to the early 20th century. These companies were the early owners and operators of assets such as the pulp mills at Woodfibre and Port Alice, which passed to WFP in 1980.

It can be assumed these records were in the possession of Western Forest Products Ltd., whether used or not, in the period 1980 to 1985. It is also assumed that prior to that, they were in the possession of the immediate predecessor to WFP, Rayonier Canada (B.C). Limited.

BC Archives received two transfers of records at different times. In 1984, James Buttar, President, Western Forest Products Ltd., Vancouver, presented records (accession MS-1996). On its arrival at the archives this accession included photographs; these photographs and the textual records were then separated. Photographs were transferred to Visual Records accession 198403-001. The textual records received the series identification MS-1996.

On 1985-04-25, BC Archives received accession 89-1392, (originally accessioned as 85-041). These were donated by Ray Collins, Manager, Western Forest Products, Lost Lake Seed Orchard, Victoria.

In 2015, rearrangement was done by BC Archives. The textual records of accession MS-1996 and 89-1392 were combined in one series. This was done because of the common nature of the records (these textual materials all were donated by Western Forest Products Ltd., had been inherited by them, and were originally created by the same predecessor companies.

In the other aspect of the archival rearrangement, the nearly 600 photographs which had been separated from accession MS-1996, and had become Visual Records accession 198403-001, were re-integrated into the arrangement at the fonds level. They have not been re-merged with the textual records of MS-1996, but have been added as a new series, “Predecessor companies, photographs,” MS-3216.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Accession MS-1996 presented in 1984 by James Buttar, President, Western Forest Products Ltd., Vancouver.

Accession 89-1392 (originally accessioned as 85-041) donated on 1985-04-25 by Ray Collins, Manager, Western Forest Products, Lost Lake Seed Orchard, Victoria.

In both acquisitions, the relationship of the source to the records was one of inheriting records originally created by predecessor companies of Western Forest Products Ltd.


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No access restrictions apply

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No further accruals are expected

General note

Accession number(s): MS-1996; 198403-001; 89-1392 (85-041)

General note

Related materials note:
PR-0109 - Vancouver Milling and Grain Company fonds
PR-2326 - Western Pulp Ltd. Partnership fonds
PR-0125 - Western Forest Industries Ltd. fonds
PR-0468 - Rayonier Canada, Woodfibre Division fonds

Physical description

Includes ca. 600 photographs

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