Ontario to build new ferry for Pelee Island

14 June 2015 (Last Updated June 14th, 2015 18:30)

Chile-based shipbuilder Asenav has secured a contract from the Ontario ministry of transportation (MTO) to construct a new ferry for Pelee Island.

Chile-based shipbuilder Asenav has secured a contract from the Ontario ministry of transportation (MTO) to construct a new ferry for Pelee Island.

Expected to start service in 2018, the new ferry will serve the existing docks at Pelee Island, Leamington and Kingsville.

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said: "This new ferry will help keep goods and people moving in one of the most beautiful regions of Ontario.

"This project is proof of our government’s commitment to making the daily commute and quality of life better for Ontario residents."

"This project is proof of our government’s commitment to making the daily commute and quality of life better for Ontario residents."

The new vessel will be capable of accommodating up to 399 passengers and either 34 cars, or 16 cars and four tractor trailers.

With this capacity, the ferry will transport more than 60,000 visitors per year, along with residents who travel to the island.

The newbuild will replace the 55 years old MV Pelee Islander, which has an accommodation capacity of 196 passengers and ten vehicles.

Meanwhile, MV Jiimaan, another existing vessel, which started operation in 1992, will continue to service Pelee Island. This ferry is capable of accommodating 399 passengers and 35 automobiles.

Tourism, culture and sport minister Michael Coteau said: "As a premier tourism showpiece, Pelee Island is one of Ontario’s most unique and visually stunning destinations.

"I’m proud of our government’s work to enhance ferry access for residents and businesses, create local jobs and attract more visitors to this beautiful part of our province."

The new development is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario to improve transportation across the province.