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I Forge Iron

Moving to Canada as a Blacksmith

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Im in the planning stages of immigrating to Canada from the UK, I had hoped to move in about a year but with the pandemic it may now be a bit longer. My first step is going to be a holiday / explore of a few places and then I will start the rather complicated looking immigration process.

I wondered if I could please ask you guys some questions?

Is coal / coke easy to get hold of? And the same with metal stock, the UK is such a densely populated area that I have about 50 suppliers to choose from, do you have much choice? I intend to be in a rural area with access to nature ( one of my main reasons for moving ) but within an hour of a substantial population centre, how far out will people deliver things like propane, fuel, metal?

Are there any laws concerning noise / smoke that effect blacksmiths?

Is there much of a blacksmithing community?

Is blacksmithing viewed favourably? Is hand wrought iron valued over mass produced products and will people pay a premium for them?

One of the main reasons im moving is since I now sell online half of my sails are to the USA, the shipping cost is often almost half of the product cost so im hoping that I can attract way more customers by drastically reducing the postage price. I was wondering what your experience of the Canadian postal service was, is it reliable? Does it cost substantially more to send items to the USA than internally?

Anyone have any recommendation of where to live? Everywhere looks beautiful so im having trouble narrowing down my search. Regional immigration variances may make the decision for me but I hope to get a work visa as a self employed craftsmen, failing that I will try to find a job working for someone else. On that note, is there anyone thinking about taking on an employee in the future? 

Thank you!




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Hi Andy, I will try to answer a few of your questions. The only Coal supplier that I have found is Thak Iron works. They are based in Ontario and sell 70lbs bags of coal for 45$. It is good quality bituminous blacksmith coal, but it is a little pricy. As for steel, that is more readily available. Most larger towns would hale at least one supplier. 

If you are within an hour of a larger center you could probably get things delivered, although it would probably be significantly cheaper to pick stuff up yourself.

I don't know of any laws that would impede your blacksmithing, although you shouldn't hold me to that.

British Colombia is a beautiful province, but it seems like blacksmithing equipment is most readily available in Ontario.


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Mr. Andy,

Canada is an enormous country. It is 5,525 miles across (8891). It has a population of about 38,000,000.

The regions of the country are different and distinctive. Many areas of the country have different views, aspirations etc. For example the culture of Quebec province and northern New Brunswick is French speaking and the culture is French with continental "American"  influences.

Be aware that Canadians resemble Americans but their are many subtle differences.

A thorough answer to your many questions would result in a response of many books

Immigration, to Canada, is not as easy as Americans and British folks realize. As with Australia, it has a point system. (check it out). Talents, education, second languages, experience etc. etc. are taken into account and scored.

I suggest that you look up articles about the country, and ask questions and get materials from the Canadian immigration offices situated in Great Britain. (e.g. Canada House, in London  etc.) You will have to research for answers for your many questions. For example postal rates can be researched). The information is out there and easily accessible.

We can discuss the attributes of living in various parts of Canada, and other opinuated suggestions but through personal e-mail. (I have lived in many areas in eastern Canada, and have worked extensively in most areas of the country).

I hope that these notes will be of some limited help.



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Dear Andy,

My experience is in the USA but many areas of Canada are similar.  Blacksmithing can run afoul of local zoning/land use laws in some areas, particularly cities.  In particular, it may not be compatible with residential areas.  If you are running a business you may need to locate it in a commercial or industrial area rather than where you actually live.  If you are doing it as a hobby or a "home occupation" you may be able to do it at home as long as you are not doing anything which annoys the neighbors (smoke, noise, etc.).  Also, some areas may have air pollution regulations which prohibit solid fuel devices such as wood stoves or coal forges either all the time or during certain air pollution levels.

You may also have to obtain a business license from local or provincial authorities and you may have to collect and remit sales tax on your sales.

I also suspect that you will have to demonstrate your past income from your craft.  You basically have to prove that you have resources and skills and probable income so that you will not become a "public charge" and go on the dole.  Do your best to prove that you are a skilled craftsman and that your skills are in demand in Canada.

You may have the choice of being an actual immigrant where you intend to make the new country your permanent home and become a citizen or being a "resident alien" where you retain your UK citizenship.

Good luck and at us know how it turns out.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Hopefully once you vacation thru the country and figure out if you wanna stay i hope you got your own blacksmith gear its expensive to get here especially if you can't make your own tooling.Differant parts of the country will probally pay better than others depending on what you hope to make and your skill .You'll probally have to show on paper you have the skills and our immigration is hard to deal with at times cause of politics.And if you rent a car try to get unlimited milage cause were a big spread out country anyway goodluck if ya got any ques i'll try and help you out....

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im in ontario and can tll you where to get great priced coal and coke. i cant post it but when the time comes if you get here ir are close to coming pm me. mikd steel is easy to get and have delivered, i find our postal system for shipping products leaves much to be desired cost wise. us has better shipping costs. regulations arent a problem if you live outside of the citys and your neighbors dont mind. i have a 250 pound hammer and neighbors are about 700 ft away and never heard anything but nice comments though im sure they hear the hammer running i live just outside of a small town. as for appreciation of hand forged products thats tough here. onatario is a good province to be in with a huge population in toronto kits of people who will pay for quality things however ive purchased 3 big hammers in last 5 years from fabrication shops who specialized in hand forged architectural gates and stuff who were shutting down because in their words there arent enough good paying jobs for that kind of product in ontario anymore. not alot of folks with deep enough pockets that appreciate that kind of work so depending on your specific type of work it could be great here or you may disappointed. thats the best info i can share with you from my experience here 

apparently i shouldnt multitask a coffe in one hand and typing with the other makes for some spelling misstayks.....

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Welcome aboard Andy, glad to have you. What you're thinking of doing is always risky and this may not be the best time for it. Or it may be a great time, I don't know. 

A good market for your product is always a major factor. It might help if we knew what you make. As mentioned above  large operations are having trouble finding large projects to keep their doors open. However if you're a solo shop and have a regular paycheck job skill you aren't dancing the margin. Have a back up plan until you determine where to settle. 

There are regional differences in product demand to consider, a blacksmith in a southern area may sell garden furniture and tools while a blacksmith friend of mine has a strong market in the dog mushing community. Another sells a LOT of house jewelry: railings, stair banisters, chandeliers, door and cabinet hardware, reinforcing elements for log and timber homes, etc. He does a booming business, and is backlogged every time I talk to him. 

As a general outline I suggest having enough savings to travel for quite a while, the pandemic has everything slowed to a crawl or worse. Be prepared to fid a job to keep the bills paid until you build a clientele. Coal availability will depend on you location. I feel having a driver's license and a pickup truck is a good idea on many fronts. Unless you find yourself needing to make a daily commute in  which case a small economical vehicle may be the better choice. 

I'd better stop now, I tend to ramble.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi, I hope you're okay with this situation. maybe you set up production and you need the process control. In that case, as it was with me, I had a need to control for the operational activities of my enterprise. And I came to the conclusion that commercial link removed is a very good option. After all, the production of services or even goods already has a lot of tasks that you have to keep in mind. This solution helped me a lot.

Edited by Mod30
Remove commercial link per TOS
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