Friday, October 29th, was a big day around the Toronto waterfront for that was the day that the steam tug NED HANLAN was moved to her new home beside the Marine Museum of Upper Canada in Exhibition Park.
Preparations for the move had been going on for quite some time before the ship was taken from the water. The MacDonald Tobacco Company donated the funds necessary to take care of the numerous expenses involved and John N. Brocklesby Transport Ltd., a subsidiary of Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., arranged for the actual transportation of the tug from the Metro Marine yard to the C.N.E. A large hole was dug to the west of the museum building to receive the tug and cradles were specially constructed to fit her hull.
On October 27th, Brocklesby cranes lifted the vessel from the murky waters of the Rees Street slip and she was placed on the cradles which had been positioned on a huge flatbed trailer. Then, two days later, once the Friday morning rush hour traffic had cleared, the trailer and its strange cargo began the long haul. The tug, gaily dressed in signal flags and wearing the Pilot Jack at the bow, the C.S.L. house flag at a sidepole, and the once-familiar Red Ensign at the stern, had attracted many observers and, with these recording the event, the stately procession moved off along Queen's Quay.
With the Police Department closing off the necessary roads and city and hydro crews removing or lifting electric wires and traffic light equipment, the HANLAN proceeded west on Queen's Quay and Lakeshore Blvd. and entered Exhibition Park from behind the Automotive Building. Here were encountered the only major problems of the operation. Several trailers were blocking the roadway at this point and once they had been removed, mechanical troubles with the HANLAN'S own tractor unit delayed the last leg of the move. Eventually, however, the tug was placed next to her new berth. She was lowered into the hole the next week and work on landscaping will now be put in hand. The tug herself will be sandblasted clean and then restored to her original operating condition.
The people of the City of Toronto owe a great debt to the Toronto Historical Board for its perseverance with this ambitious project and also to those who contributed to the effort. We hope that NED HANLAN will long serve to remind the populace of the steam tugs that worked so hard for so many years in our harbour.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.