The late historian and photographer Gordon Turner, of Toronto, spent many years photographing ships on the St Lawrence River, capturing the unique bridge-forward-designed ‘Lakers’ coming down from the Great Lakes, as well as cruise ships and container vessels. This selection from the 1990s were mostly taken from the Quebec bridge.
Seen on a sunny day in August 1995 while approaching Quebec City, the 20,704gt cruise ship Fedor Dostoyevski had been completed as Astor by Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in 1987 and was returned to that name later in 1995 for long-term charter to Transocean Tours. Surviving a number of owner and operator changes over the years, the 650-passenger ship, since named Jules Verne, has been caught up in the recent failure of Cruise & Maritime Voyages, and her future remains to be determined.
The 29,283dwt Halifax, taken from Quebec bridge in May 1993, had been completed by Davie Shipbuilding at Lauzon, Quebec three decades earlier as Frankcliffe Hall for the Montreal-based Hall Corporation of Canada, but was purchased by Canadian Steamship Line in 1988 and renamed following installation of self-discharging gear in 1980. As the last surviving steamship in the Canada Steamship Lines’ fleet, the vessel was retired in 2008 and towed to Aliaga, Turkey for demolition in 2011.
A straight-deck ‘laker’ completed by Canadian Vickers Ltd at Montreal in 1961, the 27,231dwt John A. France, seen in 1993 under the ownership of Scott Misener Steamships Ltd, was only a year away from being sold to the Algoma Central Corporation, and was renamed Algoriver in 1994. Never fitted with self-unloading gear, the steam-powered ship was sold for scrap in 2002 and towed to Aliaga, Turkey by the Panamanian-registered tug Suhaili for demolition.
Another straight-decker, the steam-powered 22,950dwt Oakglen, fitted with six cargo holds, served by 21 hatches, was built as the T.R. McLagan for Canada Steamship Lines in 1954, but was purchased by Parrish and Heimbecker in 1989. Repurchased by Canada Steamship Lines in 2001 to handle bumper grain cargoes, the ship was retired the following year and scrapped in India during 2004.
Completed in 1971 by Cammell Laird as the 779TEU capacity CP Trader, a first-generation container ship, the 16,963dwt Canmar Spirit, pictured on 23 September 1995, was operated on the St Lawrence by Canada Maritime for a number of years before being broken up for scrap at Alang, India in 2001.