PortsToronto celebrates the arrival of the first ship – to Redpath Sugar refinery
TORONTO - The arrival of the first ship into the Port of Toronto is not only a sign of warmer weather, but the beginning of Toronto’s shipping season. The Port of Toronto plays an important role in Canada’s transportation network and the Toronto economy, allowing for the delivery of concrete, sand and other goods needed to support the city’s booming construction industry, directly into the heart of the city.
Since 1861, PortsToronto’s Harbour Master has crowned the Captain of the first ship into the Port of Toronto with a 200-year-old beaver and silk top hat at the Beaver Hat Ceremony. This year, the M/V Tundra, which arrived from Santos, Brazil, to the Port of Toronto on April 8, delivering thousands of tonnes of cargo to Redpath Sugar’s refinery, won the race and was honoured at the 154th Beaver Hat Ceremony.
The antique top hat used in the Beaver Hat Ceremony originally belonged to Captain John Hooper Meade, who immigrated to Canada from England in 1828 and donated the hat made by Christy’s Hats of London to mark the arrival of the first saltie in 1861. Meade’s grandson, Captain John Allen, was Toronto’s Harbour Master from 1925 to 1930.
Every year, approximately 30 to 45 ocean-going ships visit Toronto, carrying cargo from as far away as China, Australia and South Korea. Last year, more than 160 ships visited the Port, delivering two million tonnes of cargo, an eight-year high for marine imports into the city.
For more than 100 years PortsToronto (formerly Toronto Port Authority) 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. A financially self-sustaining government business enterprise, PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and Terminals 51 and 52, which provide 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 $5.6 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 nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government. PortsToronto is a Proud Supporter of TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.