I want to bring up a subject that is very disturbing.
In the last few years about 8 hardwood flooring manufacturing plants have closed in the G.T.A. leading to about 1,000 people losing their union jobs.
All of this is happening while hardwood flooring is gaining in popularity. How often do you have customers asking for wall to wall broadloom?
Here’s the cause of hardwood flooring manufacturers disappearing in our market:
There’s a huge quantity of hardwood flooring that is manufactured from illegally sourced lumber in the Siberian and Malaysian forests. The New Yorker did a full expose about the illegally sourced logs that are shipped by massive trains or ships to China where it is used in the manufacturing of hardwood flooring. In many cases these products are packaged with deceptive wording making it look like it is made in Canada or the U.S.A.
Wood flooring on train
They use product names that are Canadian and American sounding. The consumers of these products think that they are buying from Canadian or American manufactures where the standards for production and chemicals used in the process of making the floors are high. Unfortunately, the health standards are not yet at the north American level.
How the retailers get away with lying
Many of the companies selling these products lie to their clients. One of the biggest lies I’ve heard repeated many times over the years is that the flooring product was from B.C. There is an element of truth as the ships from China can’t sail past the Rocky Mountains. Often Chinese flooring comes over and is labeled with maple leaf stickers and the products are given Canadian sounding names.
I heard that from a lady this week who was looking for a few cartons of an engineered hardwood floor that she recently bought from one of those pop-up hardwood flooring retailers. The company disappeared and she desperately needed a few cartons to finish her job because she had so many defective pieces of flooring in her original order. She went to the dealer of the flooring product but they were no longer in business. When she told me the name of the brand I told her that we don’t sell any products manufactured in China and can’t help her. I also told her that the manufacturer’s outlet that is very close to my office on Victoria Park Avenue is in receivership. She was told that I’m mistaken because she was told that the flooring was made in B.C.
You can’t put a package of bubble gum on a shelf in Shopper’s Drug mart without the ingredients and health information listed in French and English but you can get away with bringing products from China and label the cartons in a deceptive way to make people think that it is made in Canada.
Why is Canadian manufactured hardwood flooring important?
1. Strict health and safety issues for the factory workers making the flooring.
2. Strict regulations on the chemicals used in the adhesives and finishes.
3. Living wages paid to the workers
4. Flooring made in our market is for our climatic conditions.
5. Certified selective harvesting of lumber in our sustainable forests.
6. Local manufacturers with real warranties
7. All revenue from manufacturing and distribution stays in our country
8. Canadian pride in manufacturing leading to the very best quality in the world.
I have been told that when you don’t have something nice to say about someone don’t say it so I will say that we have a prime minister with great hair. What we don’t have is a leader who will stop the illegal, immoral, and damaging activity that is destroying Canadian jobs in the manufacturing of hardwood flooring and for that matter many other industries.
Another think that the environmentalists and politicians should get really upset about is the fake certificates issued by offshore companies, often from the Amazon.
We had a supplier several years ago talking to us about getting high quality Brazil and Peruvian Jatoba and Santos Mahogany shipped here for us to get finished by our suppliers. I asked about making sure that the products were from certified forests. He told me that for a few thousand dollars he will get government certificates for the shipment, but the product was still the same. In other words, for a fee I could bring in illegally logged lumber from the Amazon where half of the world’s oxygen in generated and reassure our clients that it has been governmentally certified as being from responsible sustainable sources.
The Hardwood Flooring Stores locations are on Victoria Park Avenue, 2 blocks north of Steeles Avenue, on the N.E. corner of Victoria Park Avenue and a small street called Telson. The reason that I stress that we are two blocks north of Steeles Avenue is that we are surrounded by pop up hardwood flooring companies. I stress this because our so-called competition have used every possible method to distract our customers from coming to us. One company used to hire people to stand on our driveway stopping our customers to direct them to their location next door.
We’ve been in the same building for almost 40 years and are well known in the industry for finding really good deals on hardwood flooring but more importantly selling mostly top-quality hardwood flooring made right here in Canada.
Our Burlington location is on Corporate Drive, 1 mile north of the Q.E.W. west off Appleby Line. For easy reference we are right next door to the Shop Vac building and across the street from The Re-Store from Habitat for Humanity.
I have been running this company for over 41 years and I love finding really good deals for our about 8,000 customers a year. My suppliers, mostly Canadian love the way we do business with them. To the detriment of our so-called competitors, with the exception of the odd vacation and the odd long distance sailboat race, I’m not planning on going anywhere in the near future.
The government is doing very little to protect the honest companies in the hardwood flooring business from the millions of dollars in under the table business that doesn’t help contribute to finance our society.