The Kingston Coal Dock, located on Lake Ontario near the former Rockwood Asylum, is being prepared as a location for a temporary deep-water dock which will allow Great Lakes cruise ships to stop in Kingston.
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), a division of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, recently performed a detailed survey of the dock, which is owned by H.R. Doornekamp Construction Ltd. The company is working in partnership with Tourism Kingston to create this temporary dock while a permanent location for a deep-water dock is determined, according to a release from Tourism Kingston.
“We are pleased to be able to bring the Kingston Coal Dock back to life as a marine asset,” Ben Doornekamp, Director, H.R. Doornekamp Construction Ltd., said in a statement. “Since we have this dock on Kingston’s showcase waterfront, we enthusiastically support Tourism Kingston in welcoming Great Lakes cruise ships to our community and the region. Great Lakes cruising is a terrific means of experiencing the wonders of eastern Ontario with guests from near and far, and will be a tremendous addition to Kingston’s superb tourism offerings.”
“The Kingston Coal Dock, owned by Doornekamp Construction Ltd., is a marine asset suitable for docking Great Lakes cruise ships,” echoed Sandy Berg, also of H.R. Doornekamp Construction Ltd. “With this valuable asset, we’ve invited Tourism Kingston to use our dock and try to attract Great Lakes cruise ships to Kingston and the region. We are happy to provide this docking opportunity for as long as Tourism Kingston requires this service.”
As part of its 2019-2022 strategic plan, Kingston City Council identified facilitating a deep-water dock as one of its priorities. Tourism Kingston’s Integrated Destination Strategy, a multi-year road map to enhance the city’s appeal as a visitor destination, also recognizes Kingston’s potential in the Great Lakes, recommending the city be positioned as a key cruise tourism hub, according to the release. A deep-water access point is necessary to make Kingston an attractive port and to fully leverage the potential of this industry, the tourism agency said.
“Kingston’s location where Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River meet and situated between Toronto and Montreal in the Thousand Islands makes the city an ideal stop for a Great Lakes cruise. With a safe and welcoming dock capable of hosting these larger ships, we know Kingston will attract new cruises and visitors and become a desirable addition to cruise itineraries,” said Megan Knott, Executive Director, Tourism Kingston, in a statement.
The Canadian Hydrographic Service surveyed the dock and its surrounding area with particular attention on the quadrant directly in front of the dock wall. According to the release, this survey work acquired up-to-date hydrographic data in the area, which will help determine depths for navigation purposes, vitally important information to ensure safe access for visiting ships.
“Kingston is one of the most rewarding ports of call on any Great Lakes cruise itinerary. It has all of the elements necessary to deliver a first-class holiday experience and to be the perfect component on any cruise itinerary,” added Stephen Burnett, Executive Director, The Great Lakes Cruise Association. “The new deep-water mooring wall will be a significant asset for Kingston and a welcome stopping place for the Great Lakes cruise fleet. In spring 2022, cruising will return to the Great Lakes and be part of the rebuilding process for tourism in Ontario.”