PS Trillium

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Trillium clip wide.jpg
Name: Trillium
Owner: City of Toronto
Operator: Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division
Builder: Polson Iron Works
In service: 1910
Out of service: 1957
Refit: 1974
Reinstated: 1976
Homeport: Toronto, Ontario
Status: In service
General characteristics
Tonnage: Gross:672.82 Net:463.42
Length: 150 feet (45.7 m)
Beam: 30 feet (9.1 m)
Depth: 8 feet (2.4 m)[1]
Installed power: Scotch boiler
Propulsion: Side wheeler
Notes: Polson Iron Works - Ship Builds, 1910[2]

The Trillium is a side wheeler ferry operated by the City of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is one of several ferries between its terminal at Bay Street and Queens Quay and three landing points on the Toronto Islands. It is the last sidewheel-propelled vessel on the Great Lakes.[1]


The ship was built in 1910 by Polson Iron Works.[3] [4][5][6] The ferry was built for and initially operated by the Toronto Ferry Company.[7] Trillium's sister ship the Bluebell and other ferries The Primrose and Mayflower in the company's fleet were also named after flowers.

In 1926, the City of Toronto acquired the Trillium and the other ferries in the Toronto Ferry Company's fleet, and took over all ferry services.[7] The Trillium was retired in 1957 and allowed to sink in a lagoon in the Toronto Islands, but was restored and returned to service in 1976.[7] Champion Engineering Ltd. was the lead contractor during the restoration.


In 1911, the Trillium ran aground while on her return from a lacrosse match.[8] The Trillium collided with the former MS Normac in 1981.[9][10] The Normac, a former Great Lakes passenger vessel had been converted to Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant, and had been permanently moored in the Yonge Street slip since 1970. A mechanical failure caused the Trillium to stop before colliding with the restaurant. The restaurant developed a slow leak, which caused it to sink two weeks later. A 29-year-old man drowned after jumping off the Trillium while attending the 1993 Caribana festival. He jumped off at 11 pm on July 29, telling friends that he would meet them on shore at Ontario Place. The Trillium was about 300 feet (91 m) from shore. Police recovered his body on July 30.[11] The victim's mother was hurt by speculation about his sobriety.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Know Your Ships 2017. Marine Publishing Co. Inc. 2017. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-891849-22-0. 
  2. ^ Polson Iron Works - Ship Builds, 1910
  3. ^ "Nautical History". Save Ontario Shipwrecks. 2003. Retrieved December 21, 2011. The Iron Works only two existing ships in Toronto are the Trillium (built in 1913, which still ferry's passengers to Centre Island) and the RCYC passenger ferry Kwasind (1913).  mirror
  4. ^ "Trillium". Canadian Transportation Agency. March 8, 2006. Retrieved March 18, 2008.  mirror
  5. ^ "Hail to the Trillium". Scanner magazine. Toronto Marine Historical Society. Summer 1976. Retrieved November 21, 2008.  mirror
  6. ^ "The Elegant Paddle Steamer". The Great Lakes Schooner Company. Retrieved November 21, 2008.  mirror
  7. ^ a b c "Trillium (Ferry)". City of Toronto. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ Ernest Hemingway, William White (1985). "Dateline, Toronto: the complete Toronto star dispatches, 1920-1924". Scribners. Retrieved March 27, 2012. In 1911 the ferry boat Trillium ran aground and lay for fifty-eight minutes, stuck fast on her way to the city from the Toronto-Tecumseh lacrosse match at ... 
  9. ^ "Captain John's boat leaves watery grave". Maritime History of the Great Lakes. June 15, 1986. Retrieved March 22, 2012.  mirror
  10. ^ "Captain John's Restaurant sinks". Heritage Toronto. October 6, 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2012.  mirror
  11. ^ "Body of man, 29, found on bottom of lake". Toronto Star. Toronto ON. July 31, 1993. p. A04. 
  12. ^ Lisa Wright (August 1, 1993). "Police find body of man who leapt from ferry boat". Toronto Star. Toronto ON. p. A5. Retrieved July 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Trillium at Wikimedia Commons