Daniel Travers started this petition on Change.org to Tay Council to have the SS Keewatin remain in Port McNicholl. So far this petition has gathered over 5,000 signatures, with a goal to make 7,500.
S.S Keewatin is an important part of Port McNicoll’s past and should be retained there. Skyline Investments (current owners) would like to donate it to Kingston, sell it overseas or dismantle the ship and sell it. The Keewatin should be preserved as part of an effort to regenerate the city, create a heritage attraction and local employment.
SS Keewatin was a passenger liner that once sailed on Lake Superior and Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) in Ontario, Canada, between Port Arthur/Fort William (now Thunder Bay). She carried passengers between those ports for the Great Lakes steamship service of the Canadian Pacific Railway. At those ports, Keewatin also picked up and carried packaged freight goods for the railway.
Keewatin sailed for almost 60 seasons on an ongoing basis, retiring in 1966. Soon afterwards she was acquired in the United States for historic preservation. Also set to be preserved as an attraction was her sister ship, Assiniboia, but she burned in 1971 and scrapped. In 1967, Keewatin was eventually moved to Douglas, Michigan, where she sat as a museum ship across the river from the Saugatuck, Michigan summer retreat. In June 2012 the Keewatin was towed back to Canada with a crew of ten and arrived at its current resting place in Port McNicoll. The ship was open for tours from the spring to the fall, (after some intensive repairs) until 2020 COVID19 struck and has remained closed to the public.
The vessel also became a “floating set” for a number of maritime-related documentaries and television documentaries, including topics such as the Lusitania torpedoed ocean liner, the Yarmouth Castle burnt-out Bahamas cruise ship, the Empress of Ireland of the Canadian Pacific, and the Titanic. She was also widely used by the CBC television show Murdoch Mysteries in the “Murdoch Ahoy” episode.
If you wish to keep the Keewatin in Port McNicholl, sign the petition here