Captain John’s leaves Toronto harbour, begins journey to scrap yard

WATCH ABOVE: It took the floating vessel famously called ‘Captain John’s Harbour Boat Restaurant’, a Toronto landmark for years, 30 minutes to depart the city’s harbour. This video is a timelapse of the entire process in 2 minutes.

TORONTO – A massive ship that was a floating restaurant and a Toronto landmark is being towed away from the city’s waterfront today.

Captain John’s is being moved from its longtime spot at the foot of Yonge Street to a ship yard in Port Colborne.

The operation began at 10 a.m. with several tugboats guiding the ship across the inner harbour.

“The most important thing for PortsToronto has been ensuring it’s removed safely and carefully from the harbour,” said PortsToronto spokesperson Erin Mikaluk.

Tugboats will tow the ship across Lake Ontario, arriving at the Marine Recycling Corporation via the Welland Canal.

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The entire process is estimated to take between 18 to 20 hours to complete.

“It’s all been Transport Canada approved. They have taken a look at it. It’s a professional crew out here so we anticipate this is going to be a safe and secure move,” said PortsToronto Harbour Master Angus Armstrong.

A federal court approved the sale to the ship scrapper after it was seized by the court in 2014 over back taxes and berthing fees that exceeded one-million dollars.

Captain John’s once hosted a popular fine-dining restaurant, but was shut down by public health officials nearly three years ago.

Resident who live near the waterfront say Captain John’s has become an eyesore and it was time for the ship to move on.

Former Captain John’s owner Ivan “John” Letnik salutes goodbye.
Former Captain John’s owner Ivan “John” Letnik salutes goodbye. Gord Edick/Global News

“At first I thought it’d be a little sad to see it go, but it has a lot of problems. 10 feet a water, I heard was in the hull. There was asbestos,” said John Ghawy.

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“It was a wonderful place to be, place to visit if you had a birthday, a party,” said James Russell. “Unfortunately, it’s gone long past its best before date. We’re sorry that it fell in disrepair but we’re not sorry it’s going.”

With files from The Canadian Press