Quebec’s biggest sawmill complex

Barrette-Chapais was founded in 1975 in Chapais, in the Nord-du-Québec region. It’s a family business that grew thanks to the vision of three generations of daring entrepreneurs.

See what people are saying about us [French only]

“The blood that runs through our veins is green. Barrette is more than a name and a family—it’s an entire philosophy!”

- Julie Boilard, Coordinator, Forestry Logistics and Certification

The Barrette Way

  1. Forget how everyone else does it
  2. Get your hands dirty
  3. Be hungry for details
  4. Align with the customer
  5. Learn from mistakes
  6. Focus on the person
  7. Succeed as a team
  8. Be better, not bigger
  9. Take the long view
  10. Enjoy the challenge

Our history, where our future takes root

With more than 45 years of history, Barrette-Chapais is among the sawmills that still operate 12 months a year whatever the current economic situation. Discover the highlights of our journey.

  • Yves Barrette buys a lumber mill in Chapais with equipment to manufacture 16-foot pieces of lumber.

  • One thing was clear: to make the most of the available resource, the mill would need the right equipment to produce 8-foot lumber pieces. That’s when the team decided to alter the sawmill’s processes in order to shift manufacturing to this specialized product.

  • Innovations: new equipment is brought in (including a thermal plant to power lumber kilns and heat buildings), the barking and sawing area is refurbished, the sawing lines are made faster, and the use of wood fibre is optimized.

    In the early 1980s, Barrette-Chapais achieved its annual production target of 150 million fbm (foot board measure).

  • A first sawing line is equipped with an end dogger, followed by another two in the following years.

    An engineering team is formed to meet our need for innovation and performance. Today, we still develop most of our equipment in-house to continuously improve our sawing quality.

  • Production at Barrette-Chapais reaches 200 million fbm.

  • Production reaches 300 million fbm making Barrette-Chapais the province’s most productive sawmill and North America’s most efficient in its log size category.

  • We continue to maximize the operation of our equipment and sawing lines using lean manufacturing techniques.

    Quality control for our products is managed based on Six Sigma principles.

    In 2010, Yves’s son, Benoit Barrette, was named president of Barrette-Chapais Ltd. Since then, he has focused on product optimization and development.

    Because we want to work with the best, we recruit qualified employees and are committed to continually developing everyone’s knowledge.