Among its fleet of seasonal vehicle and passenger ferries, the Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC), an operational enterprise agency of the Province of Ontario, owns and operates the M.S. Chi-Cheemaun from Tobermory to the South Baymouth Ferry terminal on Manitoulin Island. This majestic ferry, which stretches 365 feet in length and weighs in at nearly 7,000 tons delivers up to 143 cars and 638 passengers in a single 30 mile crossing. In continuous operation from May to mid-October, with up to 28 round-trips a week in peak season, it accounts for a sizeable portion of the thousands of tourists who visit the island annually.
With the continued popularity of the crossing, OSTC retained Crozier & Associates to develop design alternatives to optimize the balance between queueing space for vehicles waiting to enter the ferry and parking spaces for visitors and employees at this busy point of entry to the island. The final approved site plan successfully maximized the parking area to eliminate spill-over parking onto the roadway and main highway through town and reconfigured the queueing lanes to provide additional capacity in a smaller area.
On successfully tendering the project for construction while the Chi-Cheemaun lays-up in Owen Sound over the winter, John van Beurden and Brittany Robertson from our offices got a taste of the sweeping beauty of a snow-covered South Baymouth during a site-visit with contractors last week to review drawings. But despite the chilling temperatures it only warmed their enthusiasm for this project when they learned that the Chi-Cheemaun was built 40 years ago at The Collingwood Shipyards – whose former site on the shores of Georgian Bay is a view they enjoy daily from the top floor of our Collingwood office. We’re anticipating a repeat visit when the Chi-Cheemaun docks at the renovated South Baymouth terminal to open the 2015 season in the Spring.