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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Just add water: Vintage boat show, steamships and Royal Canadian Navy frigate



   One-Tank Trip for July 1/17


   (c) By Jim Fox

   For some hot fun in the summertime, just add water.
   Classic wooden boats that plied the blue-black waters of the Muskoka Lakes for decades and even a century will be making waves at the 37th annual Vintage Boat Show.
   It happens next Saturday (July 8) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst.
   To celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial, the Antique and Classic Boat Society-Toronto is offering free admission to its popular show of the sleek and classy watercraft.
Cruises on the Segwun and sister steamship Wenonah II leave from Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst. (Jim Fox photo)
   This year’s theme is “Birch Bark to Fibreglass: 150 Years of Boating in Canada” and will feature more than 100 vintage boats.
   There will be exhibits, activities and ceremonies from the Muskoka Discovery Centre, Canadian Canoe Museum and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation marking National Canoe Day.

   Visitors can “ride along” in some of the watercraft including large Voyageur canoes.
   There will be a vintage vehicle display, fashion show, flea market, “Field of Dreams,” Vendors Alley and kid’s activities.

   More fun on the water
   From July 4 to 9, three days of “pre-event activities” are included such as a tour of Lake of Bays, a poker run and regatta of non-motorized craft, such as sailboats, rowboats, kayaks and skiffs, on Gull Lake.
   The Muskoka Wharf is where the historic steamships – with a heritage older than Canada – sail.
   The first ship steamed Lake Muskoka in 1866 and this year is the RMS Segwun’s, 130th-year as North America’s oldest operating mail steamship.
   Also sailing from there is Wenonah II, a “modern interpretation” of a traditional steamship, named in honour of Wenonah, the first steamship to sail Lake Muskoka.
The Antique and Classic Boat Society’s annual show returns to Gravenhurst next weekend.
   Segwun offers cruises including a two-hour sightseeing with “high tea,” lunch and sunset dinner sailings this season including July 8.
   Before or after sailing, visit the Discovery Centre with free admission by presenting your steamship ticket.
   The centre is a “one-of-a-kind museum to discover the history of steamships, wooden boats, resort hotels, aboriginal and early settlers.
   There are interactive exhibits, hands-on experiences and stories of life in and on the water and a KidZone.
   This includes the history of Muskoka wooden boats found in the Murray Walker Grace & Speed boathouse, North America’s largest in-water collection.
   There are some of the “most beautiful wooden boats” created by 11 Muskoka builders more than 80 years ago.
   Step inside the freight deck of the replica RMS Segwun to watch three movies about the restoration of the ship, the famous 100-Mile Cruise and dry-docking and get to blow steam whistles.

   If you go:
   It all takes place at the Muskoka Wharf, Steamship Bay Road, in Gravenhurst.
   For show details: acbs.ca; (416) 299-3311; Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre: realmuskoka.com; 1-866-687-6667

   Navy sails into Toronto
   The Royal Canadian Navy is returning to Toronto for the free Redpath Waterfront Festival this weekend, including Canada Day, to help launch the Ontario 150 Tour.
The Royal Canadian Navy returns to Toronto’s waterfront festival with the frigate HMCS Toronto.
   The tour includes Rhythm of the Nation and the West Coast Lumberjack Show that sails to five other Ontario ports.
   They are Owen Sound, July 7-9, Sault Ste. Marie, July 13-15, Midland, July 21-23, Amherstburg, Aug. 5-6, and Brockville, Aug. 10-13.
   On the Toronto waterfront are shows and entertainment, food, drinks, shopping, games and more at Sherbourne Common and HTO Park.
   HMCS Toronto ties up at Sherbourne Common and offers free tours and a chance to meet the crew.
   Activities include the Navy Chef Barbecue Cook Off on Sunday with commanding officers in a culinary battle.
   Another highlight is an appearance by the world’s largest rubber duck that’s six stories tall at HTO Park.
   Hours today and Sunday are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s at Sherbourne Common (61 Dockside Drive) and HTO Park (339 Queen’s Quay W.).

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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