Pelee Island to get new $40 million ferry

Kathleen Wynne talks economic recovery in southwestern Ontario

The province is investing $40 million to build a new ferry service to Pelee Island. 

"The other one has become a little tired, a little older," said Gordon Orr, the CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island. "This new ferry will hold twice as many passengers, it will have more room for vehicles, and it will make your experience that much more enjoyable as you commute the hour-and-a-half from the mainland to the island." 

ASENAV, a ship-building company located in Valdivia, Chile, was awarded the contract.

The ferry will replace the 55-year-old M.V. Pelee Islander, and will be used to transport both people and goods. 

The Pelee Islander has the capacity for 196 passengers and 10 vehicles, while the new ferry will be able to carry 399 passenger and 34 vehicles. 

"Any time that the island is swamped with people coming to see what's going on there, they would welcome a bigger ferry to commute people back and forth," said Orr. "The success of Pelee Island is the accessibility."

The new ferry is expected to start servicing Pelee Island, Leamington and Kingsville in 2018. 

The M.V. Jiimaan will also continue to service Pelee Island.