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Hovercraft service plans to take passengers between Toronto and Niagara in 30 minutes

A new hovercraft service could cut travel time between Toronto and the Niagara Region down to 30 minutes.

The hovercraft would operate all year round

A prototype-design of Hoverlink's new hovercraft is speeding on the water on a sunny day depicting it's size, shape, and speed.
The Hoverlink hovercraft is planned to begin travel between Port Weller in St. Catherines and Ontario Place in Toronto in just 30 minutes starting in the summer of 2023. (Hoverlink Ontario Inc.)

A new hovercraft service could cut travel time between Toronto and the Niagara Region down to 30 minutes.

Hoverlink Ontario Inc. announced that they have entered the final stage of approval to introduce a high-speed hovercraft service to the Golden Horseshoe. The first of its kind in North America.

With plans to begin operation next summer, the hovercraft service will travel across Lake Ontario between Ontario Place in downtown Toronto and Port Weller in St. Catharines, Ont., a trip that can take about two hours by car or train.

"What this means for families across our country is potentially game changing," Michael "Pinball" Clemons, Hoverlink's chief government relations officer and former Toronto Argonauts star, said.

"It's a rapid transit solution for the Golden Horseshoe and as most people are saying it now, a game changer," said Chris Morgan, CEO and founder of Hoverlink Ontario Inc.

The company said the service will complete 48 rides each day, carrying up to 180 passengers on each trip. The hovercraft is designed to operate on land, water and ice, making it available for trips year-round.

Ticket prices are expected to be $25 to $30 for one-way and $50 to $60 for a return trip. 

A map view of Lake Ontario showing the route the new hovercraft is planning to take between Port Weller in St. Catherines and Ontario Place Marina in Toronto. It shows the route would take an estimated 30 minutes over the wter.
The Hoverline hovercraft plans to span the 40 to 48km distance between Port Weller in St. Catherines and Ontario Place Marina in Toronto in about 30 minutes. (Hoverlink Ontario Inc.)

But why is there currently no transportation across Lake Ontario?

Spirit of Ontario 1, a fast-ferry company offering rides from Toronto to Rochester, N.Y. tried operating fleets across Lake Ontario in 2004. However, the company only lasted two season before succumbing to financial restraints.

"I think the real difference is the craft itself," said Clemons.

Significant advancements in hovercraft technology have allowed for safe travel across Lake Ontario year-round, Clemons said.

"We wanted to create the safest and most environmentally friendly option available."

Mayor of Niagara Jim Diodati believes it is the perfect time to launch a project like this.

"It's new technology, it's a new time, it's much busier now than it's ever been," he said. "The idea of connecting Toronto and the Niagara region, which is already it's playground, is an idea that is obvious."

Hoverlink said the hovercraft will be a green alternative form of travel as it will limit the number of cars travelling on the QEW. In addition, the hovercraft will leave virtually no wake and not harm shorelines.

With files from Michael To

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