Grey Highlands, Ontario

Donna's Place Top O' The Rock Eugenia

Lest We Forget Remembrance Day

georgian explorerThe Georgian Bay Explorer - The Finest Vessels on the Great Lakes

By 1917, the new Canadian Pacific Railway terminal at Port McNicoll was in full operation. After nearly 2O years in Owen Sound, the CPR fleet of five magnificent passenger ships had a new home. Now it was possible for passengers to board a train at Toronto's Union Station and three and a half hours later, arrive at Port McNicoll's docks where sumptuous gardens were laid out and flowers spelled the words CPR STEAMSHIPS. "No such vessels," the Toronto Globe reported, "have ever been seen on the Great Lakes, but their excellence lies not in the gorgeousness of their furniture but in their superiority over all other lake craft," Life aboard the five CPR Great Lakes ships was the height of luxury. Travel writers described the vessels as a "mode of travel that is pleasant and luxurious." The 750 kilometre trip to the Lakehead took a day and two nights and cost $73.00 for two people. With staterooms furnished in mahogany and brass and outfitted with private bathrooms, fresh linen, and flowers, each berth had private reading lights and twin beds. Passengers could play shuffleboard, have their hair cut, and enjoy a quality of food in the dining room that had rapidly become legendary. Canadian Pacific advertisements trumpeted, "The thrill of steamship life...the romance of cruising the world's largest lakes, historic sites, long, lazy brillíant days, cool nights with stars swinging low. This is shipboard life the Canadian Pacific way." Throughout the years before the Second World War, the five CPR steamers - the Manitoba, Kee- watin, Assiniboia, Alberta, and Athabasca - offered one of the world's great sailing adventures.