Local authority vows to fix unsafe Burlington piers at Hamilton Harbour


Published June 28, 2022 at 2:41 pm

The new overseer of the Burlington canal piers wants to make the popular hiking and viewing sites safe for people to continue using.

The dual piers, which guide ships under the Burlington Skyway, are in need of repair and, over the winter, the federal government actually installed gates on them to restrict access.

However, today, it was announced that oversight of the piers was going from the federal government to the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) at the end of this week.

“Bringing the canal piers into local control allows us to move forward as partners to improve these spaces for public use,” said Ian Hamilton, HOPA’s president and CEO.

“HOPA is pleased to be part of the solution, and today’s partnership is a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together. The piers need to be safe, and that’s going to be our focus over the next year.

“We are also working with the cities of Hamilton and Burlington to develop a lease arrangement that will see them invest in recreational enhancements and open the piers for public use.

“There’s nowhere better in the Hamilton-Burlington area to watch a big ship come into the harbour, and we’re thrilled that residents of Hamilton and Burlington will be able to enjoy that experience for many years to come.”

Burlington MP Karina Gould was also at the news conference announcing the transfer.

“For years, the lift bridge piers have been a favourite place for Burlington and Hamilton residents to connect with the water and with nature,” she said.

“The transfer of the piers to the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority will ensure they remain open and accessible to the public while ensuring public safety. I am so glad that the piers will reopen and that the public will be able to continue to enjoy them for years to come.”

The federal government believes new management of port facilities can help Canada’s ports thrive and create jobs. It can also expand or improve these facilities for new uses that benefit local communities.

Transport Canada currently manages the Burlington canal piers, consisting of the north-east and south piers at the Burlington Canal.

Located at the entry of the Hamilton Harbour, the piers are an important access point for ships to enter and exit the Port of Hamilton. They are also a popular community site, with connections to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

In managing the piers, HOPA will carry on Transport Canada’s commitment for a marine system that is responsive to both the needs of users and the local community.

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