Home » News


After lamenting the current state of affairs with museum ships NORISLE and NORGOMA, Jay Bascom, Editor of The Scanner, the monthly newsletter of the Toronto Marine Historical Society, writes this in their December 2020 issue:

“Much more disturbing has been the situation involving the former C.P.R. passenger steamer KEEWATIN, beautifully preserved at her old home of Port McNicoll and loved by all who rode on her as well as those who have laboured so hard to keep her there after she returned home from the Saugatuck area in 2012.

Management has changed at Skyline, the developer that purchased the steamer and brought her home and originally intended to develop the area around her dock, and Skyline now wants to get rid of the ship in exchange for a big tax credit.

The charitable foundation in Port McNicoll that has done such a great job with her is trying valiantly to keep her there, but there now are efforts being made by a Kingston group to poach the ship and take her there, a place with which KEEWATIN has no historical connection whatsoever.

We state firmly and unapologetically, that KEEWATIN belongs in Port McNicoll.”

Posted by Dan Travers


Open Letter

Dear Friends,

I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. It has been five months since I last reached out to you regarding the S.S. Keewatin and I thought I would get in touch again with recent developments.

We hoped that Friends of Keewatin would be granted the Federal heritage designation to allow them to take possession of the ship from Skyline Investments, the development company that currently owns her. However, a preliminary application was not accepted, and we learned two weeks ago that the Maritime Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston has put in for a designation with the intention of taking the ship there.

Although we are happy that the ship will not be sold for scrap, sending the ship out of Simcoe and to a place with absolutely no connection to her history is completely unacceptable to us. The Keewatin is part of the physical and heritage landscape of Port McNicoll, and it is time Skyline Investments and the Federal Government honour their promises to the people of this region.

So, our campaign to #keepkeewatinhome is just beginning!

In the last 14 days we have created a brand new public action group. We now have a twitter feed (@homekeewatin), a website (www.keepkeewatinhome.ca) and have a graphic designer working on a logo for signs. Our change.org petition has now close to 9,000 signatures!: Petition · Keep the Keewatin in Port McNicoll · Change.org

Here is how you can help right now:

  1. Canadian residents, sign the new Parliamentary petition sponsored by MP Bruce Stanton:
    Petition e-3034 – Petitions (ourcommons.ca)
    If this petition gets 500 or more signatures, it will be tabled in the Commons.
  2. Email the Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault (and, just for good measure cc the deputies as well) to tell them how you feel about the Keewatin being sent away from Port McNicoll for good. Email addresses here:

Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage – steven.guilbeault@canada.ca

Hélène Laurendeau, Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage – helene.laurendeau@canada.ca

Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage – julie.dabrusin@parl.gc.ca

  1. If you are in North Simcoe, email us with your address at keepkeewatinhome@gmail.com and we will send out a window sign for your home or business as soon as they are ready.

With your continued support we can keep the Keewatin home.

Dan Travers, PhD
Port McNicoll