I often get emails from people who come across my website asking where I get the wood for my projects, both the old weathered barnboard and the live edge slabs I've been working with lately for tables and benches.
And I don't mind sharing some tips!
Your best bet to get cheap barnboard is through Craigslist and Kijiji, if you can find a farmer selling wood from a fallen (or soon to be) barn. These postings come and go but if you're lucky and find one, expect to pay $2 per foot, and up.
Try a search like "barn board" or "barnboard" or "barn board foot" (the last search will weed out other posts for barnboard furniture).
If nothing's available in Toronto, try expanding your search to surrounding areas like Oshawa, Barrie, Hamilton, etc.
You can also find barnboard in retail stores such as Urban Tree Salvage, but expect to pay at least double what you'd pay a farmer directly.
Similarly with live edge slabs, you can try Craigslist and Kijiji for the best deal, although with this wood you may want to go with a retail shop.
When working with live edge slabs it's very important that they be dried and moisture free, or before long you'll find the wood warping and splitting. Some slabs you'll find online may have been air dried for years, or better yet have been kiln-dried, but you'll have to take the seller at their word that the wood is ready to use. Shops like Urban Tree Storage or Roca Wood Works kiln-dry all their slabs, so while it'll cost more (including having to pay tax), it's a safer purchase.