Port of Toronto Drives More Than of $460 Million in Economic Activity

Toronto (November 6, 2023) – Marine cargo handled at the Port of Toronto generated $463.5 million in economic activity and 1,989 jobs in Ontario in 2022, details a new report – Economic Impacts of Marine Shipping in the Port of Toronto – published in September 2023 by Martin Associates.
Economic Impacts of Marine Shipping in the Port of Toronto, which uses 2022 data, highlights the economic benefits of the Port of Toronto as a vital part of Toronto’s transportation infrastructure and economic strength. The Port of Toronto moved 2,346,724 metric tonnes of cargo in 2022.
“This study further confirms the Port of Toronto’s role as an economic engine and key piece of infrastructure within the transportation ecosystem servicing the Greater Toronto Area,” said RJ Steenstra, President and Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. “Unlocking sustainable marine connectivity into the heart of Canada’s largest city for businesses, the Port of Toronto is also a gateway for cruise travel and hub for film and television production that blends seamlessly into Toronto’s iconic waterfront.”
Key findings of the study:
  • The marine cargo handled at the Port of Toronto marine terminals generated $463.5 million in economic activity in Ontario.
  • 1,989 jobs in Ontario are supported by the cargo moving via the marine terminals located at the Port of Toronto.
  • 673 jobs are directly generated by the marine cargo and vessel activity at the marine terminals at the Port of Toronto.
  • The 673 individuals directly employed as a result of the cargo handled at the marine terminals of Port of Toronto received $149.7 million in wages and salaries. These individuals, in turn, used these earnings to purchase good and services, to pay taxes, and for savings.
  • A total of $79.1 million in provincial and federal taxes were generated by cargo and vessel activity at the Port of Toronto, with $30.2 million generated at the provincial level and $49.0 million generated at the federal level.
This study focuses exclusively on the cargo component of the Port of Toronto and does not reflect the port’s full diversity of uses. The Port of Toronto is also a popular Great Lakes cruising port of call, welcoming a record 54 cruise ships and more than 22,000 passengers in 2023. According to Cruise the Great Lakes, an initiative led by the Conference of Great Lakes Governors and Premiers, cruising in the Great Lakes generated an economic value of over $120 million USD to the region’s ports and communities in 2022. The Port of Toronto also supports Toronto’s $2 billion film industry by providing a production hub for industry players such as Cinespace and Netflix.
Visit PortsToronto’s website to read the full report or take a tour of the Port of Toronto to learn about the important role the Port plays in Canada's transportation network as well as the environmental benefit of marine transportation.
About the Study
These results are part of wider study entitled Economic Impacts of Maritime Shipping in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region released in July 2023 that showed cargo shipments to ports on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River waterway generated $66.1 billion CDN worth of economic activity and 355,000 jobs in Canada and the U.S. That breaks down to 93,936 jobs and $12.5 billion CDN in economic activity in Ontario and Quebec. The results included cargo carried on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and Lower St. Lawrence River.
The report, Economic Impacts of Marine Shipping in the Port of Toronto, isolates the economic impacts created by all cargo and vessel activity at the Port of Toronto. The study, which uses 2022 data, was carried out by respected economic consultants Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Martin Associates was retained to perform this analysis by a consortium of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes and St. Lawrence marine industry stakeholders. A steering committee including the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, the American Great Lakes Ports Association, the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the Lake Carriers’ Association, and the Shipping Federation of Canada.
The full study is available on the Chamber of Marine Commerce website.
About Martin Associates
Martin Associates (John C. Martin Associates, LLC) is an internationally recognized economic and transportation consulting firm.  Since its founding in 1986 by Dr. John C. Martin, Martin Associates has conducted more than 1,500 economic and planning studies for nearly every port in the United States and Canada, as well as ports in China, Europe, Ireland, South America and the Caribbean.
About the Port of Toronto
Since 1793, the Port of Toronto has served as Toronto’s gateway to the St. Lawrence Seaway and to marine ports around the world. Serving primarily as a bulk cargo destination, the port boasts a unique location minutes from Toronto’s downtown and moves goods from countries as far away as Germany, South Korea, China, Brazil, Australia, South America and the United States. In addition to managing the movement of ships through the harbour, PortsToronto is the owner and operator of Marine Terminals 51, 52 and the Cruise Ship Terminal within the Port of Toronto.
The Port of Toronto is one of Canada's inland ports and is situated on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario. Located minutes from Toronto's downtown core, the Port provides a seamless network of cost-effective intermodal links to road, rail and air transportation, serving as a unique and crucial piece of economic infrastructure. Marine cargo arriving and managed at the Port of Toronto generated $377.7 million in economic activity and 1,566 jobs in Ontario in 2017. Port also welcomes cruise ships and passengers from around the globe through the Cruise Ship Terminal.
Take a virtual tour of the Port of Toronto to learn about the important role the Port plays in Canada's transportation network as well as the environmental benefit of marine transportation.
About PortsToronto
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $14 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
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Media Contact
Jessica Pellerin
Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Cell: (647) 298-0585
E-mail: jpellerin@portstoronto.com