The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Colonist (Toronto, ON), April 21, 1841

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p.2 The City of Toronto, commanded by Captain Dick, being the first of the new Royal Mail line of Packet Boats for Lake Ontario, made her appearance in Toronto harbour, on Wednesday last, having crossed from Niagara for the first time, and she has now commenced the regular trips for the season, to Kingston.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, a considerable number of Captain Dick's friends, - among whom were a goodly portion of the fair sex, - assembled on the main deck of the City of Toronto, to witness the presentation of a set of colors to the Captain, - the gift of the merchants of Toronto. The colors were presented by Isaac Buchanan, Esq., M.P. Mr. Buchanan addressed Captain Dick in terms appropriate to the occasion. He congratulated him on his arrival in our harbour, with his fine vessel, and in presenting the colours in name of the merchants, they wished not only to express their approval of the enterprise which has called into existence this new line of lake boats, but to express their friendly feeling to Captain Dick personally, to shew that his character is known and appreciated in Toronto. Mr. Buchanan acknowledged the compliment to the city, in calling the vessel the City of Toronto. He also congratulated the country on the extension of its trade, which called for this increased accommodation, - that we have now in the colony that combination of enterprise and science, so advantageous and so necessary to a new country, - that we are enabled, through the means of the Niagara Dock Company, to send afloat vessels fit for any service, and which would do honor to any country; - and he would express the hope (in which he would be joined by all who heard him) that the practical patriotism evinced in the magnificent plans which originated the Dock Company (for the sake of the Province, as well as for the sake of the proprietors) may be suitably recompensed by their success.

Mr. Buchanan, in conclusion, wished for the City of Toronto a long run of popularity, and that Captain Dick may, in his future progress and future efforts, realize all the encouragement and support to be derived from the confidence that, they are looked upon with the most friendly eye by the public generally, as well as by a large number of personal friends; but he was satisfied that Capt. Dick had too much experience of the world, not to be aware that the success of his enterprize depended in no small degree on his continued exertions to serve the public. Three hearty cheers were then given for the City of Toronto, and Captain Dick, having thanked the merchants, in true sailor style, for their handsome present, the colors were hoisted.

The company thereafter, by invitation of Captain Dick, repaired to the cabin, and partook of an entertainment prepared for the occasion. Many loyal and patriotic toasts were proposed, and drank to in sparkling Champagne, - appropriate speeches delivered, - and the party separated well pleased, and entertaining the best feelings for the Captain and his new vessel.

The following description of the City of Toronto, we take from a late number of the Niagara Chronicle:-

"No expense nor labour has been spared on the City of Toronto, she is as splendid a specimen of naval architecture as almost any country can exhibit. She is the exact model of the Acadia, one of the Halifax mail steamers, and is ship rigged; her length is 168 feet, beam 24 feet depth of hold in the clear, 11 feet; she has two powerful engines of over a hundred horse power; her shafts and cranks are of wrought iron, and were imported from Glasgow, which in the manufacture of such articles is unrivalled. Her cabins are fitted up with splendour, and possess every possible convenience. Indeed every thing which skill or cash could accomplish towards rendering the City of Toronto safe, speedy and elegant, has been done, and we heartily wish her enterprising owners the success they merit. Her figure head is an Indian Chief, with a tomahawk in one hand and a knife in the other, looking furious enough to frighten an army of "pale faces," and standing six feet three in his moccasins. It was carved in the river Clyde, by an eminent artist.

The other new steamers, to form the Mail Packet line, are the Niagara and the Princess Royal, - the latter, we are informed, is now on the stocks, at Niagara, and will be commanded by Captain Colcleugh, favourably known to the public when Master of the Britannia.

The City of Toronto returned to this port on Monday night, having landed her passengers near Bath; the ice being still in Kingston Harbor, she was prevented from entering. Yesterday the weather was so stormy on the Lake as to oblige the Queen to put back into port after having started for Niagara.

The City of Toronto will leave again for Kingston, today.

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April 21, 1841
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Colonist (Toronto, ON), April 21, 1841