Toronto Ferry Company

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To the left of the Hanlan Hotel, you can see the Doty Ferry Company docks, on the Toronto Island
People waiting for the ferry at the Doty Company Ferry docks at Hanlan's Point, circa 1885-95, by F.W. Micklethwaite

The Toronto Ferry Company was formed from the merge of John Doty Engine & Ferry Company with A.J. Tymon's Island Ferry Company, two of Toronto's early ferry operators to Toronto Islands in 1890. TFC was founded and headed by businessman Lol Solman. The company's ferry license and ships was later acquired by the Toronto Transportation Commission in 1927.

A.J. Tymon's Island Ferry Company[edit]

Capt. Andrew J. Tymon operated a number ferries from 1880 until the formation of his own service in the mid-1880s. It later merged with John Doty's company to form TFC in 1892.

Vessels included:

  • S.S. Arlington
  • S.S. Prince of Wales
  • S.S. Jessie L. McEdwards (1882)
  • S.S. Theresa (burned 1885)
  • S.S. Gertrude
  • S.S. Island Queen
  • S.S. Truant
  • S.S. Kathleen

John Doty Engine Company[edit]

Doty Brothers (John Doty) began as a builder of ship engines and gradually as an operator of ferry service to the Island. The company was located at Front and Bathurst Streets in a building now occupied by Sherwin-Williams paint store.

A list of engines built by John Doty:

  • high pressure steam engine for screw steamer Mascotte 1886
  • steam engine for screw steamer Jessie L. McEdwards 1876
  • engine for steamer Luella 1876
  • engine for steamer Sadie 1885
  • ferry and engines - Mayflower and Primrose 1890
  • two secondhand Doty compound steam engines would be installed in RMS Segwun during a 1925 conversion

Machinist John Doty founded the Doty Ferry Company in 1880 from the purchase of the assets of the Turner Ferry Company. It operated until merging with A.J. Tymon in 1890.

The John Doty Engine Works and shipyard would be sold in 1892 due to financial troubles; the facility operated until 1905 under George and John Bertram as the Bertram Engine Works.[1]

Docks[edit]

Fleet[edit]

A list of ships operated by the TFC:

Product list and details
 Make/Model   Description   # passengers   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
* Mayflower - built by Bathurst Street Wharf for John Doty Engine & Ferry Company ferry 900-1000 1890 1938 Later acquired from the Toronto Ferry Company by E.B. Osler (with acquisition of John Doty Engine & Ferry Company and Tymon's Island Ferry Company; became city garbage scow
Primrose built by Bathurst Street Wharf for John Doty Engine & Ferry Company ferry 900-1000 1890 1938 sister ship to the Mayflower and later acquired from the Toronto Ferry Company
Bluebell - built by Polson Iron Works Limited for Toronto Ferry Company ferry N/A 1906 1955
Trillium 1910-1957 - built by Polson Iron Works Limited for Toronto Ferry Company ferry N/A 1910; 1976 1957 re-enter service 1976 with Metro Parks
Luella - built by W. Armour & Company and John Doty Engine Company for Toronto Ferry Company ferry 122 1882 1934
Sadie - built as St. Jean Baptiste for the Turner Ferry Co. by James Andrew of Oakville double-decked paddle vessel - 112 feet 377 1885  ?
Canadian - built for the Turner Ferry Co. by Alexander Clindinning of Toronto two-decked, double-ended pad-die steamer - 122 feet 340 1882  ?
Prouvette Beyer - built for the Turner Ferry Co. ferry 1882  ?
Arlington - built for the A.J. Tymon Ferry Co. in Harwood single deck screw steamer 100 1878, 1880  ?
Jessie McEdwards - built for the A.J. Tymon Ferry Co. by Melancthon Simpson of St. Catharines single deck screw steamer - 65 feet 116 1876  ?
Kathleen - built for the A.J. Tymon Ferry Co. by George Dickson of Toronto two-decked screw steamer - 84 feet 200 1886 1918
Gertrude - built for the A.J. Tymon Ferry Co. by George Clean of Toronto two-decked screw steamer - 75 feet 147 1886  ?
Island Queen - built for the A.J. Tymon Ferry Co. - Joseph Duval at Port Dalhousie single-decked screw steamer - 73 feet 148 1882 1918
Ned Hanlan - built for the A.J. Tymon Ferry Co. ferry 1902 1966
T.J. Clark ferry 1918 1960
Miss Simcoe ferry 1918 1929
Lady York ferry 1918 1929
Aylmer ferry 1918 1929
Buttercup ferry 1918 1929
Jasmine ferry 1918 1929 later renamed Ojibway
Clark Brothers ferry 1918 1927
John Hanlan - built by John & James Abbey/Abbey Brothers Shipyards of Port Dalhousie screw steamer ~100 1844 1929 burned and sunk off Sunnyside Park 1929

See also[edit]

References[edit]