When Logs End was founded in 1997, salving wood from the bottom of a river may have seemed a far-fetched to many. Sure, the process from log recovery to finished product did take a little bit longer, but the team always felt the environment was worth the wait. Twenty-one years later, we can confidently say our clients also feel the same way.

The Forgotten Forest On The River’s Floor

Excerpt from David Lee’s book, Lumber Kings and Shantymen: Logging and Lumbering in the Ottawa Valley

From the 1820s to the final log drive in the early 1990s, millions of cubic meters of wood floated down the Gatineau River and the Ottawa River. Many of the harvested logs ventured more than 400 kilometres of waterways, until they finally arrived at their destination; a lumber mill located on the shore of the Ottawa River, just a few steps away from Parliament Hill.

The log drive played an integral role in the development of the Ottawa Valley. To this day, the region is known for its population diversity, in both ethnicity and religion. The timber trade also boosted the economy, although historians do argue the “lumber kings” got rich and the “shantymen” were lucky to keep their lives. All to say, never let it be said felling trees or moving logs was easy work.

Which brings us to the present day. Over the last 20+ years, the Logs End divers have explored the river’s floor in the late-spring and summer months. There are some areas where sunken logs are scare. Other area have logs piled on top of each other. There is no rhyme or reason as to why logs sunk where they did, but there is certainly a forgotten forest lying on the river’s floor.

Salvaging Logs Responsibly

Since the day Logs End was founded, we have made every effort to be stewards of our waterways and the delicate ecosystem that lies beneath the surface. Environmental responsibility plays an integral role in our business model. We take cues from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Québec’s Ministère de l’Environnement, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  We avoid all sensitive areas outlined by these organizations, and ensure our underwater logging practices foster proper environmental responsibility.

Studies have shown responsible log salvaging has an environmental benefit.  By removing toxin emitting trees from the water, fish species can thrive.  Furthermore, areas with removed logs have seen riverbed improvements, as erosion and sediment relocation lessens. Finally, the natural nutrient levels in the water are raised, helping all forms of marine life flourish.

Helping Build Eco-Homes Of The Future, With Wood From The Past

If you are in the market for river-reclaimed wood, be it hardwood flooring or wall covering products, we encourage you to come visit the Logs End showroom. Not only will you be able to see our wood collections in person, but we encourage visitors of all ages to explore our mini-museum. From equipment used during the logs drive, to lumber baron stamps on log ends, we want the next generation of homeowners to appreciate our rich Canadian history and how the past is helping shape the green homes of the future.

Additional Reading

David Lee’s book, Lumber Kings and Shantymen: Logging and Lumbering in the Ottawa Valley, is a great resource for those interested in learning about the historic log drives. He takes readers on a journey that looks at the river, the valley, the forest and the people. David’s book will help many understand why “history at your feet” has become synonymous with the Logs End wood flooring collections. Read more online at http://bit.ly/lumberkingsbook