In my first year at Ocean, we took ships down the Shipping Channel a few times (for salt, or whatever). I don’t believe that I did a single trip down that channel in 2020- however a few weeks ago we accompanied a Laker down the channel, helping it turn in the basin. As always, I took a few photos of the other vessels that were tied up.
Here we have the ASI Clipper, which I’ve shown in other Ship Spotting Posts, such as down the Welland Canal. it’s a former Port Dover fishing tug which sank, was salvaged, and then rebuilt/extended as a diving tender.
The Shipping Channel is where McKeil ties up its tugs when they’re working on Projects in Toronto (as they often are). Here we have the Wyatt M and the Evans McKeil. They are classic McKeil tugs- both old and still going. They are used for special projects like in Ashbridges Bay, pushing barges around and that kind of thing. But they both have extensive histories- for example the Evans McKeil was built in 1936 to work on the Panama Canal. The other boat is the Ecosse, which was built for supporting the oil platforms in Lake Erie.
This is the William Rest, which is the City of Toronto’s former tug (now replaced by the functionally identical Iron Guppy. It has been up on chocks for a while now.
the Kwasind is the tender for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club- this is where it picks up members to take them to Toronto Island. It’s well known for shooting across the shipping channel at 90 degrees with very little warning.
This is the CSL Tadoussac, a very classic laker. It’s the reason that we were going down the shipping channel- we helped turn it around in the turning basin.
The Enterprise 2000 is one of the cruise boats that used to do very good business in Toronto Harbours, but which are now mostly tied up and starting to fall apart. These cruises often include circling Toronto Islands.
This is a collection of vessels that has been tied up around Toronto Harbour or the Shipping Channel for some years. The one on the right is the WN Twolan. It was originally built for the Canadian Government at Churchill, Manitoba.
The Itinerante was built in the Netherlands, where it worked as a firefighting tug- you can see the fire monitors at the bow and on top of the wheelhouse. It was imported to Toronto in 2012, however has never been used. Rumour has it that there was extreme difficulty getting Transport Canada to sign off, and that there’s a great deal of difficulty in changing over equipment from European to Canadian standards.
The Jaguar II is another cruise vessel, which has been laid up for several years.
McKeil has also been responsible for bringing the new bridges for Cherry St to Toronto from where they’re built on the East Coast. These previous photos show the Molly M I, which is used for project work, the Beverly MI (which has been towing the bridges), and one of the new bridges.
This is the Métis, which is a barge used by Toronto Dry Dock to move cement from Picton (in Prince Edward County) around the Great Lakes. It is often mated to the Salvage Monarch. In this photo, the bow is to the right.
The Coastal Titan is Toronto Drydock’s heavy lift barge. This used to be a heavy lift ship, however the wheelhouse and some of the equipment/engineering stuff was removed, and now it requires a tug to move. However, the engines are still there (engine room is very impressive) and are used to power the cranes. This is sometimes sent out on contracts to places as far as Newfoundland.
Here, next to the WN Twolin, is the Toronto Drydock. It was formerly the pulp carrier Menier Consol. To convert it, the owners removed the bow and put on a hatch, and then they use the cargo hold as the actual drydock well. The engines have been removed, and they use that space for the workshop/tool storage area. Here is a photo from the Toronto Public Library of one of the workmen converting the ship- I believe it was the father of the current owner. Interestingly, the photo says 1990. This photos seems to be in the Keating Channel, which is closer to the Gardiner/Lakeshore Expressway than the current position. The drydock is large enough to take one of Toronto’s ferries- when I worked there they initially had 4 small cruise vessels in the drydock.