Port of Hamilton receives $17.7 million federal government investment to modernize port infrastructure

HAMILTON – Transport Minister Marc Garneau visited Hamilton to announce an investment of $17.7 million in the Port of Hamilton from the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF). The federal investment will be matched by the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA), in support of the port’s $35.45 million Westport Modernization Project.

“Our government is investing in Canada’s economy by improving our trade and transportation corridors. We are supporting projects that will efficiently move commercial goods to market and people to their destinations, stimulate economic growth, create quality middle-class jobs, and ensure that Canada’s transportation networks remain competitive and efficient.” Said Minister Garneau.

The HPA’s plan for Westport is to create a multi-modal transportation hub. Currently, officials say not all areas of the Westport zone are accessible by rail from other areas of the port.

The improvements will also help address the challenge that the port has been facing in recent years of not having enough development-ready parcels of land to meet the demand from potential port users. HPA expects to leverage today’s investments into $80-90 million in new business attraction.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said the investment is promising for growth in Hamilton’s transportation industry. “The Hamilton Port Authority is an important economic hub for our ambitious city. Our government recognizes this and I am proud of the investment announced today. It will encourage the creation of jobs and business opportunities in Hamilton and across Canada,” said Eisenberger. “Hamilton is proud of our port. The Westport modernization is closely aligned with the city’s vision for the industrial north end. This project will increase employment, add to the municipal tax base, and green the transitional areas between the port and the surrounding neighbourhood. This investment is an example of how our port, federal government and city are working together to grow and diversify Hamilton’s economy now and for the future.”

Westport is a 115-hectare area located at the west end of the Port of Hamilton. Among the oldest industrial employment areas in the City of Hamilton, the Port’s landholdings spanning Piers 10-15 were assembled piece-by-piece over many decades. The result is a collection of uses that are not space optimized, with insufficient modal connections (gaps in rail network/no road or rail service at some piers), with infrastructure that in some cases exceeds 100 years old.

Ian Hamilton, President & CEO, Hamilton Port Authority said, “This investment recognizes what a critical trade gateway the Great Lakes are, in serving Canada’s most populated area, and the country’s industrial heartland. This project is important because the Port of Hamilton is virtually out of room to grow, yet has unmet demand from users who want to invest in trade-oriented business in Ontario. Improvements to the Westport area will optimize the port’s current footprint, create new development parcels, and help Canadian companies get their goods to global markets.”

The Port of Hamilton is the largest port in Ontario and the primary marine gateway to the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area (GTHA). The Port of Hamilton is critical infrastructure for key Ontario industries, facilitating international trade flows and supporting domestic supply chains. It is Southern Ontario’s largest gateway for overseas exports of Ontario-grown corn, wheat and soybeans, handling more than a million tonnes of exports per year. It is also the Largest gateway for imports of crop inputs used in southern Ontario agricultural production and an essential infrastructure for raw material imports from the U.S. for iron ore and coal used in steelmaking.

The port is also the export gateway for Ontario manufactured components and factory equipment and machinery and petrochemical products.

Close to 10 million MT of marine cargo transits the port each year, more than all other southern Ontario ports combined. This cargo has a value of $1.9 billion, with internationally-traded products representing more than half of that value total. In addition to marine cargo, the Port of Hamilton handles an increasing amount of rail traffic. In 2016, more than 6,000 rail cars transited the port, a number that has doubled in the last five years.

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