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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Port Of Hamilton, Canada

Hamilton Port is on the west end of Lake Ontario on the southern shores of Burlington Bay about 70 kilometers southwest of Toronto. Located near several major cities (Toronto, Buffalo, and New York), it is well positioned as an important trade hub for cargoes like coal, steel, grain, and petroleum products. A six-kilometer sandbar protects the harbor from Lake Ontario. In addition to its port, Hamilton is one of Canada’s major industrial centers, with the country’s biggest iron and steel industries, and the site of a huge open-air market. In 2006, the Port of Hamilton was home to almost 650 thousand people.


In 1669, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle first visited the site that is now Port Hamilton, but the area was not settled until 1778 when Loyalists left the rebelling 13 colonies in America. The town’s namesake, George Hamilton, laid its original site in 1815 when he purchased the Durand farm after the War of 1812. Port Hamilton soon became a highly-populated industrial area called the “Golden Horseshoe.”

Until the opening of the Burlington Canal in 1830, Port Hamilton was eclipsed by Dundas. The Canal opened passage to Lake Ontario for the landlocked Burlington Bay and started a period of rapid growth for Port Hamilton as a rail center and port.

Ninth biggest city in Canada since 1981, it is Ontario’s third biggest city. Today’s Port Hamilton was formed when it was consolidated in 2001 with towns that had formerly been part of the metropolitan area.


In 2001, the Hamilton Port Authority officially came into being to replace the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners that had governed the port since 1912. The Port Hamilton Port Authority operates and maintains the port and facilitates the development of modern, secure, and environmentally responsible services and facilities.

Handling more cargo and traffic than any other Canadian Great Lakes port, Port Hamilton is one of the top ten Canadian ports. Each year, 700 vessels call at its 11 thousand meters of dock carrying over 12 million tons of cargo. Cargoes include raw materials like iron ore and coal, sand, salt, soybeans, grains, jet fuel, and liquid fertilizers.

In 2007, Port Hamilton handled over 11.7 million tons of cargo, including 10.9 million tons of Canadian and U.S. cargoes on 700 vessels and almost 925 million tons of international cargo on 112 vessels.

Part of the Port Hamilton Port Authority’s mission is to enhance and improve public access to the waterfront and enhance support the development of commercial enterprises like restaurants and shops there. To this end, the port is working on Fishermans Pier, which has long been a gathering place for the community, to include recreational facilities to serve residents and visitors. The marina in Port Hamilton can dock about 250 vessels and can store more than 400 vessels in the winter.

Port Hamilton contains the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Bruce Trail. It is also home to McMaster University and several other colleges as well as the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. In 2006, Port Hamilton was recognized as an emerging arts and culture center, with several art galleries, production facilities for independent films, and recording studios.

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum features aircraft used by the Canadian military from World War II to the present. The Royal Botanical Gardens protects over 1100 species of plants, including some that are found only here. Bruce Trail is an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve covering over 800 kilometers following the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. Beginning on the Niagara River near the falls at Queenston, it ends at General Brock’s Monument in Queenston Heights.

Visitors to Port Hamilton will enjoy seeing the Dundurn Castle, a National Historic Site where Sir Allan Napier MacNab lived in the 1800s. The Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology is also a National Historic Site, and it contains two steam engines that pumped clean water to the city more than 140 years ago.

The Westfield Heritage Village is a 131-hectare area of pristine woods and unspoiled meadows that contains over 35 historic buildings spanning the city’s history. This was the site for filming of much of the Anne of Green Gables TV series. The 1796 Battlefield House and Museum in Stoney Creek where staff wear period dress and demonstrate daily life in the late 18th Century.

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