TORONTO, May 18, 2022 /CNW/ – PortsToronto today released its 2021 Audited Financial Statements, which report on the financial performance of business units and the organization overall during what was another challenging year due to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Although business units such as the marine Port of Toronto and the Outer Harbour Marina recorded strong financial results, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport experienced a second challenging year in 2021 due to the pandemic, with a significant decline in revenues due to the continued suspension of commercial air carrier service up until September 2021.
Overall, PortsToronto reported operating revenues of $39.7 million in 2021, an increase of $3.0 million over 2020 revenue of $36.7 million. In addition, PortsToronto had a net loss in 2021 of $8.9 million versus net loss of $12.6 million in 2020, an improvement of $3.7 million year-over-year.
In terms of business unit performance, the marine Port of Toronto experienced another strong year in 2021 and, for the fifth consecutive year, moved more than two million metric tonnes of bulk and general cargo products. The port and its activities reported operating income from all sources of $5.5 million, up from the year prior that recorded $4.4 million, which can be attributed to cargo handling and dues, port berthage and storage. There were 190 ship visits in 2021, bringing sugar, salt, cement, aggregate and steel directly to the heart of the city. Twenty-five ships brought in steel imports from around the world, representing an 18-year high.
The Port of Toronto also saw the arrival of three bridge spans from Nova Scotia via tug/barge for Waterfront Toronto’s Port Land Flood Protection project, and was critical in providing berthing for marine equipment in support of the new City of Toronto Ashbridge’s Bay Sewer Treatment Plant Outfall Project. While cargo shipments at the Port continued unabated, there was continued suspension of cruise ship activity in 2021 due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. The forecast for cruise ships is back on track for 2022, with forty cruise ships expected to arrive at the Port of Toronto.
Operations at the Outer Harbour Marina remained strong as recreational boating was in high demand during the pandemic, with the Marina at a 100% occupancy level. The Outer Harbour Marina’s operating income was $2.4 million in 2021 on revenues of $5.4 million.
Property and Other, including investments, reported operating income of $2.9 million in 2021, down from $4.4 million the year prior. Property and Other includes the rental of various properties along the waterfront as well as investment income earned on PortsToronto’s cash reserves, which dropped in 2021 versus 2020, due to lower interest rates.
Billy Bishop Airport had another challenging year in 2021 with the temporary cessation of scheduled carriers continuing up to the restart date for service on September 8, 2021. Operating income for Billy Bishop Airport was $5.0 million in 2021, up from $3.0 million in 2020 and down significantly from the $22.1 million recorded in 2019.
However, with scheduled carrier service having returned, it is anticipated that 2022 will see a dramatic recovery for Billy Bishop Airport. In fact, in April 2022, passenger volumes reached more than 100,000 passengers at Billy Bishop Airport, which is the highest number in a single month since the pandemic began. Further, this represented almost 45 per cent of April 2019 volumes. Pent-up demand for travel has also led to the introduction of new routes, including Porter Airlines’ new direct service to three important Atlantic Canada destinations, which began in spring 2022.
Despite the financial challenges presented and the operational impacts of the pandemic throughout 2021, PortsToronto paid $3.3 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILTs) to the City of Toronto in 2021, as well as paying $2.3 million in property taxes. The amounts accrued and paid to the federal government and to the City of Toronto together totalled $6.4 million for 2021, and $6.7 million for 2020, representing 16.2% and 18.2% of PortsToronto’s Operating Revenue in fiscal years 2021 and 2020, respectively.
“If the year 2020 was characterized by resilience, the year 2021 was the beginning of a recovery for PortsToronto and its business units as our local and national economies resumed and activity in many hard-hit sectors restarted. While much of the Canadian transportation sector experienced pandemic-related disruptions in 2021, shipping through the Great Lakes and the Port of Toronto continued to provide a reliable trade gateway to fuel our national supply chain. The Outer Harbour Marina also saw another strong year in 2021 with operations remaining consistent and summer berthing occupancy reaching 100 per cent,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto.
“In September 2021, we marked a return to commercial service at Billy Bishop Airport. Since this time, we have seen a steady increase in passenger numbers, and pent-up demand for travel has led to our air carriers adding new routes. An important component of Toronto’s recovery strategy, the restart of travel at Billy Bishop Airport has meant a return of jobs, a return of trade and tourism, and a return of a valuable gateway to Canada’s largest city. In 2022 and beyond, PortsToronto leadership will continue to drive the organization to a position of strong financial performance, so that we can continue to provide essential transportation and infrastructure that serves Toronto and the surrounding region, and supports overall economic recovery.”
Annual General Meeting
Due to ongoing considerations regarding group gatherings related to the pandemic, PortsToronto will hold its 2022 Annual General Meeting online. The meeting will be held on June 27, 2022, and will begin at 9:30 a.m. Instructions for registering for the meeting will be forthcoming, with all details related to participation being posted to PortsToronto’s website in advance.
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $12 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a board with representation from all three levels of government.