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our first newsletter - S.S. Norisle Calling (.PDF 1.07 Mb)
Friends of the Norisle welcome you to
the official website of the S.S. Norisle, the first passenger steam ship built in
Canada after World War II. The Norisle is berthed at Bay Street Marina in
Manitowaning (within the
Township of Assiginack) on Manitoulin Island.
After retiring from service in 1974, the Norisle was
purchased by the Township of Assiginack in 1975 to serve as a major tourist
attraction and floating museum. She formed a part of the community's
Museum Heritage Complex and was open to the public for self guided tours each
summer for over 30 years. As a floating museum, the Norisle served as one
of the finest examples of the ships of yesteryear that sailed the Great Lakes.
The Norisle has been subject to controversial opinions
over the years that vary from sinking her to establish a dive site to
reinstating her as a regionally significant heritage cruise. All said
done, one key point remains - the Township of Assiginack, a small municipality
with limited financial resources is not in a position to maintain the ship any
longer as a floating museum.
fall of 2006, the Norisle was threatened when her lower hull flooded.
Although she was pumped and secured, it became
abundantly clear that new options needed to be explored as soon as possible to
determine what the future may hold for our regional historic marine asset.
A group of
compassionate citizens from across Manitoulin
Island gathered at a public meeting and with the blessing of the Township of
Assiginack - formed Friends of the Norisle.
Norisle Community Photo in Celebration of Assiginack Township's 125th Birthday