Government of Canada

Government of Canada

November 20, 2009 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Announces Contract to Repair Historic Site in Kingston, Ontario

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 20, 2009) - The Government of Canada is investing in our historic sites and contributing to our nation's economy. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, today announced an investment of more than $1.6 million to a major repair and rehabilitation project of the Kingston Dry Dock. The dock is located on the downtown Kingston waterfront at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes.

"The Government of Canada takes great pride in our cultural heritage," said MP Brown. "This investment in the Dry Dock will serve the community, the museum and their guests for many years to come. We are making improvements to Kingston's downtown waterfront for the benefit of local residents and the thousands of tourists that visit each year. The investment in our heritage, employment and infrastructure is proof that we can build our communities and our economy in these difficult times."

H. R. Doornekamp Construction Ltd. of Odessa, Ontario was awarded the more than $1.6 million contract to remove and replace the wall structures for the Dry Dock extension. The work will take place over the winter with planned completion before the Maritime Museum of the Great Lakes resumes its regular hours of operation in the spring.

The project will increase visitors' safety and extend the life of the Dry Dock for many years to come. It will also allow for future development on the museum site.

Public Works and Government Services Canada is the custodian of the Kingston Dry Dock located at 55 Ontario Street on the city's downtown waterfront. The Dry Dock property is the home of the Maritime Museum of the Great Lakes, which celebrates the region's shipping and marine history.


Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is the custodian of the property consisting of the Dry Dock, four buildings of various ages and a wharf in the downtown waterfront of Kingston, Ontario. The original limestone Dry Dock was constructed in 1890, and an extension inland was built using concrete in 1927.

The Dry Dock and surrounding area experienced heavy use and growth during the World Wars. A bow extension was built in the 1960's to allow for larger ships. The Dry Dock fell into decline and by the early 1970's had been largely abandoned. The Dry Dock and adjacent buildings were designated a National Historic Site in 1978.

In 1974, a local community group leased the east side of the property for the creation of a museum celebrating the shipping and maritime history of Kingston and the Great Lakes. In 1977, the City of Kingston acquired the lease at a nominal fee for a 30-year period. The museum then sublet the property until 2007, when they resumed a direct lease of the property from PWGSC.

The City, provincial and federal governments, and other parties contributed several million dollars to restore the buildings and improve the museum. In 1985, the museum acquired the Alexander Henry, a decommissioned Coast Guard Icebreaker, for use as an exhibit and a bed & breakfast. The ship is moored in the Dry Dock.

A 2005 detailed inspection of the Dry Dock identified a need for repairs. As a result PWGSC developed a plan to restore the extension to its original state. Other considerations included preserving the heritage of the waterfront and improving safety on the property.

The repairs to the extension include the removal of the existing concrete walls to the underlying bedrock, increasing water resistance and replacing the walls to the same design as the original structure. The more than $1.6 million project contract will take place over the winter from November 2009 to March 2010.

The Museum has an interest in the historic preservation of the site and the restoration of the Dry Dock itself as a feature of the Museum's future development. The restoration project for the Dry Dock was planned in consideration of this development.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Paradis
    Mary-Ann Dewey-Plante
    Press Secretary
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations