Province Making Ferry Service Easier and More Reliable for Residents and Commuters
Ontario is moving forward with plans to build two new ferries to connect the mainland with Amherst Island and Wolfe Island, making commuting for residents and passengers easier and more reliable.
The province has awarded the contract for new, larger ferries that will support more people, vehicles and goods in travelling to and from the islands. The Wolfe Island ferry will be able to carry a maximum of 399 passengers and 75 vehicles, while the Amherst Island ferry will carry up to 300 passengers and 40 vehicles. Both vessels will feature separate loading areas for passengers and vehicles as well as improved safety, accessibility and sustainability features.
The ferries are expected to be delivered in December 2019 for Amherst Island and December 2020 at Wolfe Island. The existing ferry at Amherst Island will serve as a backup vessel to both Wolfe Island and Amherst Island services. The Wolfe Islander III will remain in service together with the new Wolfe Island vessel, allowing for two vessels to run during peak periods to help speed up the movement of people and goods. Details of the service to Wolfe Island are being developed with input from the ferry users.
Improving ferry service between these islands and the mainland will keep people and goods moving safely and effectively to and from two of Ontario’s premier tourist spots, and provide a crucial link to the mainland for Wolfe and Amherst Island residents.
Investing in transportation infrastructure is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Damen Shipyards was awarded the contract, valued at over $61,000,000.
- Ferries transport approximately 850,000 passengers and 420,000 vehicles between Wolfe Island and Kingston each year, and approximately 290,000 passengers and 136,000 vehicles to and from Amherst Island annually.
- The Amherst Island Ferry is owned by the Ministry of Transportation and operated by Loyalist Township. It makes 20 trips per day between Millhaven on the mainland and Stella on the island.
- The Wolfe Islander III is owned and operated by the Ministry of Transportation. It makes 19 trips per day between the mainland in downtown Kingston and Wolfe Island.
“Investing in new ferries will keep these beautiful island communities connected to the Ontario mainland. In addition to moving people to and from Wolfe and Amherst Islands, these new ferries will generate local economic opportunities and growth that will benefit all residents.” — Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation
“This is great news for everyone who takes the ferry as part of their daily commute and for the many tourists who visit Wolfe Island every year. The increased level of service will facilitate a more efficient flow of goods, services and people including an improved access to emergency services for residents when necessary. It will also allow more impromptu visits to the island whether it is to take in the wonderful vistas, enjoy a meal or take in a music or cultural event at one at one of the local business establishments. More generally, it will allow more people to enjoy everything Wolfe Island has to offer.” — Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands
“New ferries will provide easier and more reliable connections between the islands and the mainland. Whether you’re visiting Wolfe Island or Amherst Island for fun or commuting to work, better ferry service will make getting to and from the islands more convenient.” — Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands