This Is What's Happening With Toronto's Ferry Service To The Island After The Dock Crash

Prepare for longer wait times and line-ups.

Toronto Associate Editor
The Toronto Island ferries docked at the terminal.

The Toronto Island ferries docked at the terminal.

If you're planning on going to the Toronto islands one last time before summer ends, you may want to plan ahead because the ferry service is running on a tighter schedule.

In an emailed statement to Narcity, the City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) division confirmed that the ferry service between Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Toronto Island will be operating at reduced capacity following the crash over the weekend.

@narcitytoronto

Toronto Island Ferry Is Reducing Their Services After Ferry Docking Incident ⛴ #toronto #torontonews #torontoisland

On August 20, shortly after 5 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) said in a tweet that one of the ferries hit the dock at Queens Quay West and Bay Street.

Const. Sinderela Chung confirmed with Narcity that a total of 17 people were injured following the accident, but nobody sustained life-threatening injuries.

"Twelve people were treated and released on scene [and] five people, including two children, were taken to [the] hospital," said Chung.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) — an independent agency that looks into marine, rail, air and pipeline transportation incidents — is now investigating what happened with the Sam McBride ferry on Saturday.

"As a result, ferry service between the city and Toronto Island will continue to operate on a modified schedule until the investigation is complete and the vessel is cleared to return to operations by Transport Canada," said the City's PFR division.

So, what will exactly happen to the ferry island service?

Even though the Sam McBride ferry is out of service, the City said there will still be ferries sailing off to Centre Island, Hanlan's Point, and Ward's Island. But, ferry users should prepare for longer wait times as the City notes that "lineups on both city and island side will move slower due to the reduced carrying capacity."

To find out how often the ferries will be running, you can check out the City's website for the full schedule.

While the schedule appears to remain unchanged online, the City's PFR division explained that their current fleet won't be able to carry as many people to and from the island, now that one of their four boats isn't in operation.

Two of the three remaining boats — the Thomas Rennie and the William Inglis — can carry 915 and 399 passengers respectively. The Ongiara can bring both passengers and their vehicles for a total of 220 people on board.

What safety measures do the ferries have?

Well, according to the City, all of the ferries are inspected each and every year by either Transport Canada or the Lloyd's Register through the Delegated Statutory Inspection Program.

Transport Canada recently passed a safety and security certificate for Toronto's ferries, which the City says was issued on June 21, 2022, with the engine and transmission inspection passing a third-party provider's inspection earlier this month on August 10.

The ferries cannot run without this safety and security certificate, and PFR says that the boats that fail to meet the certification standards "would be removed from active service until the necessary work has been completed to receive safety certification."

The PFR division said that City staff is working with TPS, Transport Canada and the Harbour Master's Office during the ongoing investigation.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor
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