From 1912, Port McNicoll was home port of the CPR‘s passenger and package freight steamships, SS Keewatin and Flagship SS Assiniboia. The steamers would take on passengers from the “boat train”, arriving from Toronto, upbound to Port Arthur / Fort William to connect with their trains there. Downbound, the steamers would carry passengers back to Port McNicoll, returning to Toronto, via Medonte and Midhurst.
During the depression of the 1930s, the rail connection between Orillia and Lindsay, was abandoned. The CPR’s older steamers, SS Alberta, SS Athabaska and SS Manitoba continued to run from Owen Sound until the mid 1930s when the Alberta and Athabaska were withdrawn from service. With an increase in the handling of package freight, these two ships were pressed into freight-only service from Port McNicoll, until the end of the war. The SS Manitoba was retired in 1950, following the SS Noronic disaster.
The SS Keewatin and SS Assiniboia continued operating until the cessation of passenger service in 1965, when they too were reduced to freight-only service. The coal burning Keewatin was withdrawn from service in November 1966, while sister ship Assiniboia, with boilers converted to burn oil years earlier, was likely the reason she lasted longer. The SS Assiniboia retired November 26, 1967
photo resurrected from an old family photo album no details on the back of the 2.4 inch by 3.3 inch print.