New $75-million Port Credit marina will bring big economic benefits to Mississauga, City says
Published September 21, 2021 at 5:34 pm
A new, full-service and modern Port Credit marina that will bring huge economic benefits to Mississauga is now one step closer to becoming a reality.
After a year-long wait, City of Mississauga officials got word last Thursday that Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment had approved terms of reference for the required environmental assessment (EA) of the $75-million project.
The waterfront overhaul seeks to maximize the location’s advantage as Lake Ontario’s deepest natural harbour in making a new-look Port Credit Harbour a destination place that would attract boaters from all over who’d, ideally, spend the day in Port Credit shopping and dining.
As it moves forward with the EA, which when completed must be approved by the Ontario government, Mississauga is looking to provincial and federal governments for money to complete the redevelopment plan, termed by City staff the 1 Port Street East Proposed Marina Project.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie has identified the Port Credit marina undertaking as one of Mississauga’s top two infrastructure priorities, the other being the re-instatement of a downtown loop as part of the Hurontario light rapid transit project.
She added the surrounding community is “incredibly supportive” of the plan, and that beyond the marina, the City is looking to create new land for parks and access to the waterfront.
“Our goal is to create a new destination for recreation, tourism and economic development,” said Crombie.
Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko described the waterfront as the “jewel in the crown of Mississauga” and said Port Credit, most notably with its deep harbour, is the perfect spot for a new, modern marina.
He added funding is needed quickly, though.
“There is an absolute urgency to move forward; it’s vital,” said Dasko, noting the project will create some 200 construction jobs and another 200 working opportunities when the new marina is up and running.
“It’s imperative to keep a marina in Port Credit…it’s a positive in terms of business, as a tourist mecca. It checks all the boxes.”
In the meantime, Dasko has formed an advocacy group comprised of local merchants, residents and others to keep the project on people’s minds and push senior levels of government for cash.
City staff say the natural advantages of a deep harbour cannot be overstated. Port Credit is one of the few Lake Ontario deep-water harbours capable of accommodating big boats, they say.
“That’s a unique advantage of this site as the harbour does not require regular dredging,” staff said. “There is a trend towards bigger boats and this site can accommodate and capitalize on that trend because of the deep waters.”
Staff add that transient boaters coming to the marina could spend the day in Port Credit eating, shopping and spending money.
“Potential economic benefits are significant,” they said.
The EA will study proposed expanded land base for additional waterfront parkland and examine marina alternatives for the site, City staff say.
The existing marina will see its lease expire in 2023. It will not remain as it’s coming to the end of its life cycle, and does not provide public access, City staff say. In its place, a mixed-use neighbourhood is proposed on the wharf.
The new marina will be built on the eastern portion of the site, between Elizabeth and Helene streets.
The 1 Port Street East project is a key element of the City’s much broader Inspiration Port Credit Charting the Future Course Master Plan. It’s intended to help fulfill the Master Plan vision “to ensure that an iconic and vibrant mixed-use waterfront neighbourhood and destination with a full-service marina is developed at the 1 Port St. E. site.”
City officials say the project provides an opportunity to:
- enable the continuation of the site’s historic marina function, which is key to the cultural identity of the Port Credit community
- support marina and other business activity, for the benefit of Mississauga and residents
- create new waterfront parkland with safe public access
- allow for improved aquatic and terrestrial habitat
The City has held two public information sessions so far, the most recent in January 2020, and is planning a third as it seeks input from residents and others. Staff says further public consultation is planned throughout the EA phase, and residents are also encouraged to contact staff directly if they have questions or concerns about the project.
Mississauga operates two other marinas in the city—Lakefront Promenade and Credit Village marinas.
–Historical photo above circa 1910, looking south down the Credit River towards the harbourinsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies