For over 35 years, Mark Pilgrim at York Valley Cedar Shakes and Shingles has been making quality white cedar shingles. About 20 years ago, they also started making barrels from eastern white cedar harvested in the Ottawa Valley.
The shingles are made in three different sizes. Some are used for siding, while others can be used as an all-natural roofing product. White cedar turns a nice silvery grey colour as it ages and is very durable. Side wall shingles can last over 120 years, while cedar roofing shingles put the current manufactured asphalt shingles to shame by lasting 20 to 40 years!
York Valley Fine Woodworking also makes custom decorative shingles. When you visit the workshop, located just east of Maynooth and north of Bancroft, you can see Mark’s beautiful home, which is clad with his decorative shingles. It transports you back to a much simpler time, when craftsmanship really mattered.
The art of barrel making is called cooperage. While their purpose is functional, York Valley Fine Woodworking’s well-built barrels are more decorative, and are made using traditional methods and materials. Seeing the old machines that are used to make the components of a barrel really allows you appreciate the time and effort that goes into making barrels. Before cardboard boxes, barrels such as the ones York Valley Fine Woodworking makes were what goods were shipped in. Their conical shape makes them ideal for transport, as heavy barrels can be rolled rather than lifted.
York Valley Fine Woodworking shingles and barrels combine beauty and functionality, and locally crafted using local wood.