Saturday, April 9, 2011

Toronto Harbour Area

Water Taxi to Toronto Island.The taxis offer services to those who are stranded on the Islands when ferry service is disrupted or ended or to patrons whom have missed boarding their cruise ships at various docks along the mainland. Inner taxis normally offer services within the inner harbour only.

Empress of Canada is a tourboat which has a capacity of 500 passengers. With a weight of 398 gross tons, it is 135 feet overall, with a beam of 28 feet. It is powered by a Twin Caterpillar with a speed of 12 knots.

Empress Of Canada dining area

One of many tour boats

The Empire Sandy is a tall ship that provides chartered tours. She was built as a Larch class tugboat for war service by the British Government in 1943. After the war she was renamed to Ashford and then Chris M, before reverting to the original name of Empire Sandy and being converted to a schooner.

The Empire Sandy was one of 1,464 Empire ships built or acquired for war service by the British government . She was built in England in 1943 as a deep sea tugboat , she was tasked with the Royal salvaging merchant ships damaged in the Battle of the Atlantic and other naval engagements during the Second World War . She served in the North Atlantic from Iceland to Sierra Leone, the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal during the war.

In 1948 she was a bare-boat chartered renamed the Ashford, and entered the rescue towage market. She was handed back to the Admialty in 1952. She was then sold to a Canadian firm, the Great Lake Paper Company and renamed Chris M ,after Chris Michels, a senior employee of the company and sailed the Great Lakes for fifteen years towing timber rafts on Lake Superior. In the early 1970s the aged ship was to be sold for scrap, but the steel hull was still in very good condition and she was bought by Nautical Adventures Co. for a possible conversion. They completely rebuilt the Chris M as a three masted schooner in the style of the 1880s and she assumed her original name the Empire Sandy .

Metro Toronto Police Marine Division

Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant is a well known restaurant and banquet hall. It is located in the MS Jadran a former Adriatic passenger ship now permanently docked at Yonge Street and Queen's Quay.
The restaurant is owned and operated by John Letnik who came to Canada as a refugee from Yugoslavia in 1957. He opened the restaurant aboard the MS Normac in 1970. The Normac had served several years with the Detroit Fire Department and then as a ferry that travelled between Tobermory and Manitoulin Island. In 1975 Letnik bought the larger Jadran from the Yugoslav government. The Jadran was one of three luxury cruise ships built in Split for the Jadranska Linijska Plovidba company. For several years it operated as a luxury cruise ship in the Adriatic and Aegean. Letnik purchased the ship in 1975 for a million dollars, and it became a second location for his restaurant.

In 1981 the Normac was struck by Metro operated ferry Trillium and sunk. No one was hurt, but the restaurant was destroyed. This set off a long legal battle between Letnik and the city. Letnik was eventually awarded damages, but reportedly not enough to compensate for the destruction. The Normac was raised and refurbished and served as a floating restaurant in other communities with the Jadran being the sole home of Captain John's since then.

Despite poor reviews by local papers, the restaurant boasts signs that proclaim to eat at Captain John's is to eat "the best seafood in town!" Reviews by patrons are decidedly mixed. The restaurant's clientele is primarily tourists and many bus tours stop at Captain John's.

The Redpath Sugar Building is a sugar storage, refining and museum building in located just east of downtown at the foot of Jarvis Street at Queen's Quay.

The building which was opened in 1958, houses the storage and refining plant for Redpath Sugar.The complex consists of Building 1 (8 floors), a chimney stack and Building 2 (5 floors) houses the sugar museum. The sugar processed at the plant originates in the Caribbean and is delivered by ships . Due to the limited shipping season, sugar cane is stockpiled each fall in facilities next to the processing plant.

Since 1979, Redpath has operated the Redpath Sugar Museum in the building, with exhibits on the refining of sugar and making of sugar products.

Large ship off loading at the Redpath Sugar Co.