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Redpath Sugar Ltd.

Toronto, Ontario

Redpath Sugar’s white and red package is a familiar sight on Ontario supermarket shelves. Their sugar is used to not only to sweeten coffee and tea but is a staple ingredient in many Canadian household food brands and baked goods. Did you know that all of the raw sugar that Canada’s oldest sugar refiner uses to make its products is transported by ship through the Great Lakes-Seaway System?

Redpath imports raw sugar extracted from sugar cane grown by farmers in tropical countries such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.  It is transported through the Seaway to Lake Ontario and then made into different sugar products at Redpath’s refinery on the Toronto waterfront.  Redpath Sugar imports in excess of 500,000 metric tons of raw sugar through the Seaway each year.

Redpath specifically constructed its refinery on the Toronto waterfront in 1959 to take advantage of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway to larger ships and to target the food processing hub growing between London and Peterborough— today one of the largest in North America. The company employs close to 325 people at its Canadian operations in Niagara and Toronto.

The direct water route from source to refinery helps to keep the company’s transportation costs down and has the added benefit of lowering their carbon footprint.

Keith Fowler, Raw Sugar Logistics Manager, says: “The opening of the Seaway allowed Redpath to transport raw sugar more efficiently from its origin to the refinery in Toronto by utilizing larger, more cost-effective vessels. From an environmental perspective, it’s also more fuel efficient to transport 20,000 tonnes of sugar via marine transportation versus 500 to 600 tractor trailer units over 500 kilometres of overcrowded highways. Marine transportation is definitely our preferred mode to transport our raw materials.”