Realizing Ontario marine sector’s full economic, environmental and social potential

The Ontario Marine Council is an industry association representing the major stakeholders in Ontario’s marine sectors. Our membership includes Port Operators, Shipyards, Ship Owners, and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.


To ensure Ontario’s marine economy realizes its full economic, environmental and social potential

In partnership with the Ontario government and industry stakeholders, the Ontario Marine Council will work to ensure Ontario’s marine economy realizes its full economic, environmental and social potential.


A successful Ontario marine strategy will identify areas of the marine sector that have yet to realize their full potential and activate policies and resources to promote their growth and sustainability.


To support recommendations #105,106 and 107 of the Connecting the GGH: A Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe to:

Develop an Ontario Marine Strategy, with private and public partners, to improve the performance and sustainability of the marine transport system.

Explore opportunities to support additional marine freight in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway, in collaboration with the federal government and private sector partners.

Continue to work with stakeholders and operators to support the recovery and growth of the passenger cruise ship industry. This includes working with the federal government to resolve regulatory issues related to operating cruises in the Great Lakes.


To support a funded Ontario Marine Strategy that will maintain Ontario’s competitiveness with other jurisdictions on the Great Lakes. A comprehensive Ontario Marine Strategy should prioritize:

  • Investing in infrastructure (Strategic Goods Movement Network, or SGMN)
  • Supporting Ontario Shipyards
  • Establishing multi-modal logistical hubs
  • Developing Short Sea Shipping
  • Increasing the connectivity of the supply chain
  • Investing in training for skilled labour and marine professionals
  • Increase awareness of the marine industry
  • Expanding maritime tourism
  • Promote Ontario’s marine sector globally
  • MTO to establish a Secretariat to launch and manage the Ontario Marine Strategy, fostering collaboration with the industry, within the Ontarian government and other jurisdictions.

Home to some of the largest commercial ports on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, Ontario is both a destination, a gateway to North America’s industrial heartland and a vital link in the global supply chain.

Despite the success of the marine industry in Ontario, we have yet to realize the full potential of our marine assets, lands and waterways. Ontario still lags behind global competitors in shipbuilding, short-sea shipping, marine tourism, multi-model connectivity and other important marine sectors.

Other jurisdictions successfully foster economic growth by promoting and helping the development of their marine industry, thus helping connect them with export opportunities and North American largest industrial hubs.

  • Quebec has established the Quebec Maritime Strategy
  • The Michigan House has just approved the Ports Facilities Improvement Grant and the Marine and Ports Facilities Improvement Office
  • Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all have an industrial port strategy

Why the marine sector is so important to Ontario


Economic Contribution

Ontario’s marine sector is underutilized. Ontario ports, shipyards, shipowners, and waterways have additional capacity to contribute to the Ontario economy.


Ecological Alternative

The marine sector is a driving force behind reducing greenhouse gas emissions. One vessel transporting 30,000 tons of cargo represents 964 trucks off Ontario highways.


Export Materials

Each year, the marine sector in Ontario handles approximately 61.3 million metric tons of cargo. Most of these cargoes are bulk commodities serving major Ontario industries like iron ore and coal for steel making, aggregates and cement for construction materials and road building, grain for Ontario agribusinesses and export markets, de-icing salt for winter road safety, petroleum products for transportation and industrial uses plus a variety of other commodities and finished products.


Job Opportunities

Ontario’s marine sector supports over 70,000 jobs, both on ship and on shore.


Industry Contribution

The marine sector pays its fair share in taxes – helping to support the valuable programs the government of Ontario offers, through an industry contribution of approximately $1.9 billion in municipal, federal and provincial tax revenues.


Economic Activity

The marine sector in Ontario contributes $10 billion in economic activity and $3.9 billion in annual income. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Waterway connect markets within and between Ontario and the rest of North America and the world.


The Ontario Marine Sector is undervalued for the economic and environmental potential, deserving of expanded government support as other modes of transportation despite being a critical link in the transportation network.

Marine can both complement and alleviate pressure on the existing transportation system through a cohesive multi-model network which will have broad economic and environmental benefits.


Support the Ontario marine sectors to promote economic growth and environmental stability.


Port Authorities

Ship Building and Engineering

Ship Operators

Terminal Operators

Marine Stakeholders