Captain John’s removed from waterfront, will be taken to scrap yard
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:45AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 28, 2015 12:37PM EDT
The derelict boat that once housed Captain John’s floating restaurant has been towed away from the city's waterfront and is now making its final voyage across Lake Ontario.
The M/V Jadran, which was sold to the Marine Recycling Corporation earlier this month, was pulled from its slip at the foot of Yonge Street at around 10:30 a.m. by two large tow boats and taken through the Eastern Gap near Ward's Island.
The vessel is now on its way to a Port Colborne scrap yard, where it will be recycled.
Former owner John Letnik, who first brought the Jadran to Toronto from Yugoslavia, is aboard the ship for its final journey.
“I feel honoured that I was invited on her shortest voyage. I also made the longest voyage from Yugoslavia to Toronto with her,” Letnik told CP24. “There are lots of good memories. Especially, way back in the 70s and 80s I had everybody on board. Brian Mulroney, Bob Hope, the Village People were here. Christening, weddings, bar mitzvahs, whatever the occasion was.”
The complicated operation to remove Captain John’s marks an end of an era of sorts, as the one-time ferry had been tied up on Toronto’s waterfront since 1975 after being purchased by Letnik and repurposed as a floating restaurant.
The restaurant, however, fell on harder times in recent years and has been closed since the city shut off the water supply to the boat in 2012 due to $750,000 in back taxes owed by Letnik.
The removal of the ship today came after several false starts, including the court-ordered auction of the M/V Jadran last July. That deal was eventually scrapped after the buyer was unable to remove the ship from its slip by a court-set deadline.
The financial terms of the deal with Marine Recycling Corporation have not been released.
Discussing the scrapping of the ship with CP24 on Thursday morning, the founder of the company estimated that it could take about a month before Captain John’s is no longer.
“After a sampling and testing program, where we check for heavy metals, paints and PCP’s, the asbestos will abated from the ship first – probably a nine or 10 day process – and then the dismantling process starts,” Wayne Elliott told CP24 on Thursday morning. “Probably the top two decks will come off first and then the engines. We will then tow the ship down to our south slip and it will be gone in 10 days or so from that point.”
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