City of Toronto recommends fully electric ferry fleet replacement strategy

Photo: City of Toronto

A new City of Toronto staff report is recommending a plan to replace Toronto’s current, aging fleet of passenger ferries with fully electric vessels.

The report recommends a plan to replace four existing primary ferries over a 15-year period. The initial ferry replacement strategy proposed a hybrid diesel-electric technology.

The report said full electrification of the vessel fleet can help reduce an estimated 2,800 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually, which is equivalent to removing 600 cars from the road every year.

Toronto Island Park is served by a ferry fleet of four primary vessels and one heritage vessel, which together transport over 1.4 million passengers and 5,000 vehicles annually to Toronto’s largest park.

Although well-maintained, the existing vessels are between 50 to 100 years old, well beyond the industry average lifespan for similar ferries.

The report, submitted by city staff in Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR), recommends an increase in funding for the additional design and construction of support services required to advance a fully electric design for the ferries and the required shore-side infrastructure.

The report will be considered by the General Government and Licensing Committee (GGLC) on Friday, January 14.

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