The Ferryman The Ferryman logo
The Ferryman ferryman.ca

About The Ferryman More than you ever wanted to know about this site!

Skip this long-winded section if you just want to get on and explore the site. But if you'd like to know a bit more about how it works and why it all exists, then please read on.

No trip is complete without a ferry
Why I wanted to give ferries their own website
So often over the years my family has heard me say that, more often than not as a justification for an otherwise pointless detour. Maybe if I took ferries to work and back every day of my life I'd see less romance in them. But for me "ferry" conjures up going to somewhere a bit different, more remote, off the beaten track. And then crossing water to get somewhere even further from my everyday norm.
My earliest ferry memories go back to when my Dad would take us to Plucks Gutter and Grove Ferry on the River Stour in Kent for an afternoon of coarse fishing. It is a trivially narrow river by Canadian standards. But, if there's no bridge, you need a ferry to cross it! A ride on a ferry is always something a bit special, and over the years I've tried more and more to find a ferry trip to incorporate into our travels.
Ferries of the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence
Canada's front doorwhere ferries still thrive
In September 2016 we found ourselves in the middle of the St Lawrence on the ferry from Montreal to the Magdalen Islands and I thought Why not set up a little website to share my ferry photos and experiences?
That was a long ferry trip allowing plenty of time to think, and the route also took us past half a dozen other ferries. I realised that since coming to Canada I'd crossed the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence by ferry quite a few times. These two great rivers were the key to the European exploration and colonisation of eastern Canada, allowing easy access deep into the continent. But as the land became more settled the need developed for people to cross those same rivers, and so the ferries came in to existence.
Now bridges handle the major, shorter crossings, but there are still plenty of places where the traffic doesn't warrant the high cost of a bridge, or the geography makes a bridge impossible. So although I personally might enjoy the romance of ferries, for many they remain a lifeline.
As I settled on the idea of Ferries of the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence I realised that although I'd crossed on many of them, and already had quite a few photos, there were still plenty I'd not yet visited or photographed properly. But instead of that being a problem I saw it as an opportunity to get out into the field, do some travelling and photography and use those ferries.
I registered the ferryman.ca web address and started building the site at the end of 2016, but as I went through my photos I was constantly distracted by all the other ferries I'd been to at one time or another. So the plan changed. I would cover the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence ferries in depth. But I would also have a section of all the other ferries I've used.
What exactly is this site? And what isn't it?
What you can expect from ferryman.ca
A blog? A travel guide? A photo album? A virtual coffee-table book? A self-indulgent vanity project?
Yep, it's all of those things! My twisted mind has also likened it to a cross between a model train setup and a stamp collection!
What it is not is a reference site. This isn't wiki-ferry. Some of the sources of information are cited, but never in an academic way. It's personalthere is opinion mixed in with fact. There is travel information, but it's not a travel guide. I aim for consistency, but it's like painting the Forth Bridge once I've been through everything to bring it up to snuff I have to start again because of all the new ideas that came up along the way.
It is photo-heavy. I enjoy photography and look for excuses to do more and to share the photos I've taken, and that was a big part in my setting up ferryman.ca.
It's not perfect. It is an ongoing project that I intend to keep working on and improving. So please visit again and hopefully find more content and a better experience.
It is unilingualas a proud Quebec resident I am always conscious of this aspect. I have handled several major projects in the past, both commercial and non-profit, which have been scrupulously bilingualEnglish and French. I was happy to work that way and knew my audience appreciated it. But it was a lot of extra work and needed quality translators on tap. This is a strictly personal project, with zero budget, and sticking to just English allows me the flexibility to change and re-change the text as I feel fit without the worry of keeping two languages in synch. And at times to indulge my personal usage of the English language without having to justify it to an editor or translator!
Navigating the site
How to find your way around
There are two sites here really, one within the other. The Ferryman covers everything I have to offer on ferries. But the Ferries of the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence (FOSL) is the main event, and a subset of The Ferryman. Its main entry point is the list of the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence ferries.
compass rose
Each of those ferries has its own page. You can reach each page from the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence ferries page. But each ferry page also has Next Upstream Ferry and Next Downstream Ferry buttons at the bottom.
Elsewhere in The Ferryman is everything else I have to offer on ferries. There are Shorter articles on other ferries I've visited throughout the world, and anything else related to ferries that I've written up.
Most photos will expand to a large high-res version if . You can work through all the enlarged photos on that page by a Previous-Next process using on the left or right of the images.
I designed The Ferryman to work properly on phones and tablets. But I find photos always look better shown bigger. So I encourage you to use the site on a desktop monitor, or at least on a large tablet. And always keep your web browsers updatednot only may an old version of a browser not work quite right with this site, but it may also be a security risk for you.
And the menu button near the top left is always available to take you anywhere in the sitethe compass (or GPS?) of web page navigation.
The rules… What is a ferry?
There are no hard and fast rules for what's eligible
I figure a ferry is a public service that gets you from one bit of dry land over a body of water to another bit of dry land, using a vessel or device of some sort, but not a fixed structure. The word ferry could refer to the vessel itself, or to the service. What I have in these pages describes not just the vessel and the service, but also the experience of getting there, of the crossing, and of the surrounding area.
As a northern European engineer and programmer, working to rules and precise definitions is what I am. Or rather what I was. I'm now retired, and which gives me the freedom to do what I feel like, so long as I don't tread on too many toes. So you might feel that something I've included isn't really a ferry, or maybe my text has deviated from the plan. Maybe my opinion differs from yours. Well, sorry about that, I just want to have fun and hope you'll enjoy the trip too.
Humour me if I swap back and forth between metric, imperial and Napoleonic units, sometimes in the same sentence. My upbringing was hybrid and my adopted country still insists on selling butter in blocks of 454. There's no way I'm going to pepper the text with things like "… and 100 (91.44) further along …". If it matters I'll do the maths for you. And if not, I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Accuracy
Errors, omissions and stale information
Pick up a book and you automatically know it is out of date. The cover is cracked, the pages dog-eared, the price is way too low or in the old currency. So you check the publication date and you make adjustments in your mind. On the web we expect everything to be up to dateup to the minutebecause it can be. But it rarely is. You see large, professional web sites promoting upcoming events now two years in the past. I hate that. I want to keep everything current, but I know I can't and I understand why other people fail too.
Which is to say, I've done my best to be accurate and complete and up to date with everything in this site. But I know there are mistakes, I know things have changed. I'm not an irresponsible person, but …
I am not responsible for any errors or omissions of any sort on this site
So please, before making a 100 mile detour for the most interesting ferry in eastern Canada, please double check it is still running. Most ferries' web addresses are included on this site, and that's where you should go for current schedules and rates. And if it's important phone them firsttheir website may not be up to date either!
And when you do find that error or omission please send me a quick email and I'll try to make things right as quickly as possible.
Regarding the cost of the ferries, I included this information to give you an idea if you could afford to use the ferry and if using it made sense for your trip. So it's always an approximate amount that was accurate when I paid it, or when I last checked, but has probably increased a bit since.
Sources and thanks
Everything we do builds on the work of others
I want this to be all my own work, but without the resources of the web it would be far less complete and less accurate. I have made enormous use of Wikipedia and countless other websites to fill me in on details and history, and on the maps from Google, OpenStreetMap, and the Ordnance Survey. I love maps! Researching each ferry this way has been a fascinating process and great fun. So a big thank you to the many contributors to all these sources, especially all those doing the work for free for the benefit of the rest of us. I hope that my contribution here will help to balance off the use I have made of their work.
My enjoyment of photography was a main reason for setting up this site, and so almost all the photos here are taken by me. But there are a few taken by my family members and a few others gleaned with permission from elsewhere; I appreciate those contributions and welcome any more that might be sent to me to fill in my holes.
As this site gets more and more complete I am starting to rely on my family and friends to proof-read and give their comments, and I hope soon to be getting feedback from people I've never met. This help is all vital to a better product and very much appreciated.
Copyright © 2020 Keith Dunn. All rights reserved.
Except where noted, all photos and other material on this website were created by and are owned by Keith Dunn. Please respect the copyright.
The few photos and other material that were not created by me may be out of copyright (ie old), public domain, or have licences which allow their use here. Please check and respect the conditions of usage of these with their owners if you plan to reuse them.
If you are interested in using a photo or other material please contact me first for permission.
Please do link to this site, but do not link directly (hot link) to any of the photos or other material.

There are two sides to the copyright debate.
First, I have done my best to respect other people's copyright by not using copyrighted photos or other material without prior permission. But this can be complicated; I want to make my site as complete as possible, and other material on the web is often published without the details that make ownership and copyright clear. So, please, if I have stepped over a line somewhere and misused someone else's intellectual property, please tell me and I will make things right.
copyright sign
Secondly, unless stated to the contrary, everything on this site belongs to me and I hold the copyright, which means you cannot use any of this material in your own websites or other publications or products without my prior permission. But email me with a few details and I will normally be eager to grant you that permission because I like sharing my photos. The rule is, ask first. And if you just want to link to my site, or to a page on it, then you are always free to do that without asking any permissions. In fact I encourage that, and there is a Share button to make it easy to share the links by email or on some of the popular social networks.
Why is copyright and ownership of intellectual property important to me, especially considering how much I have used Wikipedia? Because it takes time, effort and money to produce that intellectual property. I worked for 26 years in software development, and if people had used our software without paying for it my children would not have eaten and I would now be working in Walmart and not retired. Photographers and writers and musicians and all other creators all need to eat and be paid for their work, and often the web makes it easy to bypass that fair payment. I have family members who are authorsthey need your dollars as much as they want your support.
I don't need to be paid for my work on this site, so there is no entrance fee and no advertising. It's my hobby and I don't feel I am depriving others of a fair income by doing this. But please remember that intellectual property does have a cost, like all physical property, that must be respected and paid for.
This website uses only a handful of cookiesjust to remember the user's preferences. This is a part of the proper functioning of the website. No cookies are used to track any personal details.
The website does not contain any advertising, and therefore has no need for and makes no use of any of the cookies required by the online advertising industry.
Some tech info
About my gear and the software and technologies I use
I have eschewed using WordPress or similar. I know these tools can help you create great websites with low effort and minimal knowledge of HTML and all the web technologies, and take out the worry of running on desktop and mobile. Before I retired C++ was where I spent my working day and though I gave that up I still like tinkering and prefer low level to high level. So this website is all hand-rolled HTML, CSS and odd bits of JavaScript and more recently PHP where I felt it would help. I find myself a reluctant JavaScripterthe language seems to offend my C++ discipline! So my use of it tends to be simple. I have "borrowed" and adapted various bits of JavaScript published on the web. Some web developers have been enormously generous in terms of help and information they have published on the web. I have made a lot of use of that and thank them for what they have given us all.
CSS3 and HTML5 logos
I do my best to adhere to HTML5 and CSS3 standards and features. I started the site suing an old version of Dreamweaver, but have since moved to editing in Brackets, testing using WAMP and Chrome and uploading with Filezillaa much improved workflow for my way of working. I test in Chrome, Firefox and Edge/Explorer, always using the latest browsers on a Windows 10 desktop. Mobile devices should work OK, but as I'm a desktop user at heart, mobile support might lag in places. I feel the "old browser support" problems are a lot less significant than they were when my company started building one of the first major online web applications many years ago, so I've been ignoring them for now to save myself time. But if you've significant mobile or old browser issues with this site please email me and I'll see what I can do.
On the camera front my "main" camera is a Canon 5D Mark III, with a collection of lenses. A great piece of kit that is still capable of better photos than I am, but weighs a ton, especially with a couple of lenses in the backpack. So I now also have a Canon M5 with some lenses which is far more travel-friendly and does a pretty good job on image quality and usability, though I still reach straight for the 5DIII when I can. My earliest photos here date to the 1960s, so range through a Kodak Brownie, Fed, Zenit SLR, Minolta SLR and Pentax p+s on the film front, and the Canon G1, Canon 10D and 30D and several Canon p+s Powershot digitals.
I shoot in RAW now and edit all my photos using Lightroom. I love Lightroom, and hate Adobe. I use Photoshop for all the other graphic stuff and anything that Lightroom can't handle. The pre-digital shots started life mainly as Kodachrome slides or Kodacolor prints and have been scanned using a variety of Epson, Kyocera, Fujitsu and Plustek scanners.
And about me
My background is in engineering in the aircraft industry and tax softwarea strange combination. And I don't know much about boats! I moved from England to Canada in 1979 and have lived since then in suburban Valois (Pointe-Claire) on Montreal Island and in South Frontenac, Ontario, in the Canadian shield about half an hour north of Kingston. Montreal Island is part of the Hochelaga Archipelago, the islands that define where the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence come together. And Kingston marks the start of the Saint Lawrence as it flows from Lake Ontario.
In making the decision to go ahead with this project I asked myself what was needed, and realised that not only did I have some experience in all the required skills, but also I enjoyed doing all those things.
I hope you enjoy this site too.
ferryman.ca logo
Keith Dunn
The Ferryman