Hoverlink launch date pushed back a year due to ‘delays’

Those eager to jet across Lake Ontario on a hovercraft will have to wait at least another year.

When Hoverlink Ont. Inc., founded by Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Christopher Morgan, released plans last fall to operate a first-of-its-kind hovercraft between Toronto and Port Weller in St. Catharines, many people were skeptical.

Despite such concerns, when the concept was unveiled last September, company officials were confident their hovercraft would be operational by this summer.

The trip was to take 30 minutes, but getting to an actual launch date is going take a while longer.

As of Tuesday, Feb. 28, plans have changed. The company announced the launch is being pushed back 12 months, to the summer of 2024.

In a news release, Morgan blamed “delays on both sides of Lake Ontario as governing bodies ensure full compliance is met on every level.”

It’s not yet known what those delays might be or which governing bodies he’s referring to.

The Lake Report reached out to Hoverlink for more details but Morgan was unavailable.

“We are committed to connecting communities, making transit more seamless, accessible, fun and environmentally friendly, for the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s tourism, economy and overall quality of life,” said Morgan in the company statement.

Taking the hovercraft would cut travel time significantly and it would operate year-round.

Where driving from St. Catharines to Toronto might take upward of two hours, riding the hovercraft was only going to take a half-hour, the company said last fall.

Morgan said the service wouldn’t so be 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 embrace clean technology that cuts greenhouse gas emissions.

The service would cost customers about $50 to $60 round-trip and each hovercraft is expected to hold about 180 people.

Included in the price would be an electric shuttle bus service to the ports on each side of the lake.

According to its website, Hoverlink expects to serve upward of three million customers a year and keep more than 8,000 cars off the QEW.

Somer Slobodian, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report