Government of Canada completes essential rehabilitation work on Port Dalhousie Piers

News release

Port Dalhousie piers on Lake Ontario
St. Catharines Ontario - The Port Dalhousie piers on Lake Ontario are once again open to the public after a major rehabilitation project by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). DFO intends to divest the Port Dalhousie small craft harbour facility which includes the piers to the City of St. Catharines. The City currently manages the harbour through a lease agreement with DFO.

June 2, 2021

St. Catharines, Ontario - Local harbours are an essential part of communities across Canada, not only on our coasts but on inland waters. They benefit communities economically and socially and are the hubs of community life and recreation.

Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced today the completion of the Port Dalhousie Piers rehabilitation project.

The Port Dalhousie Piers closed in 2015 due to significant structural defects. Bronte Construction, based in Oakville, Ontario, carried out the rehabilitation work, which began in 2019. The work included encapsulating the existing piers with new steel sheet pilings, and installing rock berms at the outer ends of the piers. These improvements provide a safe venue for the locals and tourists to enjoy outdoor activities along the city’s beautiful Lake Ontario waterfront. 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) intends to transfer ownership of this harbour, which includes the piers, from the Government of Canada to the City of St. Catharines. Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to undertake internal reviews in support of this project to ensure that the planned divestiture is carried out in a manner that is compatible with Canada’s obligations and guidelines.

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“Our government understands the importance of small craft harbours to coastal and inland communities. That’s why we are investing in critical upgrades and repairs from coast to coast to coast. Thanks to my colleague, MP Bittle, who advocated for these changes to the Port Dalhousie Piers. I’m pleased to see this will once again be a safe and welcoming place for the community of St. Catharines to enjoy.”

- The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Every family in St. Catharines has memories of walking along the piers in Port Dalhousie and through significant investment by the Government of Canada, I am thrilled that the Port Dalhousie Piers will finally reopen to the public. The piers are incredibly important to the residents of St. Catharines and I am proud that our government has been able to rehabilitate them so that we can continue to enjoy this Port Dalhousie landmark now and for generations to come.”

- Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines

“The reopening of the Port Dalhousie piers is an exciting milestone, breathing new life into an important historical landmark that has defined the Lake Ontario shoreline and the Port Dalhousie community. This is a critical investment in recreational outdoor infrastructure and shoreline protection efforts that are crucial as we adapt to a changing climate. Thank you to the residents of Port for their patience during construction. I would also like to thank MP Bittle; the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; City Council and City staff for their leadership on this project. The piers will help maintain Port Dalhousie as a waterfront destination for residents and visitors over the next century of these iconic landmarks’ history.”

- Walter Sendzik, St. Catharines Mayor

Quick facts

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and its Small Craft Harbour program seeks to transfer ownership of recreational or low activity harbours across Canada to interested third parties who are in the best position to operate them effectively and respond to the needs of the local residents and economy. The Port Dalhousie Small Craft Harbour fits this criteria.

  • From coast to coast to coast, Fisheries and Oceans Canada owns, operates, and maintains a national system of harbours to provide commercial fish harvesters and other small craft harbour users with safe and accessible facilities. Ninety per cent of Canadian seafood goes through small craft harbours and Canada’s fish harvesters depend on these facilities to support their livelihoods.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $300 million, on a cash basis, over the next two years, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to repair, renew, and replace small craft harbours. This would support Canadians in the fishing, aquaculture, tourism, environmental, recreational, marine engineering, and construction industries, and strengthen the resilience of rural and coastal communities.

  • DFO’s Small Craft Harbours Program keeps harbours critical to the commercial fishing industry open and in good repair.

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada supports 990 harbours across Canada with more than 5,000 volunteers from harbour authorities.

  • Harbour restoration projects are undertaken in cooperation with the local harbour authorities that manage and operate facilities for local users.

Associated links


Jane Deeks
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 

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