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With lumber shortages abounding amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan said the demand for local wood — mostly cherry, white oak, black walnut and soft and hard maple — produced by a small business is strong.

“People appreciate the personal experience, and since it’s local, they don’t have to travel far from home,” Jordan said.

Lumber prices in Canada have soared amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with early shutdowns impacting sawmills and causing shortages. Coupled with a big demand for new homes and renovations, prices have surged.

Data from Statistics Canada's Industrial Product Price Index for March shows year over year, softwood lumber increased almost 119 per cent — the largest year-over-year increase recorded since the series began in 1956.

The average price of 1,000 board-feet of 2x4 eastern spruce, pine or fir in North America is currently $1,450, a substantial jump from the previous 52-week average price of $987, according to Natural Resources Canada.

That's meant increased costs for new home builds, renovations and woodworker-made goods.

Jordan said much of Canada's black walnut is exported to other countries.

"It's becoming a lot more competitive and prices are rising for sure," Jordan said. "It's creating a shortage as well."

As his business grows, he’s planning to add staff and processing capacity to meet the surging demand.

“I’m expanding quickly and building more kilns because I can’t keep up.”

Max Martin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press