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Captain John's still in limbo as removal deadline nears

Posted by Derek Flack / August 20, 2014

Captain JohnsLast we reported about Captain John's, the dilapidated 1970s seafood restuarant moored at the foot of Yonge St., there was reason for cautious optimism that the ship might finally make its exit from the Toronto harbour. Entrepreneur James Sbrolla was an enthusiastic suitor for the vessel -- and remains in the game as far its future goes -- but he's refused to lay down anything more than the $3,000 deposit he left after successfully bidding for the ship.

It's not surprising, really. The Toronto Port Authority's (TPA) August 22nd deadline to remove the ship seems like it can be delayed on account of technical problems related to the boat's hydro hookup, and Sbrolla is a tactful businessman who will play ball as long as it suits him. For now the TPA has resisted taking a hardline on cutting the ships ties to the harbour, so the relic remains an anachronistic feature of the waterfront.

I'm not one who's rooting for the aging vessel to be scrapped, but it's obviously time for it to take leave of Queens Quay (alas, time marches on). The latest news is that a new buyer is in the fold, but one suspects that the fate of the old cruise ship won't be sorted anytime soon. It might not be sunk in the mud at its pier, but its history is buried deep enough that moving it is proving very difficult.

Photo by Tom Ryaboi



Tory / August 20, 2014 at 12:27 am
So whats the deal? Captain Johns was sold and is now still stuck there. No one can move it?

stonerjoe / August 20, 2014 at 08:48 am
they should turn it into a shelter for battered people
Amy / August 20, 2014 at 09:35 am
Make a Reality show. Stuck living on a decrepit boat with 11 other people and you can't leave the boat.
Tre / August 20, 2014 at 09:45 am
Let's clean out anyhing loose in it and sink the SOB on the other side of Toronto Island would be a scuba diving destination, and scuba rentals could be huge. Its just steel, as long as its all cleaned out, it would not harm the lake anymore that it is sitting on top of the water.
Sean / August 20, 2014 at 09:56 am
Why move it someplace else to get it scrapped? Why not scrap it here?
Craig / August 20, 2014 at 10:10 am
Tow it out to the middle and Torch it! The biggest fire out on the lake ever! People could see it from miles around, would be beautiful.
TBA / August 20, 2014 at 10:14 am
I said it once and I will say it again: the ship is never leaving the harbour. I've seen this circus go on and on incessantly. There was never any reason to be "cautiously optimistic". It's there forever. Get on with some real news.
Reality replying to a comment from TBA / August 20, 2014 at 10:20 am
I've never said this before and I'll say it again,

WRONG its not there forever. The city needs to grow a pair and take over this wreck and get it out of our harbor.

Any Metal Collecting companies out there want to come get it. I'm sure you'll get a decent penny for all the steel and copper in there.
tommy replying to a comment from Tre / August 20, 2014 at 10:26 am
This is probably the most sensible idea that I've heard. She ain't gonna travel the seven seas no more, and it's far beyond being a destination restaurant or other event space, here or elsewhere. Sink the old girl.
Capt. Highliner replying to a comment from Reality / August 20, 2014 at 11:13 am
Capt. John already took most of the valuable metal off the ship. The cost of scrapping it is probably more than the metal is worth.

And if you believe it's going anywhere anytime soon, I've got some nice breaded haddock fillets for you.
Trish / August 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm
I've got a great idea....Let's turn it into the worlds FIRST floating kitty cafe!
Cindy / August 20, 2014 at 05:35 pm
The boat is full of asbestos and the scrap metal people want to be paid to remove the boat. That is the problem.
Captain John / August 20, 2014 at 06:22 pm
Save Captain John's!
James / August 21, 2014 at 10:18 pm
Let me turn it into Toronto's #1 Bed and breakfast!!!
Seriously!! CONTACT ME!!
Other Cities: Montreal