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Grande Hermine

Left: The Grande Hermine can be seen from the QEW, and is a landmark associated with the Niagara Region. Photo taken in 2008. Top right: The Grande Hermine abandoned ship in Jordan, offers great photo taking opportunities, as well as an interesting piece of Niagara history. Bottom right: The Grande Hermine side view, half seated and half floating in the Jordan Harbour. Photo taken from the rocky area along the water.

Photos: [Photographer names: Left: Miklos Basco, Right: Lauren Lebel].

 


GENERAL INFORMATION

 

"La Grande Hermine" (The Big Weasel) is one of the most recognizable landmarks along the Niagara stretch of the Queen Elizabeth Way. The 140 foot ship was created as a replica of the largest of 3 ships French Explorer Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence River. It was originally built in Quebec in 1914 and began its life as a ferry on the St. Lawrence and later became a cargo ship, a floating restaurant, and in 1991 converted to a replica ship. At one time the vessel was turned into a haunted pirate ship at Halloween to raise money for a hot lunch program for students. The derelict ship's final resting place is the Jordan Harbour just off the western shore of Lake Ontario, between the cities of Hamilton and St. Catharines. This abandoned shipwreck came to the Jordan Harbour in 1997, and was the victim of an arson fire in January of 2003, causing this piece of history to go up in smoke. What's left of the ship remains rusting, damaged and run down, but is still an interesting site to see. It was towed to the Jordan Harbour to await further relocation to a spot near Niagara Falls in hopes of turning it into a gambling venue, but the owner passed away before permission was received. This shipwreck has since been a distinctive landmark and favourite roadside attraction to many, and also referred to as 'the pirate ship' in Niagara. This little understood landmark tilts strongly to one side as it half sits and half floats, only a few metres off the shoreline in the small artificial cove of the Jordan Harbour.


Following is the link to a YouTube video by CHCH News covering the story of the ship before and after it was lit on fire:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4Udy8D9pqM

 


Photo Gallery

 


TripClip Audio File

(more about TripClips...)

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Click to play or download the Grande Hermine TripClip (mp3 format).

 


Hours of Operation

The Grande Hermine is abandoned, and therefore has no hours of operation. The ship has been sitting in the Jordan Harbour since 1997 where it will remain, and can be seen 24/7 every day of the year, although it is easier to see in the daylight.

 


 

DIRECTIONS

From Toronto:
 

Take the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) to exit 55, Jordan Road

Turn left at the stop sign, and left again on Jordan Road

Turn left (west) on the North Service Road

Destination on the right

From Niagara:

 

Take the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) to exit 55, Jordan Road

Turn left (west) on the North Service Road

Destination on the right


Further Information

 

YouTube video covered by CHCH News:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4Udy8D9pqM

 

The following is a link to a web page of the Grande Hermine before it was lit on fire. It was made by and covers the journey of 3 people who were interested in this ship and took rafts out and climbed aboard in search of more information and pictures. This site shows pictures from aboard the wooden ship before it was ruined by the fire:


 http://www.canadaphotoseries.com/ontario/southwestern-ontario/st-catharines/la-grande-hermine

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Hermine

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13363567@N08/8070677753/

 

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/la-grande-hermine

Ownership & Management

Unowned/abandoned

Facilities

Parking area located to the left of the Beacon and Harbourside Marina

The Beacon Restaurant

Best Western Hotel

Address

Beacon Harbourside Marina
2793 North Service Road
Jordan, Ontario
L0R 1S0 Municipality Lincoln

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.184486
Longitude -79.370347

Surface features 

Gravel and paved parking lots, rocky and dirt pathway down to the water.

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