Port of Toronto Moves more than 2.2 Million Metric Tonnes of Cargo in 2021

Toronto (February 23, 2022) – Imports of cement, steel, sugar and salt moving through the Port of Toronto and directly into the heart of Canada's largest city in 2021 surpassed 2.2 million metric tonnes for the 5th consecutive year. Bypassing trade gateways disrupted by the pandemic, Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway shipping routes remained reliable and congestion free, reinforcing the Port of Toronto’s important role in the national supply chain. Overall, 190 cargo vessels visited the Port of Toronto in 2021, delivering a range of  bulk, project and general cargo products totalling 2,295,815 metric tonnes – a four per cent increase from 2020.
The Port had another strong year moving construction materials including steel coils and rebar, cement and aggregate. In 2021, the port recorded cement cargo and steel imports reaching 19 and 18-year highs respectively, with more than 734,000 metric tonnes of cement and 185,000 metric tonnes of steel transiting through the port to construction sites throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Aggregate tonnage more than doubled year-over-year, with 215,232 metric tonnes moving through the port to supply various land erosion projects led by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. In addition to importing 572,683 metric tonnes of sugar from Central and South America to support Toronto’s food and beverage industry, the port moved 583,425 metric tonnes of salt and saw 4,365 metric tonnes of container services tonnage – a 15 per cent increase over 2020 for container services.
“Shipping has a major role to play in ensuring the sustained resiliency of our national supply chain. In 2021, the Port of Toronto continued to provide a reliable trade gateway for the transportation of goods to the Greater Toronto Area, connecting Toronto to marine ports around the world while much of our transportation sector experienced delays. Further to the economic benefits to the region, shipping is a more efficient way to move goods and produces far less carbon emissions per tonne kilometre than other industries in Canada’s transportation system,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto. “While the Port of Toronto will continue to play an essential role in our national supply chain in 2022, it will also play an important role supporting Toronto’s tourism sector as we anticipate hosting a record 37 cruise ships in 2022, including a number of new cruise ships designed for expedition cruising on the Great Lakes.”
  • Supporting Toronto’s tourism and hospitality sectors, the Port of Toronto expects to host a record 37 cruise ships between May and October 2022, including a number of new cruise ships designed for expedition cruising on the Great Lakes. A gateway to Canada's largest city, the Port of Toronto is a turnaround port, allowing Toronto to host arriving and departing cruise ship passengers for several days as they enjoy the many accommodations, restaurants and attractions the city has to offer.
  • In 2021, the Port of Toronto saw the arrival of three bridge spans from Nova Scotia via tug/barge for Waterfront Toronto’s Villiers Island project, and was critical in providing berthing for marine equipment working on the City of Toronto Ashbridge’s Bay Sewer Treatment Plant new outfall project.
  • Through its mixed-use facilities, the Port also plays a role in supporting Toronto’s $2 billion film industry by providing a production hub for industry players such as Cinespace and Netflix. This complementary use is facilitated in parallel with traditional port and cruise ship terminal operations, and has proven to be successful in ensuring the full utilization of PortsToronto property.
  • In addition to its economic impact, increased imports through the Port of Toronto has a positive impact on the environment given the 2.2 million metric tonnes of cargo delivered by ship last year took approximately 57,000, 40-tonne trucks off Toronto's congested roads and highways.

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 $12 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 board with representation from all three levels of government.
Media Contact:
Jessica Pellerin
Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs
Cell: (647) 298-0585
E-mail: jpellerin@portstoronto.com