New & Notable

Make way for the Tall Ships!

Empire Sandy
This summer The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour will sail to 15 Ontario ports to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, and what better time to celebrate the beautiful waterfronts in towns and cities across the province.

What exactly is a tall ship? The term “tall ship” is often used as general description of a ship that simply has at least one tall mast. This mast is what holds up the sails that in turn use the wind power to move and direct the ship.

Brockville, Ontario played host to the first stop of the tour from June 14-16th, 2013. With blue skies and warm weather this historic Ontario town on the St. Lawrence River welcomed the ships in style. Here are some of the highlights and a peek at what to expect on the next stops on the tour.

All hands on deck!

From chartered dinner cruises aboard Liana’s Ransom, to daytime tours of the Empire Sandy, the Brockville edition of the Tall Ships tour let you get up close and personal with your favourite vessels. Check out the events schedule for the rest of the summer to find out how you can get aboard.

The Empire Sandy

A fan favourite with an Ontario connection, the Empire Sandy is a beautiful 200 foot ship that calls Toronto home. She has a unique history: The Empire Sandy began service on July 14, 1943 sailing in convoy to Iceland. Voyages were usually done in convoys for protection against the German U-Boats during WWII. The Empire Sandy sailed in a total of sixteen convoys.


Tall ship fans were especially excited about the Sørlandet – the oldest and best kept full rigged ship in operation. The Sørlandet was built in Kristiansand, Norway in 1927. The name Sørlandet is Norwegian for “The South Land” and also the name for the southern region of Norway.

Tall Ships Challenge

1812 History

Want to brush up on your history? The War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemorations are a big part of the tour. Stop by the Parks Canada War of 1812 Exhibits and chat with costumed interpreters to find out more about Ontario’s history.

War of 1812

Bonus: A Brockville Hidden Gem

While the tall ships bring you to the ports on The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour, stick around to discover the local history tucked away in each town. A great discovery in Brockville? Canada’s First Railway tunnel which runs beneath the city. The tunnel first opened in 1860. The tunnel was designed to provide a rail link from the timber trade of the Ottawa Valley to the Brockville port facilities on the St. Lawrence River, which it did up until it closed in the 1970s.

Canada's Oldest Railway Tunnel

Canada's Oldest Railway TunnelMore about The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour: This pan-provincial tour, produced in partnership with the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2013 series, will feature tall ships from around the world. From June 14 to September 2, 2013, you can tour the decks of the majestic fleet of ships, participate in War of 1812 interactive experiences, enjoy live musical performances, kids programming and much more.


Which port will you visit?

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