Sarnia Products Pipeline

Waterdown to Finch Project


Sarnia Products Pipeline

Imperial’s Sarnia Products Pipeline is important infrastructure that provides products used by households and businesses across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. This includes a significant portion of jet fuel for Toronto Pearson International Airport, as well as gasoline and diesel fuel that keeps people, goods and services moving throughout our region.

Did you know?

Pipelines are located within land known as the pipeline right-of-way. This is a zone that allows our employees and contractors to access surface lands for construction, operation and maintenance of the pipeline.

Waterdown to Finch Project Overview

Imperial’s Sarnia Products Pipeline has been operating safely for many years. The Waterdown to Finch Project is a proactive measure to ensure continued safe and reliable fuels supply by replacing 63-kilometres of the pipeline, from our Waterdown pump station in rural Hamilton to our storage facility in Toronto’s North York area.

Installation of the replacement pipeline is complete across the entire Project right-of-way and the new line is now operational and in-service. The existing pipeline will be safely deactivated and left in place to minimize environmental impacts. A restoration plan will be followed through summer 2022 to help return all impacted areas to as close to pre-construction conditions as possible.

Interactive map

For more information on the location of the Project and construction impacts in your community, please visit our interactive map by clicking the link below or hovering over the map image to the right to reveal the link in the caption.

Click to visit our interactive map
Project 3 location map
Click here to visit our interactive map

What we're doing

Imperial is committed to ensuring the safety and reliability of the Sarnia Products Pipeline throughout the construction period of the Waterdown to Finch Project.

  • Replacement

    Replacing the existing 12-inch pipeline with a new 12-inch pipeline.

  • Safe deactivation

    Safely taking the existing line out of service and continuing to monitor it in place.

  • Environmental protection

    Working closely with regulatory agencies and complying with all environmental requirements.

Did you know?

Imperial reliably supplies the province with fuel products from our refineries in Sarnia and Nanticoke. These are delivered to customers through outlets, including Esso and Mobil-branded gas stations, and many additional service stations under other brands.

Our refineries and delivery infrastructure also provide a significant portion of jet fuel for Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is Canada's busiest airport and a global hub for transportation.

Commitment to our local communities...

The replacement project is anticipated to create 400 direct jobs in Ontario supporting project management and construction activities, and more than 1,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

Direct Community Investment program

As part of our commitment to working with and empowering local communities, Imperial has been managing a dedicated Direct Community Investment (DCI) program within all of the Project’s right-of-way (ROW) communities since 2018.

The DCI program is designed to support capacity building and training, education and STEM development, environmental stewardship, events, and other local community activities. Imperial is proud to work directly with our local partners to build and promote strong sustainable communities.

For more information on community initiatives and programs that our DCI program has sponsored, please visit the community pages on our Interactive Map site. If you know of a local community organization that could benefit from our DCI program, please reach out to our Project team via

Imperial branded pipeline illustration

Minimizing construction impacts

Imperial has been working closely with the regulator and different levels of government to minimize construction impacts throughout the duration of the Waterdown to Finch Project. Imperial respects all landowners’ property and is working to minimize disruptions during construction. Most replacement work is taking place in close vicinity to the pipeline.
graphic describing Imperial's process for minimizing impacts from construction

Construction Methods

Imperial builds safety and integrity into its pipelines from the outset of construction. Our pipeline projects have rigorous material, design and construction standards that comply with or exceed all applicable government and industry standards. For the Waterdown to Finch Project, Imperial is using two construction techniques: open-cut construction and horizontal directional drilling (HDD).

Imperial's Waterdown to Finch Project

Horizontal directional drilling

Open cut construction

Open cut construction is the fastest method for pipeline installation.

  • Lay and bend the pipe to match the contours of the land
  • Weld, test and inspect the pipe
  • Lower pipe into the trench and cover it for protection
open cut construction

Trenchless construction

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is a method of installing underground pipe using a drilling rig at the surface level.

  • Drill along a designed directional path
  • Enlarge the pilot hole to fit the pipeline
  • Pull the pipeline back through the hole

Trenchless construction

Where are we deploying trenchless construction?

Imperial is deploying trenchless construction known as HDD to minimize impacts to sensitive or congested areas like water bodies, significant wetlands, highways and sensitive archaeological or cultural heritage sites.



Environmental protection

While working to deliver the fuels and energy Canadians rely on, we aim to minimize our impact on the environment and local communities by routing pipelines around sensitive areas and adopting construction practices that decrease disruptions. This includes protecting archeological and heritage resources.

We remain committed to protecting our local environment and ensuring the highest standards of environmental safety are observed every day. Where feasible, construction for the Waterdown to Finch Project has been designed to avoid direct impacts on sensitive environmental areas, including major watercourses and provincially significant wetlands.

Throughout construction, Imperial has remained committed to reducing local impacts and disruptions. A restoration plan is being followed to help return all impacted areas to as close to pre-construction conditions as possible. Some vegetation and tree removal was required to accommodate safe construction activities, mainly limited to private land and/or within the hydro corridor, and are accounted for in the restoration plan. For more information on the restoration process, please click here.

Deactivating existing pipeline

Safely deactivating the current pipeline, which will cause the least disturbance to the local environment and minimize our construction footprint. To learn about the pipeline deactivation process, watch our video below.

Further detail about the construction methods and our approach to protecting the environment can be found in the Waterdown to Finch Project brochure or in our construction infographic.

Learn about the pipeline deactivation process
Imperial's Waterdown to Finch Project

Focused on safety

Focused on safety

Imperial’s safety performance is among the best in the Canadian energy industry. We attribute our record of safe and reliable operations to our preventative maintenance and proactive pipeline inspection programs. Learn how Imperial prepares for continued safe pipeline operations.

To protect all of our stakeholders including employees, contractors and the general public, Imperial is following all relevant public health measures and COVID-19 workplace guidelines along the entire Project footprint.

Ensuring safety in the communities we serve

Our safety, monitoring, and preventative maintenance measures include:

Our commitment to community engagement

Indigenous collaboration

We are engaging Indigenous field monitors on archaeological assessments and environmental field surveys to support the preservation of known archaeological and cultural heritage resources.

Our commitment to community engagement

Working with the local community

Imperial is committed to meaningful community engagement throughout the duration of the Project. We will continue to work with local community members to help inform solutions to minimize the impact of any disruptions.

Related content


We are integrated, which means we do business across all stages in the oil and gas journey. We explore for and produce oil and natural gas and transport it to our refineries, where we make it into products Canadians use every day.

Esso and Mobil stations

We’ve been fuelling Canadian journeys since nearly the beginning, when we opened Canada’s first service station in Vancouver, B.C.