For the next two weeks the Royal Canadian Navy ships, HMCS KINGSTON and HMCS GOOSE BAY will be sailing in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The tour is part of a Great Lakes deployment that brings together the Canada’s Navy and our sailors with Canadians, that normally would not have a chance to see our ships and the incredible men and women that serve in them.
This years tour is timed in connection with several home deployments across Canada and celebrations for Canada Day. On July 1st, RCN ships will be visiting St. John’s, Halifax, Toronto, Port Alberni, and Richmond. While other ships on exercises will be celebrating in foreign ports in San Diego and Hawaii.
Always “READY AYE READY,” many Canadian sailors in their ships and submarines will honour the birth of our nation, deployed on patrol in the North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean and Pacific Ocean.
With many Canadians living far from our three oceans, Canada’s Navy has traditionally been the forgotten branch of our Armed Forces. This is unfortunate as all but two provinces has a direct connection to the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. The deepest waterway penetrating into the heart of Canada is the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, allowing ships from around the world to sail through to Thunder Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.
Canadians do not realize just how important the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard are to this countries economy.
Canada is a Maritime Nation!
We as a nation fail to realize this. The Canadian economy is based on the safe and economical travel of merchant ships to transport our economy around the world. In fact at some point in the manufacturing process, from raw material to finished product on a store shelf, 90% of our trade will travel in a merchant ship!
The safest waterway in the world is the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, free of piracy, heavily armed smugglers and conflict between nations. This allows for billions of dollars of material to be shipped in safety. But this is also part of the reason, Canadians know so little about our Navy and Coast Guard. Ships moving day to day without incident, “success” does not make the national news.
The security of Canada’s inland coast is due in part to the War of 1812. The three year war saw fierce naval battles on the Great Lakes and started a shipbuilding race that saw ever increasing size of ships being built. Eventually the warships would rival the size of HMS Victory. Neither side was able to claim supremacy for very long. The expensive arms race ended with the Treaty of Ghent, mandating that neither side would arm ships in the inland waterway. Therefore the Royal Canadian Navy and the United States Navy do not operate ships in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.
This 200 year old Treaty makes the inland tours by Canada’s Navy very important, reconnecting our ships and sailors with the citizens of the nation.
HMCS KINGSTON and HMCS GOOSE BAY will be visiting several ports over the next two weeks. Both ships will be at Toronto from 30 June to 3 July celebrating Canada Day at the Redpath Waterfront Festival.
HMCS GOOSE BAY will then visit Cobourg from 5 to 7 July and Johnstown, ON. from 8 to 11 July.
HMCS KINGSTON will be visiting her namesake city of Kingston from 8 to 11 July.
Both ships will be open for public tours in all the ports, consult local information sources for dates and times. If you miss the ships during this tour. HMCS MONTREAL a Canadian Patrol Frigate is scheduled to visit the Great Lakes in September.
Don’t miss this opportunity to “Come Down to the Sea (Lake)” and visit the sailors and the ships of our Royal Canadian Navy!