Hamilton made its reputation as a steel city. But do you know how much the water next to the industrial area contributes to the economic health of the city?
"A growing, diversified port is an enormous asset for Hamilton, in terms of employment and economic activity," said Bruce Wood, the Hamilton Port Authority President and CEO.
“Not only is Hamilton a strategic location on the Great Lakes, it is a community that is clearly open for business with an exceptional labour pool and community support.”
Here's five things about the Port of Hamilton.
Hamilton is home to the largest shipping volume in the Great Lakes.
"The Port of Hamilton is the busiest Canadian port on the Great Lakes, and the Hamilton Port Authority has been undertaking an aggressive strategy to increase and diversify our cargo, and to create new business with a land development focus," Wood said.
Since the implementation of that strategy in 2008, the port has seen results: a 35 per cent growth in agricultural commodities, a 52 per cent growth in general cargo, and a 12 per cent growth in asphalt.
The Port of Hamilton is an economic driver for Hamilton and Ontario. Cargo shipments contribute $5.9 billion of economic activity and 38,000 jobs in Ontario.
More than $2 billion worth of cargo passes through the port each year.
The HPA and its tenants have invested $250 million in the port since 2008, with another $300 million planned over the next few years.
"The investments we are seeing on the part of our tenants reflects a great confidence in Hamilton,” Wood says.
At the Canadian Ports Conference in Hamilton, Minister of Finance Ted Menzies said it was exciting to hear about what's coming to the Port of Hamilton.
“They're competing and expanding,” Menzies said of the port. “They're getting out more exports for Canada, and our plans are to export more.”
He says banner crops are coming from grain producers in the prairies, so the Hamilton port will play an important role in getting that food to where it's needed.
“Ports are gateways to global markets,” he said, noting that exports to Asia are reaching record levels.
“It's good news for this port to see it expanding, and good news for the Hamilton region for jobs.”