Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Ontario (Steamboat), aground, 3 Dec 1854
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We regret to record the wreck and probable loss of the Steamer ONTARIO, of Montreal, at Nicholson's Island on Sunday last. She left Kingston on the previous day with a light wind from the S.W. which subsequently increased to a gale, compelling her to take refuge on the N.E. side of the Island. Both anchors were dropped,but the vessel dragged them and struck on the 'bar', when she slipped her best bower, and steamed to the N.E.. The gale meanwhile increased to the extent that the vessel became unmanagable and it was resolved the safest course was to beach her on the Island, where she now lies with 6 feet of water in her hold.
      Toronto GLOBE
      Dec. 7, 1854

      . . . . .

Messrs. Sutherland saved the greater part of the Cobourg cargo from the wrecked Steamer ONTARIO. We regret to learn that the ONTARIO is fast becoming a perfect wreck, her timbers being forced open, and her holds filled with water, she is exposed to the full sweep of the sea from the east.
      Toronto Globe
      Dec. 9, 1854

      . . . . .
The schooner LONDON of Cobourg, got the greater part of the cargo of the ONTARIO, mostly sugar. The ONTARIO is valued at $30,000 and was insured for about half her value, her engine and walking beam are none the worse yet.
      Port Hope Ensign
      December 9, 1854

WRECKED. -- During the gale of Sunday week, the steamer ONTARIO, on her passage from Montreal to Hamilton, was disabled some fifty miles up Lake Ontario, from Kingston, and went ashore on Nicholson's Island, some dozen miles east of presque Isle. It is uncertain whether the steamer will be saved. She had some 200 tons of goods on board, for the Upper Canada merchants.
The ONTARIO is a Canadian paddle-wheel steamer, of the largest class that can pass the St. Lawrence Canals, and is owned by Hooker and Holston of Kingston. She should not be confounded with the fine American steamer of the same name, now in winter quarters at this port. -- Rochester Paper.
      Since the above has been in type, we learn by telegraph, that the steamer ONTARIO has been got off, and is now in port.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      December 11, 1854

      . . . . .

      Steamer ONTARIO, to be a total wreck
      Toronto Globe
      Dec. 13, 1854
      . . . . .

LOSS OF THE BRITISH STEAMER "ONTARIO." -- This unfortunate steamer, the loss of which we recorded a few days ago, will become a total wreck. She had a full cargo, valued at £30,000. The schooner LONDON, of Cobourg, went down and got off the greater part of the cargo, and arrived safe at Cobourg on Saturday, inst., Sugar composed a great part of her cargo, which will, of course by useless. Most of her cargo was destined for Cobourg and the towns west of that as far as Toronto. The boat was insured for about half her value. Her engine and walking beam are not much the worst yet. -- Port Hope Ensign.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      December 15, 1854
      . . . . .

      To Be Sold By Public Auction
      The hull and engine of the Steamer ONTARIO, as she now lies
      Stranded on Nicholsons Island, Presqu'Isle
      (The ONTARIO was built by Messrs. McCarty, of Sorel in 1841)
      Toronto Globe
      May 4, 1855

      . . . . .
      In an advert regarding the steamer WELLAND (wreck) there is also offered for sale the engine and machinery of the wrecked steamer ONTARIO with the steam cylinder listed as 6 foot stroke and 46 & 3/8 inches in diameter.
      Toronto Globe
      September 9, 1856

ONTARIO. side/wheel Steamer of 200 tons. Built Sorel 1850 and registered at the Port of Montreal. owned by Torrence & Co. Classed as a freight boat of £500 value. and A 1. class.
      Register of British Shipping
      Inland Waters, 1854
      Steamer ONTARIO. Built Sorel 1851. Wrecked Lake Ontario November 14, 1854. Of 284 TONS GROSS. 176 X 25 X 11.
      Preliminary List of Canadian Merchant Steamships
      Inland & Coastal, 1808 to 1930
NOTE. - A large wooden stocked anchor, recovered from the water off Nicholson's Island around 1973, could well be from the ONTARIO.



Item Type
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $30,000
Freight: Sugar &c.
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Emailwalter@maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.caWWW address
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Ontario (Steamboat), aground, 3 Dec 1854