Bow spray on ferry Ongiara, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands

Maid of the Mist

Ongiara impersonates the Maid of the Mist as high winds drive spray over the bow.

Ferry Ongiara in high winds, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands


Ferry Ongiara makes her way across the harbour with the winds gusting to 90Km/h.  By the time she landed at Ward’s, winds were gusting over 100Km/h, forcing her to stay Island-side for over an hour until the winds subsided enough for a bumpy journey back to the city. That’s not fog by the way, that’s […]

Ferry Ongiara and Bayview dike, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Sandbag Skyline

Ongiara sails past the sandbag dike on Bayview Ave.

Large crowds getting on and off ferry Ongiara, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Climate Change Schedule

A balmy 22°C October day shows the inadequacy of the winter schedule:  a crowd of people Island-side prevents the passengers of Ongiara from disembarking.  With only one boat running, some tourists had waited for three boats to try to leave the Island. Click image to view larger.

Ferry Ongiara in heavy steam, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands

Steamy Ongiara 2016

Ongiara sails into heavy steam during a -25°C cold snap.

Ferry Ongiara side loading at ferry dock, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Side Loadin’

Wonders will never cease. Top: Ongiara, doing a work run, ties up beside Ward’s dock in a perfect position to side load, something that they seem incapable of doing in winter when the dock becomes unusable due to ice. Bottom: Something I’ve never seen before, two ferries (Ongiara and William Inglis) at Ward’s dock. Excuse […]

Ice damage to Ongiara prop, ferry docks, Toronto Islands

Unlucky Clover

Not much remains of one of Ongiara’s props after the winter of 2014-15:  only one blade is left.  Heavy harbour ice sheared all of the other blades clean off.  The damage is much worse than this image, taken during the winter of 2011-12. Image provided by one of the deckhands.

Please do not feed the Ongiara, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Ongiara Warning

A whimsical sign adorns the new fencing (aka ‘The Cage’) at the Ward’s Island ferry docks.

Ferry Ongiara in ice, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands

Positive Negative

The changing face of Spring ice in the inner harbour reflects the darkness of an early morning and the lightness of an overcast midday.

Ferry Ongiara first docking of 2015, Wards Island, Toronto Islands

Oh Beautiful Boat

Ongiara makes the first successful docking of 2015 at Ward’s Island, on March 18.  This was a trial run without passengers, but heralds a potential return to service after four brutish weeks of commuting through the Island Airport.

Ongiara in ice, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands

Boat to Nowhere

Ongiara makes her way across the harbour through the thickest ice seen in years.

Ongiara Drydock

  Ongiara finally makes her way into drydock, almost a month behind schedule.  Pumpout of the drydock was estimated at 1-2 hours, but ended up lasting over four hours, finishing up long after dark.

Kayaking in early morning ice, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands

Harbour Dawn

After going through Hanlan’s and the airport for almost six weeks in 2004 the ice was pretty thick, and the City contracted out one of the largest tugs in the harbour to break up the ice as much as possible. After six weeks of relative silence the crunchy tinkling sound woke me up, in time […]

Toronto Island Community on the ferry Ongiara, Toronto Islands


Time warp back to 2004, and a sudden cold snap breaks the Ward’s dock hydraulics, trapping the Ongiara in place for several hours. The legendary ingenuity of the Island community came to the fore, assuming that having everyone run from one end of the boat to the other might shift it enough to get free […]

Ferry Ongiara and winter steam, Inner harbour, Toronto Islands

Full Steam Ahead

The Ongiara sails into a steamy sunrise in -25°C weather.

Old Ongiara door window, ferry Ongiara, Toronto Islands


Freezing snow clings to the wonderful (yet inaccessible) old wooden doors on the Ongiara in 2007.

Broken propellor from ferry Ongiara, Ferry docks, Toronto Islands

Ongiara Prop 2

Blades from the Ongiara’s prop sit sheared almost in half by heavy winter ice.

View of the Cove from ferry Ongiara, Eastern Gap, Toronto Islands

Ongiara Gapping

An odd view of the Cove from the deck of the Ongiara, as some captain in 2001 takes her out the Eastern gap to open up an ice blockage.

Ice sailing and ferry Ongiara, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands


Ice sailing under winter clouds on the frozen inner harbour, as the Ongiara sails past. Click image to view larger.

Kayaking during ice-out, Toronto Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands


An early panoramic self-portrait, kayaking on a delightful ice shelf formed during ice-out in March of 2004 as the Ongiara rumbles past. Click image to view larger.

Cpt. Tom on the Ongiara, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Cpt. Tom

A gem from the archives: it’s January 2004, and the temperature has just plummeted by over 20°C. Plastic shatters, pipes burst, and hydraulic lines fail.  Without hydraulic pressure, the crew of the Ongiara are unable to raise the Ward’s Island dock, effectively trapping the ferry Island-side. For two hours everything was tried, including something enterprising […]

Ferry Ongiara, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

1830 to the City

The Ongiara streaks to the city at 6:30 P.M., punching through the January ice in this two-minute exposure.

Ferry Ongiara, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands

Steamy Ongiara

The Ongiara makes her way through thick steam thrown up by an almost 30°C temperature drop.