Council to Discuss Norgorma Move

M.S. Norgoma
Photo by Megan Pounder/SaultOnline

The controversy around the future of the M.S. Norgoma will be brought back to the table during Monday evening’s City Council meeting.

A resolution in the agenda requests that the St. Mary’s Marine Heritage Centre to be served notice to move the ship out of the Bondar Marina, and is asking the City’s approval in moving it to a temporary location behind Algoma Steel, which was made available to the city by Purvis Marine.

The Norgoma in Owen Sound, 1951.
Photo courtesy St. Mary’ s Marine Society

The Marine Heritage Centre will be required to move the Norgoma as soon as weather and ice conditions permit, with a deadline of April 15.

“This site will be inaccessible to the public but will provide a temporary location that removes the vessel from the marina and enables the new dock project to proceed,” Deputy CAO Tom Vair wrote in a report to Council.

According to this resolution, all costs to move the ship must be footed by the Heritage Centre, running them an estimated cost of $50,000. The boat will be allowed one year at Purvis Marine, and must be insured by the owner during the entire duration, as well as for the tow through the Sault Locks to Algoma Steel.

According to the report, if the Heritage Centre should become “insolvent as a result of this activity, the ownership and responsibility for the vessel reverts back to the City.

“In this event, staff envisions two options:

1) Decommission – The vessel would be decommissioned at an estimated cost of $150,000.

2) New owner – The vessel would be provided to another entity that has interest in taking the vessel to a new location (at the expense/liability of the new owner).

“We continue to recognize the SMRMHC volunteers for the numerous hours they have contributed towards the management and maintenance of the M.S. Norgoma. They should be commended for their years of hard work and service.”

Upon the passing of this resolution, city staff will be asked to help the Heritage Centre to coordinate the removal of the docks.

Throughout the course of this controversy, other locations for the Norgoma that were investigated (and rejected) included:

  • Parks Canada canal
  • Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre
  • Sault Area Hospital
  • St. Joseph Island; and
  • SunCor site


  1. Comments can be addressed to council in person if you wish per mic without being on the agenda.

  2. Why did they get into the mess to begin with for goodness sakes?

    Such a high risk situation !

    I sure do wonder how many deputy cao’s there are with assigned offices and assistants.

  3. Whose going to pay for the relocation? I recently heard a possible solution broadcasted online through this operation. It’s funny , simple and could actually work within a reasonable amount of time without costing money or a big deal to get rid of it. That is within Canadian boundaries.

  4. Maybe this Board of Mayor-commended Volunteers should voluntarily become insolvent by donating any and all remaining funds they have to the Fringe Festival!?!

    That would force the City to take ownership of the Norgoma and the $50,000 dollar DEBT they are about to saddle this wonderful group of young people the Mayor and City Council are giving them as A REWARD for the years of hard work and dedication they have recently put in on the refurbishment and re-purposing of the Norgoma, and the many many many years of hard work and dedication their community-minded predecessors put in before them.

    I’m sure this Mayor and City Council can find another $50,000 to move the Norgoma to Algoma Steel for a year if the City owned it.

    After all, this Mayor and Council are probably going to pass a $25 Million dollar taxpayer expenditure at Monday Night’s 4:30 pm City Council meeting they’re holding at City Hall (99 Foster Drive) where they’ll be discussing the Norgoma, the West End Library Closure, and the $25 Million dollar brand new NHL-sized Twin Pad west end Indoor Hockey Arena City Staff are recommending.

    Anybody who has anything to say about any one of these things ($25M dollar Rinks, west end Library Closure, Norgoma) should come down to City Hall this Monday March 18th at 4:30 pm, or anytime after 4:30 for that matter, to speak to City Council during the City Council meeting.

    All you have to do is walk up to the podium in the middle of the meeting, stand there, wait for the Mayor to address you, and tell him you’d like to speak to City Council about whatever it is you want to talk to them about: The new $25 Million dollar Hockey Rink, the West End Library Closure, the Removal of the Norgoma, or whatever else you’d like to praise them OR complain to them about.

    Just approach the podium silently and respectfully, and wait to ask to speak. The Mayor will address you, and he’ll tell you when you can speak.

    Mayor Provenzano said at the last City Council meeting that requests to speak like that are rarely ever denied.

    See you at City Hall on Monday at 4:30 or anytime you can make it. I’ll be asking to speak too.

    Email me if you have questions:


    • What I wonder would be the point of wasting time, money and other by speaking in person over there tomorrow evening even if Mr. Provenzano has chosen to become more of a diplomatic rather than tyrannical chairperson?

      Mr. Brown, I strongly suggest that you do your best to keep your input shorter, clearer and simpler for comprehension.

      Not at all do I mean without intellectual effort by you and the readers.

      I suggest my communication not be judged as destructive rather constructive and helpful in the true sense to arrive at the truth of that possible conflict.

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