Over the years, the industrial shoreline in Hamilton was
straightened and expanded through reclamation, with the
addition of several piers capable of docking salties (ocean going
vessels) and the largest of lake freighters.
When Dofasco constructed its first blast furnace and a coke
plant in 1951, part of the facilities were built on reclaimed
harbour lands. As Dofasco purchased iron ore mines in Quebec,
and expanded to four blast furnace operations, its freight
tonnage in the harbour increased exponentially. Soon, the
company became, and still remains, the largest shipper on
the Great Lakes with iron ore being a dominant commodity
being shipped.
The Port of Hamilton is Canada’s busiest bulk cargo port in
the Great Lakes. Some eight to ten million metric tons of iron
ore and coal are shipped to Hamilton by water each year. On a
yearly basis, the Burlington Canal lift bridge will operate about
times to allow some 6,500 vessels to pass through,
more than 650 of which are cargo-carrying vessels. On average
approximately 200 of those are destined for Piers 20 and 21,
the ArcelorMittal Dofasco docks.
Eighty nine years to the day since the first commissioners
of Hamilton Harbour swore their oaths of office, the Hamilton
Harbour Commissioners turned the page to the new Hamilton
Port Authority. ArcelorMittal Dofasco has long been an active
participant in Port affairs. Several former Dofasco executives
have served as Harbour Commissioners or members of the
Port Authority Board of Directors.
The S.S. F.A. Sherman, part of the Upper Lakes
and St. Lawrence Transportation Company Fleet,
was christened on May 31st, 1958 in Port Weller,
Ontario. It was the flagship of the company at 681
feet long and an iron ore capacity of 22,000 tons.