They are expensive here in the US too! You can buy Commercial grade pine boxes from Mann Lake for $14-$16 per box, depending on the quantity. Select grade is $16 to $23, so it looks like Canadians get a great deal!
Glad you happy with the finish. I have slatted racks and hive top feeders in Cypress and Pine, because they are not available in Western Red Cedar (WRC). I definitely notice the colour difference, but WRC is so variable, that for a small vertical stretch of the hive, it is acceptable!
I just got a frame jig - don't have a box jig. As I have around 100 frames to assemble at some point, I thought the investment was worth it. I already have an upholstery stapler (compressed air) and some ~4cm length staples, so I am hoping it will be fun!
Good luck with your bees, and when you have time, some photos would be awesome!