Toronto, ON — PortsToronto’s Harbour Master Emeritus Angus Armstrong “crowned” Mykhaylo Omelchuk at the 157th annual Beaver Hat Ceremony with the antique silk and beaver top hat first presented in the spring of 1861.
Originally begun as a celebration of the first ship to enter harbour each year, the annual tradition now celebrates the arrival of the first ocean-going ship of the season, also known as a “saltie.” This year the first ship was the MV Brant, which arrived in port from Brazil with 19,230 metric tonnes of sugar for the Redpath Refinery. The annual ceremony also celebrates the commencement of the 2018 shipping season.
“The Beaver Hat ceremony represents the yearly opening of a vital gateway that provides Canadian and international businesses with a convenient, sustainable and cost-effective way to bring people and goods into the heart of the city,” said Geoffrey Wilson, President and CEO, PortsToronto. “From sugar and salt for our food industry and roads, to the aggregate materials used to build our homes, offices and roadways, the goods delivered through the Port of Toronto have a significant impact on the city’s people, projects and industries.”
This year’s ceremony also kicks off celebrations of the 225th anniversary of shipping activity through the Port of Toronto. While the first commercial shipment arrived at the Fort at Toronto in 1749, the Port was officially established by the government in 1793 and serves as Toronto’s gateway to the St. Lawrence Seaway and to marine ports around the world.
The Port of Toronto recorded the best year in more than a decade with approximately 2.2 million metric tonnes of cargo passing through the port. In addition, the Cruise Ship Terminal saw a record 16 passenger ships enter port carrying more than 5,600 passengers, a more than 120 per cent increase in cruise ship traffic since 2016.
PortsTorontos Harbour Master Emeritus Angus Armstrong ‘crowned’ Mykhaylo Omelchuk at the 157th annual Beaver Hat Ceremony with the antique silk and beaver top hat first presented in the spring of 1861. (CNW Group/PortsToronto)