Frontenac typically generated about 50 horsepower (using the original Boulton and Watt formula), which was too little for a ship of her size, and she was often outperformed by sailing craft. She rarely managed to make money in eight years; the provincial population was simply too small.
Frontenac was sold for ₤1550 to John Hamilton in 1824, who persisted two more unsuccessful years before selling her for scrap at Niagara in 1827. Before she could be scrapped, she burned to the waterline due to arson. Parts of her engines were salvaged and used later in the Alciope on Lake Ontario and Adelaide on Lake Erie.