La Grande Hermine – Jordan Harbour Shipwreck
For anyone traveling on the QEW Highway between Hamilton and St. Catharines there is an interesting landmark (or is it a watermark?) that let’s them know they are passing Jordan Harbour. Since 1997 this 140 foot replica of French explorer Jacques Cartier’s ship the La Grand Hermine has rested here.
Originally built in Quebec in 1914 it was a ferry on the St. Lawrence, later became a cargo ship, then a floating restaurant and finally converted into a replica ship. It was then towed by the owner to Jordan Harbour in 1997 in hopes of turning it into a gambling venue in a spot near Niagara Falls. Unfortunately the owner passed away before permission was received and it has sat here ever since. In January 2003 an arson fire caused extensive damage to the wood clad vessel and what remains is a rusted hull that still attracts the attention of travelers on the busy Queen Elizabeth Way Highway.
This video link is by CHCH News with the history of the ship with photo’s before the fire.