Carferry - Upper Canada - Canada


Romeo & Annette [C.190421] was Hull 815 of Russel Bros. Ltd., Owen Sound. Built for Captain Romeo Allard and operated by Restigouche Ferries Ltd. of Cross Point, Quebec. She was launched on Friday, May 27, 1949 and later went to work running between Dalhousie, New Brunswick and Miguasha Point, Quebec on the Bay of Chaleur in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Her dimensions were 86.4' in length and 36.1'10.3' in width with tonnages registered at 165 Gt and 88 Nt. Propulsion was achieved with a single screw that was connected to a 350 horsepower diesel engine. She was sold to The Minister of Highways, Ontario in 1965 and was upbound in the Seaway in October of that year bound for Kingston. She ended up wintering there and it was during this layup that her name was changed to Upper Canada.

In the spring of 1966 she replaced the Wolfe Islander (2) which was laid up at the LaSalle Causeway undergoing a major engine overhaul. In 1975 Upper Canada was retired after the Wolfe Islander III went into service. On July 15, 1977 Captain Harold Hogan and crew took Upper Canada to Leamington, Ontario where she was used as a back up boat for the Pelee Islander. On March 3, 1978 she was officially re-registered out of Chatham, Ontario.

Ontario Northland Marine Services operated the small vessel until 1991 when their new Jiimaan went into service on the Pelee island run. Shortly thereafter she was taken to the Dean Construction yard in LaSalle, Ontario, where she sat until June of 1994. Upper Canada was leased to the Beausoleil First Nation for Christian Island service at that time and she was taken to Georgian Bay. She wintered at Owen Sound 1996 - 1997.

Upper Canada was replaced on the Georgian Bay run to Christian Island by the double-ended ferry Sandy Graham in 2000. Sandy Graham came to the Great Lakes from Norfolk, Virginia, in the fall of 1999 and wintered at Vic Powell's shipyard in Dunnville, Ontario. She ran aground in the St. Clair River in the spring of 2000 on her delivery voyage to Christian Island and had to be taken to Hamilton for drydocking. Sandy Graham finally entered service during the summer and Upper Canada was retired. Ontario Northland brought her back to Leamington for the winter of 2000-2001. Presently she is owned by Al Johnson who also also owns 6 tugs, 5 of which are in service off the Great Lakes. She is currently docked in the Black River in Lorain, Ohio under the high level bridge. It is possible that she may one day return to service as a cross lake ferry for Lake Erie.

Story by Gerry Ouderkirk with thanks to Dan McCormick, Massena, N.Y.; Jim Toyne, Leamington, Ontario; Ron Beaupre, Port Elgin, Ontario; Jay Bascom, Toronto, Ontario; Rev. Al Hart and the scrapbooks of the late TMHS memeber, Ivan Brookes.


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Posted: February 28, 2002       Last Revised: February 28, 2002

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