Port of Toronto Anchors City’s Economic Prosperity with Record Cargo and Cruise Ship Activity

Viking Octantis
The cruise ship Viking Octantis arrived in Thunder Bay at Pool Six

TORONTO – BUSINESS – The Port of Toronto made a significant contribution to Toronto’s economy in 2023. The port witnessed an impressive influx of over 2.3 million metric tonnes of cargo alongside a record-breaking 45 cruise ships, bringing nearly 18,000 visitors through its Cruise Ship Terminal.

This surge in marine imports and cruise ship activity underscores the port’s pivotal role in facilitating tourism, trade, and the construction sector in Toronto.

A Banner Year for Marine Imports and Tourism

Throughout 2023, the Port of Toronto served as a vital conduit for goods essential to daily life and the city’s booming construction industry, one of the busiest in North America. The port efficiently handled a diverse cargo mix including sugar, salt for winter road maintenance, and key construction materials such as cement, aggregate, and steel, affirming its position as a cornerstone of the regional economy.

The consistent flow of 189 cargo ships through the port last year delivered a wealth of products totalling 2,311,616 metric tonnes. Notably, the port imported 606,060 metric tonnes of sugar from Central and South America, supporting Toronto’s robust food and beverage industry, and over 685,661 metric tonnes of salt, critical for winter road safety.

Essential Goods and Construction Materials Drive Growth

The construction sector in Toronto, showing no signs of slowing, received a significant boost from the port’s operations. The port moved an impressive 796,644 metric tonnes of cement—an 11% increase over 2022—along with 97,016 metric tonnes of aggregate and 123,234 metric tonnes of steel products, facilitating ongoing projects across the Greater Toronto Area.

Cruise Ship Terminal Draws Thousands, Boosting Tourism

The Port of Toronto’s Cruise Ship Terminal emerged as a prime destination for Great Lakes cruising, with 2023 marking its second consecutive record-breaking year. This trend is expected to continue into 2024, promising another vibrant cruise ship season that will contribute significantly to Toronto’s tourism economy.

PortsToronto’s Economic and Environmental Contributions

An independent report by Martin Associates in September 2023 highlighted the substantial economic impact of marine shipping through the Port of Toronto, generating $463.5 million in economic activity and supporting 1,989 jobs in Ontario in 2022. Beyond economic gains, the port’s operations also offer environmental benefits by reducing road congestion and emissions, with the cargo handled last year equivalent to removing approximately 57,000, 40-tonne trucks from Toronto’s roads.

About the Port of Toronto

Serving as Toronto’s gateway to the St. Lawrence Seaway and international ports since 1793, the Port of Toronto is a critical piece of infrastructure supporting the city’s economic vitality. Managed by PortsToronto, it stands as a testament to the organization’s century-long commitment to fostering economic growth within Toronto and the broader region, through diverse operations that include marine shipping, cargo services, and the burgeoning film industry, among others.

About PortsToronto

For over a century, PortsToronto has played a pivotal role in enhancing Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area’s economic landscape. Owning and operating key facilities like Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, the Outer Harbour Marina, and the marine Port of Toronto, PortsToronto is dedicated to sustainable community development, having invested over $14 million since 2009 in various charitable and environmental initiatives.

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