The SS Keewatin, Port McNicoll

#40 of 625 in Museums in Ontario
SS Keewatin is a passenger liner that once sailed between Port Arthur / Fort William (now Thunder Bay) on Lake Superior and Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) in Ontario, Canada. She carried passengers between these ports for the Canadian Pacific Railway's Great Lakes steamship service. Keewatin also carried packaged freight goods for the railway at these ports.HistoryBuilt by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland as Hull No. 453, Keewatin was launched 6 July 1907 and entered service in the following year. The Keewatin sailed to Owen Sound under her own power. She was halved at Levis, Quebec because the canals below Lake Erie, specifically the Welland Canal could not handle ships as long as the Keewatin. The ship was reassembled at Buffalo.The Keewatin ran continuously for almost 60 seasons, being retired in 1966. Soon after, she was acquired for historic preservation and was later listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States. Her sister ship, Assiniboia, was also set to be preserved as an attraction, but burned in 1971 and was scrapped.In the last twenty years of her working life, like many passenger ships of that era on the Great Lakes, Keewatin and sister ship Assiniboia operated under stringent regulations imposed for wooden cabin steamships following the disaster in 1949. Doomed by their wooden cabins and superstructure, these overnight cruisers lasted through the decline of the passenger trade on the lakes in the post-war years. As passengers opted for more reliable and faster modes of travel, Keewatin and her sister ship were withdrawn from the passenger trade in 1965, continuing in freight–only service until September 1967. Along with and Milwaukee Clipper, Keewatin was among the last of the turn-of-the-century style overnight passenger ships of the Great Lakes.
Add The SS Keewatin and other attractions to your Port McNicoll trip itinerary using our Port McNicoll vacation planner.
Create an itinerary including The SS Keewatin
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
The SS Keewatin Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
170 reviews
  • We found this exhibit last minute and decided to visit. The ship itself is beautiful and warrants a return visit during the history tours. The haunted tour was more of a tour and show put on by the....  more »
  • The tour is just the right length of time and is good for families and couples, or singles at a reasonable cost  more »
  • Fascinating step back in time of a cruise ship older than the Titanic and beautifully preserved. It is amazing how much of the original equipment is still on display and much of it in working order. The dining room is all original. They found the original china stored in boxes behind a closed off room. The steam engine still turns and they demonstrate the propulsion system. Even my wife, who isn’t usually interested in these things, really enjoyed it.
  • This place is very interesting! They are bringing back to life a luxury liner of the Great Lakes, and you can really imagine the ghosts of the past as they would have danced and dined across the waves. Visiting the boilers and the engine room and seeing the massive pistons moving was awe inspiring. Our tour guide had great knowledge of the ship and related many anecdotes about the crews and passengers of the past.

Plan your trip to Port McNicoll

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Side trips from Port McNicoll