sunken ships toronto

Here are all the sunken ships in Toronto

Ghost images of what appeared to be sunken ships around the Toronto harbour got people talking about wayward vessels in Lake Ontario recently.

A post in the Weird Toronto Facebook group showed shadowy images of boats that appeared to be underwater in Ashbridge's Bay.

"I see what looks like an entire marina under the water at Woodbine beach. It's possibly a glitch in the map,"the post reads.

It likely is a glitch in the images, and while Google Maps did not respond to a request for confirmation, other posters pointed out this is a common occurrence.

"Google maps will make multiple passes every so often and they build the map image based on what shows up consistently," another person posted.

There are, however, several sunken ships in the Toronto area that are not usually visible from the surface, Brant Telfer of Aquarius Scuba tells blogTO.

Telfer has dived the three well-known ships in Humber Bay — the Lyman M. Davis, Sligo and Julia B. Merrill.

"The Silgo is sort of like a pile of zebra mussels in the shape of a ship."

The Lyman M. Davis and Julia B. Merrill were burned before sinking so there isn't a lot to see there.

There are more ships in the Tobermory and Kingston area, which tends to be more popular for diving, he says.

While there are six documented sunken ships for diving in the Toronto area, that doesn't mean there aren't more to be found.

A car was recently pulled from Humber Bay that may have been there for years.

"Something could be there and you just don't know," Telfer says "If the visibility is not good, you could be 100 metres from something and have no idea it was there."

Those looking to dive in Toronto should check with their local port authority such as Ports Toronto for permission before heading out.

Here are the documented underwater shipwrecks around Toronto.

Lyman M. Davis

This schooner was built in 1873 in Muskegon, Michigan and it was burned with "explosions of powerful fireworks" for the enjoyment of Sunnyside beach-goers on Jun 29, 1934. Before the show, the Lyman M. Davis was one of the last working schooners on the Great Lakes. People dive its remains in Humber Bay.


A three-masted schooner also located in Humber Bay, the Sligo was built in 1860 in St. Catharines and rebuilt in 1874, according to the Ontario Underwater Council. In 1918, the Sligo – named for a town in northwest Ireland – was being towed to Hamilton through a storm, according to Save Ontario Shipwrecks. The ship took on water and the combined weight of water and its cargo of 500 tons of limestone broke the towing line. The Sligo managed to enter Humber Bay and sank less than a mile from shore with no loss of life.

Julia B. Merrill

Another three-masted schooner in Humber Bay, the Julia B. Merrill was built in 1872 and when it was no longer useful was burned and sunk for the entertainment of the masses gathered on Sunnyside beach in 1931, according to the Ontario Underwater Council.

The Tilley

Located off Tommy Thompson Park the Tilley is a 25- to 30-foot sailboat, rumoured (although not likely) to belong owner of the Tilley clothing line, according to the Ontario Underwater Council. There is no date for when this boat sank but it has concrete blocks on it so was likely deliberately sunk.

Southern Trail

The Southern Trail is a wooden motor yacht built in 1926 and sunk sometime before 1992. It is located not far from The Tilley.


This sailboat sank off Tommy Thompson Park in October 2006. The boat's owner is unknown and it is thought to have been sunk deliberately. The SS-DIS was named by the first people who dove the wreck, possibly using their initials.

The Alexandria

A steamer built in Hull, Quebec in 1866, the 508-ton vessel was over 170 feet long and 30 feet wide, according to Hiking the GTA. The ship ran aground in a storm and sank on Aug. 3, 1915. The remains of the Alexandria can be seen from the Doris McCarthy Trail.

Lead photo by

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