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Gates Gully

The Steamship Alexandria

Roughly three-hundred meters north of where the Doris McCarthy trail exits Gates Gully onto the shore of Lake Ontario, a small semi-circular lookout faces the one-hundred year old wreck of the steamship Alexandria, the rusted hulk of its boiler and remaining superstructure still poking out from the waters of the lake.

On the afternoon of August 3, 1915, this steamer was en route from Montreal to Toronto when severe storm conditions forced the vessel too close to the Bluffs, where it ran aground in shallow water. Locals spotted the ship from atop the bluffs, and used Gates Gully to access the beach and start a rescue effort long before any official response could be mounted. All hands aboard were saved, largely thanks to a human chain formed by members of the local community. By the morning, thanks to these same hands, much of the ship's three-hundred ton cargo of food and pantry items had also found itself "rescued." No formal effort has ever been arranged to remove the wreck from the lake, although a shortage of scrap metal during WWI was incentive enough for some folks to effort salvage missions of their own.

Posted on: April 3, 2015