Steamers on Lake Temagami


While the lodges, youth camps, cottages, Temagami First Nation and the Hudson's Bay Company store were the lifeblood of the lake, the steamers were the stairway to heaven.

Below: Pride of Temagami Steamer Belle of Temagami at the Hudson's Bay Company post on Bear Island, c.1935.












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Part 1: series on historic boats   1  2  3  Next >>

The first steamer was dragged by a team of horses from Lake Timiskaming to Temagami on runners over ice and snow in 1903. That summer she berthed near the portage from Caribou Lake that was between today's village and the Temagami Shores. She ferried people and freight up and down the lake as they funnelled through the canoe route from Lake Timiskaming. But the owner of the S.S. Marie wasn't really interested in this small trade. Restless entrepreneur Dan O'Connor foresaw the tourist boom that would follow the arrival a year later of the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway (T&NO). That's where he was putting his money.

He wasted no time once he had the Marie in place, and began working on his dream of a tourist mecca. By 1910, Temagami Steamboat and Hotel Company in which O'Connor was the managing partner was operating ten steamers out of Temagami landing. It also built and operated the first three lodges: Temagami Inn, Lady Evelyn Hotel and Hotel Ronnoco.

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If you have photos, anecdotes or information you would like to contribute to this series on Temagami's boat lines,

email Brian Back.


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