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Steamship Keewatin moved to drydock

On 24 April 2023 the historic former Canadian Pacific Steamship Keewatin was moved from Port McNicoll, Ontario to Hamilton for dry docking/restoration prior to a further move in 2024 to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston Ontario.

Keewatin served the CPR from 1907 to 1965, largely on the Port McNicoll to Prince Arthur/Fort William (now Thunder Bay) route. Following her retirement, she moved to Saugatuck Michigan as part of a marine museum.

Her return to Port McNicoll in 2013 was meant to be a final move, returning home for restoration and public access, to be the centrepiece of a resort community development. Financial challenges following the failure of the development, however, and the pandemic led to the group responsible for the ship no longer being able to care for her.

She has been donated to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston Ontario. When Keewatin was delivered from the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Govan in 1907, it was too large for the Welland Canal in use at the time, and was split in two to be moved from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. This was her first return to the Welland Canal since 1907, and did not need to be split to move through the modern canal.

The entire tow from Port McNicoll to Heddle Shipyards in Hamilton for restoration work was handled by the tug Molly MI, with assistance in the St Clair and Detroit Rivers, and through the Canal. Wyatt M was the support tug in the Welland Canal.

Keewatin arrived in Hamilton on 30 April and is expected to be ready for a move to Kingston Ontario and the dock at the Marine Museum in 2024.

 

The photographs by Stephen Gardiner show her exiting Lock 2, St Catharines; being towed between Lock 2 and Lock 1; and existing Lock 1 in St Catharines on a rainy 28 April 2023. She has been delivered to the dry dock and shipyard in Hamilton for restoration, before a move next year to her new museum home in Kingston Ontario.

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