toronto niagara hovercraft

Toronto is getting a new high-speed hovercraft to Niagara region

You could be travelling to the famous Niagara Region in speed and style next summer, as an Ontario-based company has announced a new high-speed hovercraft service that will ferry passengers from downtown Toronto to St. Catharines in just 30 minutes.

Hoverlink Ontario Inc. announced on Wednesday that it is in the final stages of approval for a new service linking Ontario Place in Toronto with Port Weller, St. Catharines, and expects its eco-friendly and weatherproof hovercraft route to be operational in summer 2023.

The service promises a faster alternative to the multi-hour car rides and seasonal train routes linking the two regions. And Hoverlink suggests you could ride one of these ultra-quiet (advertised as less noisy than a dishwasher) hovercrafts sooner than expected.

It would run year-round with all-weather craft featuring climate-controlled cabins that would keep passengers comfortable in the frigid winter and blazing-hot summer months as they zip above the lake's surface on cushions of air.

Each amphibious hovercraft holds up to 180 passengers and is capable of making up to 48 lake crossings per day. That adds up to a maximum capacity of 8,640 passengers per hovercraft, per day, or more than three million passengers per year.

The company already has approvals in place to land its hovercrafts at both ports, stating that it has worked with all levels of government and put in more than a decade of due diligence before reaching this final stage of approvals.

"December is months away, yet today we officially announce a gift to families across the Golden Horseshoe," said CFL legend and member of Hoverlink Board of Directors Michael "Pinball" Clemons in a press release, adding that the service is "changing the game."

If it goes forward according to plan, the new service would not only offer a convenient service across the lake, but also promises environmental benefits through the removal of thousands of vehicles from the QEW every day.

Though Hoverlink touts the service as the first of its kind in North America, there have been previous attempts at (non-hovercraft) high-speed ferry services across Lake Ontario, most notably the ill-fated attempt to connect Toronto and Rochester, NY with a catamaran ferry route.

More recent attempts to introduce a ferry service to Niagara Region may still be advancing behind the scenes, like a proposed passenger ferry linking various GTA municipalities and another planned cross-lake ferry from a few years earlier.

Lead photo by

CNW Group/Hoverlink Ontario Inc.

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