Ontario Welcomes $107 Million Manufacturing Investment

Heddle Shipyards will create good-paying jobs in St. Catharines

December 22, 2023

Ontario Welcomes $107 Million Manufacturing Investment

The Ontario government is welcoming an investment of over $107 million by Heddle Shipyards, the largest ship repair and construction company on the Great Lakes. This investment will be used to tackle complex Vessel Life Extension (VLE) projects at the company’s Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines and create 30 new, good-paying jobs in the region.

“This significant investment by Heddle Shipyards in St. Catharines for their Vessel Life Extension projects, and their continued investments in facilities across the province, demonstrates that by lowering costs and increasing competitiveness, we’re helping local champions like Heddle grow and making Ontario a top place for businesses to thrive,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Through our Regional Development Program, our government is proud to help Ontario manufacturers expand and create more good-paying jobs for local workers. Thank you, Heddle Shipyards, for continuing to innovate and invest in your facilities across Ontario.”

VLEs are designed to significantly extend the life of marine vessels. With their $107 million investment, Heddle Shipyards will implement the processes, engineering, training and equipment needed for VLE projects, including on-the-job training for skilled trades and support staff, automated manufacturing technologies and the use of 3D scanning for manufacturing projects.

As part of this investment, the government is providing Heddle Shipyards with over $3.4 million through the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of its Regional Development Program.

“We are extremely grateful for the support that Minister Fedeli and the Government of Ontario continue to have for the shipbuilding and ship repair industry in our province,” said Ted Kirkpatrick, Director of Business Development and Government Relations at Heddle Shipyards. “Investments through programs like AMIC will allow Ontario to once again be a frontrunner in the shipbuilding industry in Canada and support hundreds of high-paying skilled trade jobs in our communities over the coming decade.” Through the Regional Development Program, Ontario is investing $140 million to help companies like Heddle Shipyards grow. To date, Ontario has provided more than $110 million to support more than 100 projects through the program, leveraging over $1.2 billion in new investments and helping create more than 2,300 jobs in the province.

Quick Facts

  • The government launched the Regional Development Program for Eastern and Southwestern Ontario in November 2019. Through this program, businesses and municipalities can get financial support and guided access to a range of complementary services and supports.
  • In 2022, the government launched the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of the Regional Development Program. The stream supports Ontario advanced manufacturers across the province, including those in the automotive, aerospace, chemical, life sciences and steel sectors, to invest in the equipment, technologies and skilled workers they need to grow, improve competitiveness and create jobs.
  • As part of the 2023 Ontario Budget, the government introduced the Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit, which provides a 10 per cent refundable Corporate Income Tax credit to help local manufacturers lower their costs, invest in workers, innovate and become more competitive.


“The Port Weller Dry Docks have a long and rich history of building and repairing ships in St. Catharines. Thanks to this key provincial investment to Heddle Shipyards through the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of its Regional Development Program, this legacy of manufacturing excellence at Port Weller will continue into the future. “

– Sam Oosterhoff
MPP for Niagara West

“Our government remains committed to making Ontario the best place to live, work and raise a family. As Heddle Shipyards is the largest ship repair and construction company on the Great Lakes, our government recognizes the opportunity to invest in helping them grow. I have the opportunity to see first-hand the benefits that the company brings to a community and am thrilled for St. Catherines to receive the same. Thank you, Heddle Shipyards, for your continual investment in Ontario.”

– Donna Skelly
MPP for Flamborough—Glanbrook

“With locations in Hamilton, St. Catharines and Thunder Bay, Heddle’s investment in their Vessel Life Extension Projects at their Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines will ensure their continued vitality and competitiveness as leaders in Ontario’s marine industry. This investment will bolster the local economy and create good-paying local jobs in our region.”– Neil Lumsden
MPP for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Regional Development Program.


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