Certification & Installation
A wood stove does not have to be certified to be used in Canada! Tens of thousands of non-certified stoves are legally used in all provinces.
This guide is meant only as a reference, we invite you to research the laws in your locality. We also recommend discussing the installation with your installer prior to purchasing any stove.
1) EPA Certification
This is a US wood stove requirement which regulates smoke emission levels, not safety, and a) doesn't apply in most of Canada, b) does not apply to cook stoves even in USA (40CFR60, 60.530 (b) 4): EPA laws
Proof of exemption in Nova Scotia: Energy Efficient Appliances Regulation (see item 45 in the table)
Same for BC: Environmental Management Act (see Exceptions)
Ourr understanding is that it's the same with Quebec, though the wording is confusing: Quebec laws (see sec. 4 & 5 about cook stoves). In any case Quebec laws regulate only selling, not using the stoves.
2) Safety Certification (UL, CSA, Intertek etc)
There are 2 types of wood burning appliances: certified and uncertified and both are completely legal in Canada. These terms refer to whether a stove has been tested by an independent lab and stamped with their mark of approval. A classic example of uncertified stoves widely in use today is any antique stove: the antique stoves preceded certification rules & bodies. Canada has NO REGULATIONS on wood stoves on the national level. Please check your local building code and city by-laws whether or not they have any restrictions on uncertified stoves. However, in many cases getting an uncertified stove means higher clearances between the stove and combustible materials (drywall, wood studs etc). You can greatly reduce this distance by using heat shields to cover your walls. Remember that these clearances apply only to combustibles, if the wall is not considered combustible by the Building Code, and there are no other combustibles within the distance specified by the Code then you can put your stove even flush against the wall.
You can find clearances and other installation details for uncertified stoves in Canada: here
You may also want to check with your home insurance company first. Insurance companies are private (or public) businesses and have their own requirements. We did extensive research among them and most replied that the requirements are set by brokers, not underwriters. If your broker requires a wood stove to be certified make sure to ask exactly which certification they are after:
1) If they need the stove itself to be ULC or CSA certified then you need to either change the insurance company or go with a certified stove, such as our Regina model.
2) But quite often they will require only a report of safe installation, in other words: WETT. A WETT report can be provided by a WETT-certified installer which you can find in the directory in the link above. A WETT installer can install both certified and uncertified stoves. It is important to understand that you can also install any appliance yourself following the installation rules in the link above and have a WETT-certified installer simply come and provide you with an inspection report.
From time to time we hear about WETT installers refusing to install a non-certified stove. Please ask for the reason for this and if your installer refers to "rules" please ask for the link to a published law. In some cases they may be right (your city may have a by-law against uncertified stoves) but we have seen many cases where this wasn't the case. Some installers prefer to work with certified stoves for liability reasons, others are interested to sell their own stoves, yet others just mean that the stove cannot be installed exactly in the location that you want (this may be true), but not that it cannot be installed at all.
A CSA or ULC certified stove will come with its own clearances specified on the label (typically 12" to 16") on the rear and two sides.
Lastly, if you are replacing a properly installed uncertified stove you can safely do so without consulting anyone.
The material above is provided purely for reference, it is not professional advice. The exact details of your installation may be different than discussed above. Please consult your installer or Building Code regarding the proper installation of your stove.