With a bollard pull of 851 people, SS Keewatin was towed to her new berth in in Port McNicoll, Canada on 22 April.
The tow was done by enthusiastic volunteers, each paying $20 for the privilege and all in support of the future Advanced Cardiac Care Program at Royal Victoria Hospital’s cardiology ward.
After receiving a $1,000,0000 grant to rebuild the 100-yearold docks and create a park where “KEE”, as she is also known, has been berthed, Keewatin needed to be moved 350 feet to make way for the construction. They could have used tugs but …
The move was incident free and raised $21,000.00. The single screw, 3,856 ton (GT), is 336.5 feet (102.6 metres) LOA with a 3,300 hp quadruple expansion steam engine with 4 coal-fired scotch boilers was built for the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Great Lakes steamship to trade between Port Arthur / Fort William (Thunder Bay) on Lake Superior and Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay, Lake Huron in overnight service.
Clyde-built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, she was launched on 6 July 1907 and sailed under her own steam to Levis, Quebec to be cut in half because of the restrictive length of the Welland Canal. Keewatin was reassembled in Buffalo.
Five years older than Titanic, Keewatin (a Cree word meaning “Blizzard of the North”) is thought to be the only surviving British built passenger ship from the Edwardian period.