Ontario hovercraft company to launch 30-min transit from downtown Toronto to Niagara region
Published Wednesday, September 14, 2022 10:30AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 14, 2022 10:30AM EDT
Residents could soon jet from downtown Toronto to St. Catharines, Ont. in just thirty minutes via a new rapid transit hovercraft.
In an announcement issued Wednesday, Ontario Hoverlink Ltd. said it’s in the final stages of approval for the project, set to launch in summer 2023.
Once completed, the vessel will depart from Ontario Place on Toronto’s waterfront and arrive at Port Weller, St. Catharines in just half an hour – a trip that usually takes two to three hours by car.
"Toronto and Niagara Region are about to get a whole lot closer,” Ontario Hoverlink Ltd. Founder and CEO Chris Morgan said in the release.
“We cannot wait to finally provide a fast, reliable and sustainable transportation solution that connects tourists and commuters in only 30 minutes.”
The company plans to make up to 48 lake crossings per day using two vessels -- the Griffon BHT-130 and BHT-150 model hovercrafts. Up to 180 passengers will be permitted on board on each journey. Vehicles will not be permitted on the craft.
The first of their kind in North America, the hovercraft vessels are weatherproof, the company says, and can travel over water, land, and ice. There will be no outdoor seating areas, the company says.
“The crafts hover on a cushion of air above the water, so they leave [..] no wake or wash,” the release said, adding the noise decibel omitted by the machines is less than a household dishwasher.
General Manager and former player for the Toronto Argonauts, Michael 'Pinball' Clemons, has signed onto the project, sitting on Ontario Hovercraft Ltd.'s board of directors.
"Hoverlink's hovercraft service will unite families to sporting events, theatre, concerts, adult gaming and one of the natural wonders of the world in 30 minutes," Clemons stated in the release.
The company says it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by “taking hundreds of cars off [Queen Elizabeth Way] everyday.”
The service is set to operate year-round. Information on pricing will be released closer to the 2023 launch date.
On Sept. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Hoverlink is holding a public consultation event located at Grantham Lions Club at 732 Niagara Street in St Catharines, Ont.