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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Plans for hovercraft service from Niagara still afloat, promoter says
Chris Morgan, CEO of Hoverlink Ont Inc., says announcements about the proposed hovercraft service between Niagara and Toronto will start coming in May. FILE
A Hoverlink Ont Inc. hovercraft. FILE

Hoverlink founder says ‘series of announcements’ to come starting May

A lot of time has passed since there has been any news on the progress of Hoverlink — more than a year, in fact.

But the man behind the project says that doesn’t mean work hasn’t been going on behind the scenes to make the proposed hovercraft service between St. Catharines and Toronto a reality.

“There’s a series of announcements coming,” Chris Morgan told The Lake Report, adding that more will be unveiled next month.

He said he’d like to be able to share more details but he’s not able to do so yet.

“I can’t say very much: there is a (non-disclosure agreement),” Morgan said. 

The Niagara-on-the-Lake resident founded Hoverlink Ontario Inc. and first revealed plans to launch a hovercraft service between St. Catharines and Toronto in the fall of 2022.

But, in March 2023, Morgan said plans had been delayed by a year but that the service was coming soon.

The delay, he said at that time, was the result of governing bodies on both sides of Lake Ontario wanting to “ensure full compliance is met on every level.”

The hovercraft service is being touted as an option for commuters living in Niagara and working in Toronto.

The drive from St. Catharines to Toronto might take upward of two hours depending on traffic — about the same time needed to take the GO train from Niagara Falls to Toronto.

But the company says riding the hovercraft will cut travel time between the two cities to 30 minutes.

The proposed route would run between Port Weller in St. Catharines and Ontario Place in Toronto.

Previously, Morgan said the service wouldn’t be so much competing with other travel choices as it would be offering “a Golden Horseshoe rapid transit option” to people who don’t want to sit in their car for hours and want to reduce their carbon footprint.

The service would cost customers about $50 to $60 round-trip and each hovercraft is expected to hold about 180 people. Electric shuttle bus service to ports on each side of the lake are included in the ticket price.

According to its website, Hoverlink expects to serve upward of three million customers a year and could keep as many as 8,000 vehicles off of the QEW.

It is not the first time an attempt has been made to offer a water-borne way to travel between Niagara and Toronto. In the 1990s, a hydrofoil service was offered between NOTL and Toronto.

In 2017, another hovercraft venture, the Lake Ontario Express, was proposed. A website for that venture is still online but has not been updated in several years.

More information on Hoverlink can be found at hoverlinkontario.com.


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