ferry toronto

Here's what's known about the Toronto Island ferry crash that injured 17

Your trips to and from Toronto Island will be a lot more crowded for the rest of the summer after a Saturday afternoon ferry crash left 17 people injured, and sidelined one of the city's four ferries serving the islands.

Toronto Police and Transport Canada are investigating the crash that occurred at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal on Saturday afternoon, resulting in injured passengers and a temporary halt to ferry service.

Here's what happened

Emergency crews were called to the terminal at Bay and Queens Quay just after 5 p.m. after ferry Sam McBride reportedly slammed into the dock at high speed, the sudden impact causing many on the boat to fall and sustain injuries.

The crash left 17 of the approximately 900 passengers on board with injuries, including a dozen treated at the scene for minor scrapes and bruises. The remaining five were transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, including two children.

Changes to ferry service

Partial ferry service resumed on Sunday, but the city admits that operations won't be as smooth with one of its vessels out for repairs.

Though the cause of Saturday's incident is still under investigation, the city is already warning passengers of the effects on ferry service, the now-out-of-service Sam McBride just one of four vessels ferrying tourists and locals to and from the popular destinations on the islands.

The City of Toronto tweeted on Sunday that "there will be only three ferries operating between Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Toronto Island - two passenger-only vessels and one vehicle/passenger vessel," adding that "unnecessary vehicular passage is discouraged."

Anyone planning on visiting the islands should heed the City's warning that "ferry service between Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Toronto Island will continue but will be running at a reduced passenger capacity, while the Sam McBride ferry is out of service. Lineups will be moving slower than usual due to the reduced carrying capacity."

Ongoing issues with the ferry

Even before the crash took the Sam McBride out of commission, ferry service to and from the islands was plagued by long lines and complaints of inadequate capacity.

Plans are in the works to replace the aging fleet with all-electric vessels, though this is scheduled to take place over a fifteen-year period.

This is not the first time that the Sam McBride has been sidelined due to an accident in its 83 years of service shuttling passengers across Toronto Harbour.

In 1941, when the nearby Island Airport was in use as a training base for the Royal Norwegian Air Force, a Norwegian Northrop N-3PB seaplane clipped the upper deck of the ferry, killing the flight instructor and student pilot while causing extensive damage to the boat.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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