Sandra Bento, the Media Relations Advisor Communications Branch of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services in Toronto was kind enough to send an email informing us of an interesting piece of artwork from our district.
She wrote, “The Archives of Ontario is exhibiting the artworks of Ministry of Transportation artist Moma Markovich. In the exhibit, there is an oil painting of the St. Joseph Islander Ferry. The artwork was painted in 1961. I thought this would be interesting to share with your community.”
A provincial diesel ferry, “St. Joseph Islander” provided free, 24-hour access to St. Joseph Island beginning in 1953. Before this access was via two cable ferries.
From Wikipedia, “The first began operating in 1919 and ran on a 610 metre cable between Campement D’Ours Island and the mainland. The second ferry, the “Magic Carpet” operated from Pine Island to the mainland. In 1934, both ferries were sold to the provincial government which began providing a free service.”
The St. Joseph Islander retired in 1972 when the Bernt Gilbertson St. Joseph Island Bridge was constructed. Bernt Gilbertson, a Saint Jospeh Island resident and member of provincial parliament had long petitioned for the bridge.