Spring Shipping Season Kicks Off

The Toronto Port Authority (TPA), today, officially welcomed the first ocean-vessel (known as a ‘saltie’) of the 2011 spring shipping season.

The TPA celebrated the arrival of the marine vessel Tundra with a Beaver Hat Ceremony. The ceremony has marked the spring opening of the Port to ocean-going vessels since 1861.

The Beaver Hat Ceremony, which is steeped in tradition, saw the Tundra’s captain, Mykola Sarayev, don a nearly-200-year-old beaver and silk top hat. He was ‘crowned’ by the Toronto Port Authority’s Harbour Master, Angus Armstrong and also received a commemorative briefcase and a $100 cheque.

The Tundra docked at 1:15 AM on Sunday March 27 at Redpath Sugar. The ship almost missed out on the title of first ‘saltie’. Late last week, the Beluga Fusion which was coming from Wilmington, North Carolina, had a substantial lead and was expected to be crowned first ‘saltie’. However, the Tundra gained a six-hour lead. The Fusion berthed at Marine Terminal 51 at 7:30 AM.

“This was exciting stuff,” said Harbour Master Angus Armstrong “it just shows how busy the shipping season is going to be. We’re going to have a lot of ships coming in.”

In addition to being the ceremony’s 150th year, 2011 marks the Port of Toronto’s centenary, which will be marked by celebrations later this year.


Media Contact: Irene Quarcoo, Communications Officer