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SIDOR Venezuela - July 25 1999
A recent stroll around the Lower Union Street dock and the former Kingston Shipyards site reminded me of some earlier views. Vestiges of the marine railway exist (below), with this concrete boat ramp lined with rails still, and a yard-long piece of rail among the rocks in the water. The wooden minesweeper HMCS Resolute is launched (top photo) on June 20, 1953 with a tugboat standing by. (Queen's University Archives, George Lilley fonds, V25.5-31-25-1) Private yacht Sirocco is launched on May 14, 1959 (below) with invited guests on a platform spanning the marine railway. Another vessel or scow visible at the shipyards at left (Queen's University Archives, George Lilley fonds, V25.5-25-55) Part of the Shoreline Route waterfront trail now, the modern-day trail-walkers likely have no idea there was a large shipyard building outside which these vessels took shape before launching down the ways. Vessels larger than kayaks! There is little interpretation at the site. The city hopes to make this a deepwater dock to lure cruise-ship traffic. (Get going on it now, while there are no cruise-ships travelling the Lakes!) A reverse view, from the shipyards launchways over to the marine railway. Large timbers and pipes still line the shoreline where corvettes and other vessels entered the lake: Lyall Scott Dougan's pilot house pre-dated the parkland here, shown in the early-1970's along with signage for the City water intake suction pipe (below). The advent of the Seaway meant that the shipping channel was on the American side of the St. Lawrence; few ships in the immediate area needing pilotage. One more view from the marine railway, showing the former Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at background left, the ever-present skyline-sucking condos and the launchways remnants: The corvette HMCS Napanee was launched at the same location on August 31, 1940. A capacity crowd lined the waterfront for the occasion (Queen's University Archives, George Lilley fonds, V25.5-45-43).
This article first appeared on hanleyspur.blogspot.com
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