Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hamilton Port Authority

The St. Lawrence River
North America's St. Lawrence water system...which includes the Great Lakes...is one of the largest in the world and is responsible for draining more than a quarter of the Earth's fresh water reserves. The artery of this system, the St. Lawrence River, reaches deep into the interior of this massive continent, connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened to navigation in 1959. Construction of the 189-mile (306 km) stretch of the Seaway between Montreal and Lake Ontario is recognized as one of the most challenging feats in history. Seven locks were built in the Montreal and Lake Ontario section of the Seaway (5 Canadian and 2 U.S.) in order to lift vessels to 246 feet (75 km) above sea level. The 28 mile (44 km) Welland Canal is the fourth version of a waterway link between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, first built in 1829. The present canal was completed in 1933...deepened in the 1950's as part of the Seaway project...and further strengthened in 1973. Today, its 8 locks, all Canadian, lift ships 326 feet (100 km) over the Niagara Escarpment.
The St. Lawrence Seaway system extends 3,700 km (2,340 miles)
from the Atlantic to the head of the Great Lakes.

The Hamilton Port Authority is shared by recreational boaters and commercial vessels. Hamilton's port is the largest port in Ontario by tonnage, handling about 10 million tonnes of mixed cargo and receiving approximately 650 vessels per year. A 2010 study revealed that cargo contributed to $6 billion in economic activity and 38,000 jobs in the Province of Ontario.

Port of Hamilton is Shipshape for Spring
Excerpts from a recent article by The Hamilton Spectator's Natalie Paddon
The first day of spring marks the start of shipping season at the Port of Hamilton.
Twenty-one vessels including ships and barges passed the winter and underwent repairs in Hamilton and will be venturing back into the Great Lakes starting March 20,” says Hamilton Port Authority spokesperson Larissa Fenn.

The maintenance work conducted here is part of an estimated $160 million spent on infrastructure and repair projects this winter by Canadian ship owners and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in ports ranging from Sarnia to Port Colborne to Thunder Bay, according to the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “The Hamilton port never really sleeps,” said Fenn. “There's a lot to do on board the vessels and on the terminals on land.”

Work has continued on a new $45-million wheat flour mill for the milling division of grain-handling giant Parrish and Heimbecker Limited that sits at the foot of Wellington Street North. Another going concern is a new $50 million grain terminal by Winnipeg-based G3 Global Grain Group at Pier 26 off Eastport Drive. Both are expected to begin service this year.

Ships that spent the winter in the Port of Hamilton belong to companies such as McKeil Marine, Lower Lakes Marine and Algoma Central,” said Fenn. While all of their vessels underwent routine maintenance like generator and engine overhauls, their biggest project ws a “total cargo hold re-coating for the Radcliffe R. Latimer,” Kelly Humes stated, involving “about 50,000 or 60,000 square feet of steel.”
An attached photo shows...Longshoremen loading locally manufactured components for export at Pier 26 last November.

HMCS Haida National Site: Located at Bayfront Park's Pier 9 in Hamilton is a significant tourist attraction: The HMCS Haida. It was a Tribal class destroyer that served WWII , the Korean conflict and the Cold War. The Haida (an Indian Tribal name) is the Royal Canadian Navy's most famous ship...and the only historic destroyer today, available to view!

Burlington Bay's Scenic Views
Living and teaching in Hamilton Schools for several years, it was always a specialty to weekend-drive along Burlington's Northshore Boulevard and view the horizon across the Bay to Hamilton Harbour and the city's escarpment level. Often a ship was seen, anchored near the Skyway Bridge or in the harbour waiting for unloading/loading of products for and from other ports along the St. Lawrence Seaway...and frequently freighters from overseas flying their countries' flags.

At Christmas time, the night lights of the Hamilton skyline were stunning...and the display of Christmas lights and decorations along Northshore Boulevard were amazing. Often, winter's view across the Bay gave us ice-boats as they glided, wind-driven along the frozen water. And in the summer, such a pleasure to view regattas from the Bay's sailboat marinas.

Who could not enjoy and appreciate the magnificent scenic views
that the Niagara Escarpment offers us? We are so blessed!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...March 9, 2017

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