Doors Open on Toronto's Waterfront Presented by Queen's Quay Terminal
Doors Open on Toronto’s Waterfront presented by Queen’s Quay Terminal in association with The Waterfront BIA features 15 distinctive ships and two historic buildings on Toronto’s waterfront during the 13th Annual Doors Open Toronto celebration sponsored by the Toronto Star on May 26 and 27, 2012. The Toronto Harbour Commission building will be open to the public and the Queen’s Quay Terminal will feature Toronto on the Water, a FREE exhibit of archival photographs showcasing the history of Toronto’s waterfront. Vessels from The Great Lakes Schooner Company (Challenge, Kajama, Obsession III), the Jubilee Cruise Lines (Jubilee Queen, Ste. Marie), Mariposa Cruises (Captain Matthew Flinders, Klancy II, Mariposa Belle, Northern Spirit, Oriole, Showboat, Rosemary), Nautical Adventures’ Empire Sandy, and Toronto Brigantine (Pathfinder, Playfair) will be open to the public for FREE tours. Visit www.waterfrontbia.com for more information.
Doors Open Toronto is a popular annual city-wide weekend celebration that features FREE access to more than 135 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings. This year, "200 years of building the urban city" will be the focus of the event on May 26 and May 27, 2012.
FEATURED BUILDINGS ON TORONTO’S WATERFRONT
Designed as the Toronto Harbour Commissioners headquarters and occupied by its successor, the Toronto Port Authority, 1917’s Toronto Harbour Commission building is a fine example of Beaux-Arts Classicist architecture. Constructed of concrete and faced with Indiana and Queenston limestone, it was designed by noted Toronto architect Alfred Chapman and built out into the harbour before infill later moved the water’s edge several hundred metres south. It is noted for its exterior details, such as Corinthian columns and spandrels, as well as its beautiful, original walnut-paneled boardroom and marbled entranceway.
Queen’s Quay Terminal was originally a cold storage warehouse facility. The Terminal Warehouse, built in 1926 by Moores and Dunford (NYC) and was later converted to a condo/mall complex in 1983. The Terminal Warehouse was the first poured concrete building in Canada and one of the largest buildings in the country. The project architects, Zeidler Roberts Associates of Toronto were respectful of the essential design character of the building and its references to Art Deco were carefully maintained during all the alterations. The New York Times called it an example of successful revitalization efforts in Toronto during the 1980’s.
GANGWAYS OPEN! EXPERIENCE THE WATERFRONT’S MOST DISTINCTIVE SHIPS
The charter boat business is one of the main tourism attractions at the Toronto Waterfront and has a rich history. There is no better way to experience Toronto than from the water!
All of the 15 participating ships will open their doors (and their gangways!) for FREE public dockside tours. The ships along the dock walls will be open for viewing from 10am to 5pm, subject to availability.
The Great Lakes Schooner Company Fleet: The Great Lakes Schooner Company fleet includes Challenge, the Kajama, and the Obsession III.
Challenge is a stunning 96-foot, three mast clipper schooner modeled after the original 1852 ship built in Cleveland, Ohio, and was constructed as a school vessel in 1980 by the Kanter Yacht Company in Port Stanley, Ontario.
She sailed from 1980 to 1982 as a passenger vessel on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and also in the Virgin Islands before being refitted in 1984 by her original builders. Carefully preserving the traditions and designs of the past, her seven sails are set in the unique tradition of a Grand Banks Schooner, with her three masts of equal height, all stepped on the deck at different levels.
The Kajama, an historic 165-foot three-masted gaff-rigged schooner, was originally launched in Rendsburg, Germany as the Wilfrid in 1930, and has undergone an ambitious restoration that has returned the ship to her former glory. Familiar in ports from Northwestern Spain, through Western Europe, and as far north as Norway and Russia, the Kajama had a long and successful career as a cargo carrying sailing ship. She represents one of the few remaining and highly successful Nobiskrug coastal trading schooners known for their efficiency and profitability. The Kajama boasts over 7,000 square feet of sail, a large unobstructed deck, and a grand staircase leading to the below deck dining room.
The Obsession III is a 78-foot motor yacht. She has been on Toronto’s waterfront since 1993 after she went through a complete rebuild from the former vessel M.V Mystique. Mystique was originally built in 1967 in New Orleans by Halter Marine Services. The Obsession III is now located on Toronto’s waterfront. One of the most talked about features on Obsession III is her fully retractable roof.
Jubilee Cruise Lines Fleet: Jubilee Cruise Lines celebrates their 25th Anniversary in the Toronto Harbour and their signature vessel, the Jubilee Queen is Canada's largest river showboat. Launched in 1986, she is a replica of a luxury sternwheeler that sailed the waters in centuries past. The Jubilee Queen was built in New Brunswick and sailed into Toronto in 1988 via the Hudson River canal systems. The route from New Brunswick to New York via the coastal waterway wasn’t without risk. Sailing the Jubilee with its low freeboard hull in areas exposed to high Atlantic waves required all main deck windows to be boarded and sealed to protect against wave damage and flooding. The Jubilee’s tall roof stacks were removed to clear low bridges in smaller canals originally built to accommodate river barges. The Jubilee Queen has entertained over 400,000 guests since 1988, and continues as a very popular choice for dinner cruise enthusiasts.
The Ste. Marie was initially built as a small fishing vessel operating out of Sault Sainte Marie. Her keel was laid in 1964 with registration in Midland, Ontario, operating in the fishing industry until refit as a tour boat in 1986. The Ste. Marie was relocated to the Toronto waterfront in 1994 following modifications that lengthened the boat by 25 feet. A second floor open observation deck was built to permit fabulous unrestricted viewing while providing shelter from sun or rain. With her open bow and upper observation deck, along with her cozy interior forward cabin, she has become a very popular tour and small group charter vessel.
Mariposa Cruises Fleet: 2012 marks the 25th Anniversary of Mariposa Cruises. Originally operating with three small boats prior to 1987, Mariposa Cruises came into being with the purchase of The Mariposa Belle in that year. The fleet includes: Captain Matthew Flinders, Klancy II, Mariposa Belle, Northern Spirit, Oriole, Rosemary and Showboat.
The Captain Matthew Flinders is the flagship of the Mariposa fleet. Built in 1984 in Port Adelaide, Australia, the 144-foot luxury ship arrived in Toronto in 1989 and boasts the largest passenger capacity (575 people) in Toronto. The ship is named after famous navigator Captain Matthew Flinders (1774-1814). In 1995, the ship sailed to Florida and operated as a floating casino. Since returning to Toronto, the ship is outfitted with new engines and was renovated in 2011. The Flinders has hosted a wide range of events including Mayors from Around the World, NBA Draft Pick, All Star Baseball Legends, and the Stanley Cup. Over the years, celebrities and musicians have enjoyed the Flinders –even Arnold Palmer hit golf balls off the outer deck of this magnificent vessel.
The Klancy II is the most recent addition to the Mariposa fleet in 2011. Built in St Thomas in 1989, the 68-foot Klancy is no stranger to the Toronto Waterfront and holds up to 100 passengers. Last year, the Klancy was chartered by Tourism Toronto to host the Rotary Club convention bid team and played a part in Toronto winning the bid.
The namesake of the company, the Mariposa Belle, built in 1970 in Wheatley, Ontario, is an icon in the Toronto Harbour. The Mariposa Belle is a 68-foot riverboat-style paddle wheeler. With her unique promenade decks, the Belle has hosted thousands of events over her colourful history, including Miss Teen Canada. She is an integral part of the Education Afloat program for many Toronto school children. This boat is steeped in Toronto's waterfront history!
The Northern Spirit was built in 1983 in Warren, Rhode Island, and was formerly the Pride of Norfolk and the Pride of Toronto. The 138-foot Northern Spirit joined Mariposa Cruises in 1994 after an extensive renovation. Like the Flinders, the Northern Spirit has the largest passenger capacity in Toronto and is Transport Canada-approved for 575 passengers. The Spirit has hosted notable events and musical acts over the years.
Built in 1987 in Port Dover, Ontario, the Oriole is a replica of a Victorian era steamship (circa 1880-1920), with a rich oak interior, wrought iron detail and unique shape design. The Oriole is used for our popular Harbour Tour program and has a capacity of 184 passengers. The Oriole is featured in a fictional period painting by Ray Davidson entitled, "The Medora at Port Carling Locks.” Mila Mulroney, Nancy Reagan and the wives of G7 attendees also enjoyed a private afternoon on this boat. The Oriole has its own celebrity status having been featured in film and TV, most recently on CBC’s Redemption Inc.
One of the original Mariposa vessels, the Rosemary is the true southern belle of the fleet as she was built in Mobile, Alabama. Constructed in 1960, the Rosemary is 62 feet of style and sophistication and was completely renovated in 2008. The Rosemary has modern furnishings and still maintains her former corporate yacht appeal. A long list of celebrities have cruised aboard, including Angelica Houston, Sam Neill, Cicely Tyson, Marylou Henner and Gregory Hines.
The Showboat Royal Grace, or simply the Showboat as she is now called, is a petite version of the grand riverboats that sailed along North America's inland waterways in the 1800s. Built in 1988 in Port Colborne, Ontario, she was a floating theatre here in Toronto for several years before joining the Mariposa fleet in 1993 and has a passenger capacity of 75.
Nautical Adventures - Empire Sandy: Today the Tall Ship Empire Sandy is an historical treasure on Toronto's Waterfront. She was built in England as an Englishman/Larch class deep sea tugboat and went into service in July 1943. She sailed on war duty in the Atlantic, Mediterranean Seas, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the English Channel. In 1982, a metamorphous was complete changing a WWII tugboat to a grand 1800 style Tall Ship. As a Tall Ship she has sailed in all the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, Boston, New York, Bermuda, Bahamas, Cuba and other Caribbean seas. At 200 feet overall, 11,000 square feet of sail and 740 tons, Toronto's largest sailing ship the Empire Sandy offers a unique experience with an historical flare.
Toronto Brigantine Tall Ships Fleet: Toronto Brigantine has been a charitable organization since 1962. Their founding tenets were the development of leadership, discipline, and citizenship. They operate two brigantines, the 22m (72') sail-training vessel (STV) Pathfinder, which was commissioned in 1964, and the training ship (TS) Playfair, which was built in 1972, named in 1973 by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Both were built as training vessels by Francis A. McLachlan in Kingston, Ontario. Each year the ships sail over 4,000 miles, spends over 40 nights at sea, and introduce 300 trainees to the tall ship experience.