there's a product called red devil lye at most grocery stores in the states (i think) that's usualy located with the cleaning products. i've nevr seen it in canada, but from all reports, it SHOULD be widely avaolable throughout north america.
i actually got some in pellet form from a chemicals manufacturer in my city. when i talked to him, he gave me this huge (to me, anyways) container for free, because he said that unless i was buying it by the truckload, it didn't make sense to charge me for it. asking around can really pay off! i got mine just by flipping through the yellow pages and making a few calls.
i hope that helps! if nothing else, you may have to order some online through a soap making supply company as a last resort.