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Sudbury's iconic 'William Ramsey' to stay ashore this summer

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The waters of Sudbury’s Ramsey Lake are going to look different this summer.

The iconic ‘William Ramsey' tour boat, which has based itself out of Sudbury’s inner-city lake for four decades, won’t be able to launch this season.

Also known formerly as the ‘Cortina,’ it’s owners made the decision Wednesday after learning the floating dock would be decommissioned and closed this year at Science North.

“After exploring every possibility, we are saddened to announce that The William Ramsey tour boat will not be sailing this summer due to the closure of the boardwalk and dock at Science North. Thank you for understanding. Have a fun summer and we to see  you out on the lake next year,” they posted to Facebook.

Renamed for the famous Sudbury surveyor who helped establish the city, it’s owner and captain Robert Osborne told CTV News, it was a difficult decision.

Osborne said they looked at a number of spots on Ramsey Lake and other lakes, but there was nothing available that met their criteria and licensing.

“The dock that we use at Science North is not available for this year and most people think we could go to a different dock, but because of the size of the boat and the volume of passengers that we do, we need hydro, we need depth of water, we need height of dock, we need wheelchair accessible, we need parking, we need garbage, we need recycling, we need room for buses so it’s not just find another dock and park there,” he said.

"There’s a lot of criteria and we’re just not going to be able to be on Ramsey Lake this summer."

It comes at a tough time after having to sit out a couple of years of the COVID pandemic.

This was supposed to be their 40th anniversary on Ramsey Lake.

“It is very sad that we had to make this decision,” he said.

The boat has been a feature on the waters of Ramsey Lake behind Science North and is probably even older than many residents in the city. 

“It was built in Sudbury. The only water it’s ever seen was Ramsey Lake, the people who work on it are all from Sudbury," Osborne said.

"It’s just repeat after repeat with private charters and guests that we take on every summer so it’s always a blast. A good day on shore is not as good as a bad day on the water."

They’re hoping to plan another birthday party for next year when they can return back to the water and berth they call home.  

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