Oldest Canadian Navy ship docks in Montreal’s Old Port

Click to play video: 'Royal Canadian Navy ship stops by Old Port'
Royal Canadian Navy ship stops by Old Port
Montreal's old port was the latest stop on a Great Lakes tour for the Royal Canadian Navy's oldest commissioned ship. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports from on board – Jun 22, 2019

Among the armada of beautiful yachts that line the docks of Montreal’s Old Port, one stands tall above the rest.

The HMCS Oriole is the oldest commissioned ship in the Royal Canadian Navy fleet.

Montreal is the third stop of 16 on the annual Great Lakes deployment tour.

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The 102-foot-long vessel was built in 1921. It was only commissioned by the Canadian Navy in 1952. The 98-year-old ocean racing yacht was used as a training vessel, much like it is today.

Now a means of interacting with the public, the navy uses the flagship as a promotional tool.

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“This boat has a lot of history,” Executive Officer Lt. Kirk Lapointe said. “We get to show Montrealers and everyone else on the Great Lakes that the navy is here and we do things, and maybe recruit some people.”

It takes a crew of 21 to operate the wind-powered vessel — a challenge for Lapointe, who is used to the gas-guzzling navy frigates.

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Lapointe admitted to having little to no knowledge of sailing before embarking on this journey.

“Ship handling on a sailboat like this is much different than handling a frigate,” Lapointe said. “I have finally gotten the hang of it now.”

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The public was invited aboard the ship to roam the deck and even man the helm, as the vessel was safely docked.

The ship will be setting sail from Montreal June 23, off to Toronto. It will return to Montreal on September 4 before heading back home to Halifax.

These are the ports and dates the Oriole will be stopping on her voyage:

  • Summerside, P.E.I (June 7 to 10)
  • Rimouski, Que. (June 14 to 17)
  • Montreal, Que. (June 20 to 23)
  • Toronto, Ont. (June 27 to July 3)
  • Buffalo, N.Y. (July 4 to 8)
  • Cleveland, Ohio (July 11 to 15)
  • Windsor, Ont. (July 19 to 22)
  • Goderich, Ont. (July 26 to 29)
  • Port Colbourne, Ont. (August 2 to 5)
  • Midland, Ont. (August 9 to 12)
  • Kingsville, Ont. (August 16 to 19)
  • Kingston, Ont. (August 22 to 26)
  • Brockville, Ont. (August 30 to September 2)
  • Montreal, Que. (September 4 to 5)
  • Trois-Rivières, Que. (September 6 to 8)
  • Sept-Iles, Que. (September 10 to 13)

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