About our Founders

Poldi Bentley and John Prentice left Austria just before the Second World War. They relocated their families to England, and then to British Columbia after their family business – one of the largest sugar mills in Austria – was nationalized by the Nazis.

They first started a textile business but soon realized there was more opportunity in the forest sector – and began Pacific Veneer Plywood. At about the same time, the Royal Air Force was cut off from its Scandinavian plywood supply so the young company soon found it was the largest supplier of plywood for the RAF. Within a year, they had 1,000 employees and, among other things, they were making plywood for wings of the now-famous Mosquito Bombers.

Today Canfor employs more than 5,300 people and is one of the world’s largest forest products companies. As we celebrate our 75th year in business, we reflect on the legacy of these two visionary entrepreneurs. Canfor continues to grow and prosper on the foundation laid by these two remarkable men, and we move forward with an appreciation of our rich history and our roots as a family company.


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