Kingston, Ont. marine museum acquires Titanic-era ship

Click to play video: 'Keewatin Update'
Keewatin Update
The last Titanic era steam boat is officially coming to Kingston to become a tourist attraction – Mar 3, 2023

A new attraction will be sailing towards Kingston, Ont.’s Marine Museum of the Great Lakes.

The museum has acquired the S.S. Keewatin, a Titanic-era steamliner, which was built in 1907.

“We’re pleased to steward the Keewatin through the next phase of its life here in Kingston,” said Chris West, chair of the board of the museum. “The story of the Keewatin is a story of Canada’s creation as a country. It is vital that the ship, which is the last of its kind, be preserved for current and future generations, and our Museum has the expertise, facilities, and funding to be able to do this.”

According to the museum, CP Rail steamships such as ‘The Kee’ ferried tourists, settlers and cargo throughout the Great Lakes from the early 20th century until their retirement in the 1960s.

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It is the only remaining ship built in the U.K. from 1900 to 1920.

The historic shop will be incorporated into the museum following its transportation from Port McNicoll, Ont., this spring to a shipyard for much-needed repairs and maintenance, the museum says.

“Kingston is an amazing location for the Keewatin to receive maximum exposure, and the Marine Museum, with its historic dry-dock, is well qualified to maintain the Kee and showcase its important history – a goal we all share,” said Blake Lyon, CEO of Skyline Investments.

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The Keewatin is expected to arrive at the museum dry dock in Kingston in late summer or early fall 2023. The ship will be integrated into the marine museum’s extensive transportation collection covering the last 200 years of Great Lakes history and offer a new cultural experience in Kingston.

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From 2012 until the pandemic, the ship was operated as a historical attraction in Port McNicoll. The friends of the Keewatin, which have supported the ship throughout its time in Port McNicoll are feeling bittersweet about the move.

As much the prospect of seeing KEEWATIN depart Port McNicoll – for some, one more time – is saddening, I think we can all agree that we will be delighted she will soon be greeting visitors once again,” Friends of the Keewatin president, Wayne Coombes said.

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