Total Employment


Total Business Revenue


Total Taxes Paid



Ontario Relies on Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping

Ontario's shoreline borders Lakes Superior, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. The province's 29 ports handle more than 62 million tons of inbound and outbound cargo annually.

Great Lakes Seaway shipping provides the most cost effective mode of transport for many industries in Ontario's manufacturing center, which extends from Oshawa to the Niagara Peninsula west to Windsor and to Sarnia. Major steel producers depend on lake vessels to receive shipments of iron ore, coal and limestone at their facilities in Hamilton, Nanticoke and Sault Ste. Marie. Ontario steel products are used in the automobile, construction and consumer goods sectors. Salt mined in Goderich and Windsor is loaded onto vessels for delivery to both Canadian and U.S. communities for winter road deicing. Aggregates quarried from the north shore of Lake Huron and Manitoulin Island are transported by vessel to communities throughout the Great Lakes region and used in construction and other infrastructure projects. Farm products from western Ontario and the Canadian prairies are loaded on vessels at the Port of Thunder bay for export to overseas markets.

Economic Impacts (In 2018 USD)

JobsPersonal IncomeBusiness RevenueLocal PurchasesTotal Taxes Paid
70,647$2.99 billion$6.4 billion$2.18 billion$1.49 billion

Investments (In 2013 USD)

Invested in Ontario port, terminal and waterway infrastructure
$996 million

Ontario Port Activity

PortMajor Cargoes Handled
BathCement, gypsum
BowmanvilleCoal, salt, gypsum
Bruce Mines Limestone
ClarksonLimestone, coal, cement, gypsum
CourtrightLimestone, coal
GoderichGrain, salt
HamiltonIron ore, coal, grain, general cargo, salt, gypsum
Heron BayCement
MarathonLiquid bulk
Meldrum BayLimestone
MichipicotenIron ore
NanticokeIron ore, coal, liquid bulk
OakvilleLiquid bulk
OshawaGeneral cargo, salt, cement, potash
Owen SoundGrain, salt
Parry SoundSalt
PictonCoal, cement, gypsum
Port CreditCoal
Port ColborneLimestone, grain, salt
Port LambtonCoal
Port StanleyGrain
PrescottLimestone, grain, salt
SarniaLimestone, grain, liquid bulk, potash
Saulte Ste. MarieIron ore, coal
Serpent HarborCoal
ThessalonLimestone, sand/gravel
Thunder BayCoal, grain, salt, potash, sand/gravel
TorontoGeneral cargo, salt, sand/gravel
WindsorLimestone, coal, grain, general cargo, salt, liquid bulk, sand/gravel

Economic Impacts of Maritime Shipping in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region, Martin Associates (July 2018)
Infrastructure Investment Survey of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System, Martin Associates (January 2015)

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