Seaway 2021 opening date announced

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation's head office in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL, Ont. – The St. Lawrence Seaway will be opening in five weeks.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation announced today (Feb. 15) that the Lake Ontario to Montreal section will open at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 22. The Welland Canal opens the Friday before.

The seaway is starting up again after what it calls a resilient 2020 during the pandemic.

Total cargo was 37.7 million metric tons, down about 1.7 per cent from 2019 (38.4 million metric tons), with the biggest losses in liquid bulk and iron ore shipments. The number trips by ships on the seaway in 2020 was 3,855. That was down nearly 7 per cent from 2019 (4,136).

“Considering the impact of the worldwide pandemic, we are very pleased with these traffic results,” CEO Terence Bowles said in January.

The seaway has been closed since Dec. 31, 2020.

The system supports over 329,000 jobs and creates $59 billion in economic activity in Canada and the U.S.