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PHOTOS: Sarnia is where vessels come to shape up and ship out

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Workers remove construction material from the lake freighter Tadoussac while berthed in the North Slip.
Glenn Ogilvie

Journal Staff

Though residents seldom give it a second thought, the St. Clair River is one of the busiest inland waterways in the world.

Which gives Sarnians, smack-dab in the middle of the Great Lakes, a front row seat to a passing panoply of freighters, tankers, self-unloaders, icebreakers, salties, barges and tugs.

The city’s Harbour is also an important stopping over point for ships, especially in winter, when 10 to 12 typically berth for layup or repairs.

Not only do shipping companies pay Sarnia for the right to dock here, but the maintenance these massive vessels require generate hundreds of jobs for welders, machinists, fabricators and other skilled trades.

The ships will be leaving soon. Presented here are images Journal photographer Glenn Ogilvie has recorded of winter activity in Port Sarnia, which quietly goes on regardless of the weather.


Officers from the Canada Border Serves Agency wait to board a newly arrived ship at Sarnia Harbour in January.
Glenn Ogilvie
Workers secure cabling to remove a large hydraulic cylinder from the Algoma Niagara’s unloading conveyor on Feb. 21.
Glenn Ogilvie
The tradition of presenting a top hat to the captain of the year’s first salt-water vessel in Sarnia continued on Feb. 13. Captain Rene Van Quekelberghe, of the Dutch ship Iver Bright, received the hat from local Mission to Seafarers president Rev. Gordon Simmon. The Arctic ice-class tanker has been hired by Suncor Energy to carry asphalt flux to Great Lakes ports this winter. The ceremony was held at Suncor’s administration office.
Glenn Ogilvie


The Algoma Niagara, right, inches past the prow of the berthed Algoscotia as it arrives for winter maintenance at Sarnia Harbour in January.
Glenn Ogilvie

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