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Heddle Shipyards will build a ferry in Simcoe Island, creating up to 24 local jobs during construction
The Ontario government announced $3.3 million for the project to create reliable transportation to the island.
“By delivering a brand-new made-in-Ontario ferry for Simcoe Island, our government is fulfilling its promise to deliver transportation that the island community needs,” said Caroline Mulroney, transportation minister. “Building this new ferry in Hamilton will also drive regional economic growth and support good local jobs. Our province takes pride in its skilled workers, and we are excited to see the build and fulfillment of this vessel by Heddle Shipyards.”
The building of the Simcoe Island Ferry will also spur economic growth in the region by contributing approximately $2 million of real GDP in the shipbuilding and supply-chain industries in 2021-22 alone, with further benefits to be realized as the project progresses.
“The Simcoe Island Ferry New Build project will create and sustain skilled trades jobs here at our Hamilton Shipyard and is a critical step in rebuilding the capacity of Ontario Shipyards,” said Shaun Padulo, president of Heddle Shipyards. “With the support of the provincial government, we will bring shipbuilding back to Ontario.”
The Simcoe Island ferry is a cable ferry that operates between Simcoe Island and Wolfe Island in the spring, summer and autumn. The current vessel was first launched in 1963.
The new ferry, which is expected to be in service by late 2022, will allow for the transport of up to three times more vehicles than the current ferry. The new vessel will also be able to carry larger service vehicles, such as fire trucks and vehicles required for maintaining roads and infrastructure.
“Ferries are a vital link that help people on Simcoe Island get to where they need to go,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings–Lennox and Addington. “The recent arrival of the hybrid-electric Wolfe and Amherst Island ferries in Ontario, and the addition of a new ferry for Simcoe Island, demonstrates our government’s commitment to providing sustainable and efficient transportation for local communities.”
The province will pay the total cost of the new Simcoe Island Ferry and two new, larger hybrid-electric ferries – the Wolfe Islander IV and Amherst Islander II – that will provide improved service to Wolfe Island and Amherst Island once they go into service in Spring 2022.