Friday, March 18, 2011
Abandonment Issues: La Grande Hermine
La Grande Hermine (The Big Weasel) is commonly referred to as a unique eyesore. The abandoned vessel rests along the western shore of Lake Ontario, beside the QEW highway between St. Catharines and Hamilton.
In 1535, Jacques Cartier sailed the original La Grande Hermine up the St. Lawrence River. In the 1960s, a replica vessel was built and operated as a floating restaurant during Expo 67 in Montreal, Quebec.
In the 1990s, a young entrepreneur purchased this unrelated replica of La Grande Hermine and sailed it down the St. Lawrence and moored it in its current location, intending to reopen it as a floating restaurant. The entrepreneur went bankrupt shortly thereafter and his dream was never realized.
In 2003, the ship was destroyed by what police called a suspicious fire.
I spent at least an hour pondering and testing the ice, considering boarding and exploring it stowaway style. As I got further out I noticed birds nests and plant life aboard the ship. The warm weather and newly visible cracks in the ice deterred me from risking it, and a discussion took place regarding a potential return in late spring or early summer. I hope to one day bring an inflatable raft out that way and board the ship with a disposable camera or two.
Ninjalicious, (R.I.P) widely regarded as the grandfather of urban exploration, captured La Grande Hermine in her newly abandoned glory, click here to check out his post.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES