Canada is the world’s leading producer and exporter of maple products, accounting for 71 per cent of the global market. In 2016, Canadian producers exported 45 million kg of maple products, with a value of $381 million. The province of Québec is by far the largest producer, representing 92 per cent of Canadian production. Maple syrup and maple sugar products are made by boiling down the sap of maple trees. World production of maple syrup and sugar is mainly limited to the Maple Belt, the hardwood forest stretching from the midwestern United States through Ontario, Québec and New England and into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; however, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan also produce some syrup.
The pulp and paper industry consists of manufacturing enterprises that convert predominantly woody plant material into a wide variety of pulps, papers and paperboards. The Canadian industry began in the 1800s, and has undergone revolutionary changes over the years. Most recently, the move from newsprint to electronic media caused the industry to decline; however, pulp and paper remains a fundamental part of the Canadian economy, especially for remote and northern communities.
Manufacturing is a critical component of Canada’s economy. The production, sale and distribution of finished products contribute to consumer and labour markets, and secure Canada’s position as an economic leader among developed nations. Major, medium-sized and small manufacturers produce goods used by Canadians and contribute to the revenue gained from the export of goods to other countries. Since the early 2000s, the manufacturing sector in Canada has declined significantly in response to changes in the global economy and fewer regulatory controls over Canadian products (see Free Trade; Globalization). The composition and structure of the Canadian manufacturing industry is transitioning in response to these changes, aiming to produce new goods that are in greater demand.
The distilling industry is that part of the food and beverage industries engaged in clarifying, flavouring, blending and aging alcohol to make potable spirits (eg, brandies, grain spirits, rum) and establishments which manufacture ethyl alcohol, whether they are or are not used in potable spirits.
The aerospace industry includes the development and production of aircraft, satellites, rockets and their component parts. Aerospace is a major component of Canada's economy, employs tens of thousands of Canadians, and accounts for a large part of Canadian trade with foreign markets. Canada boasts a diverse aerospace sector and is one of just a few countries that produce airplanes. Through close partnership with the United States space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Canada has also launched satellites as well as built sophisticated components used on the International Space Station.
Chemical manufacturing entails the conversion of one material to another by a chemical reaction on a commercial scale. The starting material (feedstock) can be a natural substance or a relatively pure chemical used as an "intermediate" for subsequent upgrading.
In North America in precontact times, Indigenous people hand-ground corn and other substances (eg, acorns) into flour used in porridge, flat cakes, etc. By the middle of the 16th century, the first European settlers had arrived in New France, bringing with them their flour milling technology.
Although Canada's tobacco industry has developed largely during this century, tobacco growing goes back to early colonial days, when settlers around the St Lawrence River adopted the smoking customs of aboriginal peoples. French settlers began by copying the agricultural model set by the Indians.
Canada's slaughtering and meat-processing sector comprises livestock slaughter and carcass dressing, secondary processors that manufacture and package meat products for retail sale, and purveyors that prepare portion-ready cuts for hotel, restaurant and institutional food service.
The automotive industry includes the production of cars and car parts. Since the early 20th century, it has been one of Canada’s most significant manufacturing industries, as well as a key driver of Canada’s manufactured imports and exports, employment and overall industrial production.