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Paddle Steamers past and present
SIDEWHEELERS - IN STEAM (Public
On the Toronto Island ferry service
in Canada from 1910 to 1957, is the one side-wheel survivor, still in steam,
restored to her early appearance and still based in her home port, available
for charter. The 150 ft long vessel, built by the Polson iron Works
at Toronto, is effectively double-ended, with two wheelhouses, and two separate
steam cylinders of 17.5 and 34 inch diameter with a 48 inch stroke.
was employed on ferry services from Toronto to the islands lying close
off the city on lake Ontario which were, and remain, popular recreation
destinations. After withdrawal she was sold to the Toronto Works
Department, but she was laid up and deteriorated considerably
lying derelect near Hanlan's Point on Toronto Island, restoration was
initiated in 1973 and the hull restored and new wooden superstructure
built. A new boiler was also fitted. The ship is substantially new but
incorporating heritage items salvaged from other vessels as well as
recreations of original design features of Trillium herself.
returned to service in May 1976. For many years she was operated
by the Great Lakes Schooner Company, a private venture offering various
trips around Lake Ontario.
Following a refurbishment in 2017 she is back in operation by the city on the summer islands ferry run.
Toronto ferries are operated by the city's Department of Parks and
Recreation. When built, Trillium and her contemporary, Bluebell
were purchased by the Toronto Ferry Company which had been established
in 1892 out of the merger of several competing operations. The
city purchased the company in 1926 and services were originally
operated by the Toronto Transportation Commission, which operates the
city's public transport system.
: Trillium at Jack Layton terminal in 2016. Photo by kind courtesy of
OldYorkGuy made available under Creative Commons Licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
Photo has been cropped to remove some of the foreground water
SIDEWHEELERS - DIESEL-HYDRAULIC POWERED
Klondike Spirit (2005)
Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Built by the Eagle Boat Company at Eagle (Alaska,
USA) : Dimemsions : 88 ft x 18 ft.
For details of preserved
Sternwheelers click here
Operational Screw Steamer (ex-Sidewheeler)
Lakes Navigation Co, Ontario, Canada : home of RMS Segwun (an ex-paddler
Nipissing II built 1887 and the oldest operational steamer in North America), the steam yacht
Wanda III (of 1915) and the more modern replica steamship Wenonah II.
were supplied from Glasgow and shipped to Canada 1887 for assembly
at Gravenhurst and the walking-beam engine of burned-out predecessor PS
Nipissing of 1871 (by Davidson & Doran of Kingston) was re-used.
Her normal route was from Gravenhurst to Rosseau. She was out of
service from 1914 until 1924 when her old broken down engine was
removed and was fitted with two second hand engines and comprehensively
rebuilt as a screw steamer. She served until damaged when she grounded
in 1958. Served as a maritime museum for the town of Gravenhurst from
1962 until 1973 after which work started to return her to operational
condition under the ownership of the Muskoka Steamship & Historical
Society. This was achieved in 1981 with the help of public grants.
Paddle Steamers Paddle Steamer Photography
of Gordon Stewart
Steamer Reactivation Projects
Preserved Paddle Steamers
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Raddampfer in Nord Amerika / USA / Kanada