The Organization -
Directions and Goals
From The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc.
A Presentation of The S. S. Canadiana
Preservation Society, Inc.
To all organizations with an interest in the development of Lakefront
and Maritime Elements for the purposes of: Education Historic
Preservation Lake Access Charitable Operations Promoting the Image of
Western New York and the Canadian Shore.
Progress of restoration effort.
Designations & Credentials
The Opportunity - Here and Now
The S. S. Canadiana Society, Inc.
The purpose of The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc. is
exclusively educational in nature, to wit:
The operation of a museum under the auspices of the New York State
Education Department Board of Regents and relating to the history,
memorabilia and artifacts of the S. S. Canadiana. ~ To research and
document the S. S. Canadiana as a means to the awareness and
appreciation of it and our local maritime history in general. ~ To
publish and disseminate information on the Canadiana and related
subjects including Buffalo Dry-dock where it was built, Crystal Beach to
which it sailed and the Maritime Era of its heyday. ~ In addition we
work with educators to provide materials for use at various grade
levels. ~ These efforts include a soon to be published book length
history of the ship, field trips, slide presentations as well as other
grade-appropriate materials for instant classroom use.
To collect, preserve, and interpret objects relating to the S. S.
Canadiana, Buffalo Dry-Dock, Crystal Beach and the Maritime Era in
general. ~ To acquire, restore and refit the vessel Canadiana, using all
available construction drawings and documents from 1910, the year of her
construction, as the basis for re-construction to sailing condition. ~
To thereafter maintain the vessel Canadiana as a maritime treasure and
to operate it as a floating museum and our ultimate artifact.
To engage in all lawful activities, including those which are not
otherwise stated in the Corporation's Certificate of Incorporation,
which are incidental or conducive to the accomplishment of any of the
After the Canadiana ceased operation in
Buffalo in the late fifties, she was leased to others. ~ This began a
string of disasters with several close encounters with the scrap yard.
The "Friends of the Canadiana" formed in 1984. ~ Through grueling work
and over many obstacles, they brought the Canadiana back some 120 miles
from her death bed in Ohio to Buffalo for restoration. ~ After all of
its previous ordeals, from a collision with a bridge in Toledo to its
sinking in Cleveland, it had become an unbelievably ugly and unwanted
hulk, but it was the object of love and affection in Buffalo and across
the lake in nearby Canada. ~ The group was praised and supported by
hundreds of businesses and thousands of people.
As amateur groups sometimes go, there was indecision and inability.
~ Was the ship to be a static display or sail. ~ A split ensued and a
lull in activity occurred. ~ When the decision to sail was made, a new
flurry of activity occurred with much public approval. ~ Fund raising,
publicity, work on the boat all went on with a purpose. ~ The boat was
readied for rebuilding under modern day regulations. ~ All wood was
removed and she was towed to Port Colborne, ON. to lie in a sheltered
slip near a dry-dock awaiting funds for hull and engine repair. ~ Here
again, the effort faltered. ~ The idea the ship was in another country
and seemingly ineligible for some funding sources apparently stymied the
group into inaction and to a point of near dissolution.
While the above delays are regrettable, they are not a reason to give
up. ~ The plain fact is the restoration is just as possible as ever and
for all the same good reasons. ~ A new group has now taken control. ~
There is a new name, new direction and new people. ~ Sailing is still
the goal but with additions. ~ Profound changes were made to the board
and to the corporation. ~ People such as Mr. Edward Patton, director of
the W. N. Y. Heritage Institute of Canisius College, Mr. Ross Adams, the
Marine Engineer instrumental in the restorations of both the Trillium at
Toronto, ON. and the H.M.C.S.
Gravenhurst, ON. along with other specialists have joined our two
boards. ~ Maritime preservation and education has always been a purpose
but we will now pursue this with emphasis. ~ We are making application
to the State Board of Regents to become an Education Corporation. ~ We
do meet their criteria and are confident of that status being granted. ~
We have also created a Canadian corporation for a joint American &
Canadian effort. ~ There is much support in Canada as they also see the
ways the Canadiana will work in bringing about educational, cultural and
tourism exchanges beneficial to both sides.
corporation was formed in 1983 as the "Friends of the Canadiana, Inc."
under Not-For-Profit Law. ~ It was granted 501 (c)(3) status by the
Internal Revenue Service.
On July 1 1993, the corporation began changes designed to allow a fuller
expression of their stated purpose and goals.
The first was to amend the name of the organization. ~ The previous was
somewhat nondescript. ~ The new name, "The S.S. Canadiana Preservation
Society, Inc.", was chosen to provide a more understandable indication
of our reason for being.
The second was to make application to the NY State Education Department
Board of Regents for accreditation as an Education Corporation. ~ This
will place our organization under Education Law as opposed to
Not-For-Profit Law and it will provide us the credentials to operate a
full fledged museum with finances, professional staff and methods of
operation that are monitored by the Board of Regents. ~ Our name will
then be "The S. S. Canadiana Museum, Inc.".
Our finances are looked after by the accounting firm of Lumsden and
1. As our
Canadian organization is proceeding to reach not-for-profit and
charitable status, the U.S. group will formalize its Education
Corporation and museum status with the New York State Department of
Education Board of Regents.
2. Particular and favorable corporate donors are being approached for
the initial pledges of funding. ~ We will look for those who can easily
visualize the good that will occur from this historic ship and our
associated educational efforts being part of the overall Buffalo
3. Other efforts towards fulfilling our purposes will be carried out in
a continuing process. ~ We have been working on placing the original
Canadiana Pilot House in a permanent position of public display. ~ It
will be in a prominent location such as near the Lighthouse at the mouth
of the Buffalo River and this effort, in conjunction with the City of
Buffalo, will preserve and tell of the Canadiana's part in Buffalo
history. ~ At this juncture, plans also include the possibility of the
Pilot House being used as a ticket office along side the Canadiana when
it goes into operation.
4. As we acquire our credentials with the Board of Regents, we will move
into a corporate fund drive with more intensity. ~ Museum status and
beginning its operation, along with the backing of pledges of support
gained earlier, will allow us to approach large corporations,
foundations and grant givers that are helpful to organizations of our
5. We expect funding to be reached in Canada whereby the ship will go
into dry-dock within a year. This will occur near the time a book we are
publishing is released. ~ A history of the Canadiana, this book is
filled with facts and figures along with tales and stories from
passengers and crew. ~ A collection of humorous and dramatic events
which occurred on and about the ship in her long and eventful life. ~
The book will contain many photographs and will spur memories and
support from both the U.S. and Canada. ~ These items occurring in close
succession will bring the realization to everyone that the restoration
is being done.
6. When the repaired hull and perhaps an already rebuilt engine return
to the Buffalo harbor the public will celebrate. ~ That day will signal
the start of superstructure re-construction and it will begin the final
phase to complete our project. ~ That day everyone will want to help
make it happen. ~ That day we begin booking the ship for cruises.
Most of the projections above were written in the fall of 1993 as our
new effort was beginning to take hold and prior to our ISTEA award. ~
The Canadian Organization is now up and running and has raised
approximately $40,000.00 (Can.) towards the ISTEA matching fund. ~ We
are on schedule, more or less.
The Opportunity - Here
Frontier Transit Authority personnel, along with others well known for
their efforts at historic preservation, were the ones who originated the
return of the Canadiana to the Buffalo waterfront. ~ It was their
foresight a decade ago for this grand and historic vessel to grace our
shoreline, to enhance the Buffalo waterfront and be put to use as a
museum displaying memorabilia of our great maritime history. ~ Those
people understood the love we on the Niagara Frontier, as well as our
Canadian neighbors on the Niagara Peninsula and all others who have
ridden the boat, had for her. ~ They understood how popular a place it
would be, the educational value it would have, the institution it could
become and the image it would instill on the city.
The original thought was to have it restored to display condition and
not to sail. ~ While that was the need for that day, certainly with the
current visions for a redeveloped and beautiful new waterfront along
with the rest of our up-tempo life and changing times, we now want more.
~ And we can have it. ~ To all that has and is to come, we can add the
grand sight of the Canadiana sailing in our harbor.
The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc. is working to become a
part of the community. ~ In fact, to form one great "Eastern Lake Erie
Community" bringing together both sides of the lake. ~ Together with our
Canadian corporation, we are working with both sides to form common
beneficial interaction. ~ We see the potential for an operation based in
Buffalo that can equate to the South Street Seaport Museum of New York
City and other great maritime operations in port cities around the
country. ~ With an attendant building (the Auditorium?) housing all
historic interests, it would be the hub of the Inner Harbor activity
with the Canadiana alongside as the crown jewel. ~ Revenue produced from
the self sustaining Canadiana could help finance those other efforts
within the group.
Assistance and co-operation from American groups and agencies in a
position to help, as well as the towns and villages and similar groups
on the Canadian side of the lake, who wish to see beautiful things
happen must come to bring this all about. ~ We are proceeding along the
course we have set but with complete readiness and willingness to adapt
and work with others. ~ The amount of our co-operation and commitment is
open and commensurate to those others. ~ Look at us and see the
tremendous potential. ~ Read the
and its Preface. ~ If the Canadiana does not return, everyone will lose.
at a cross roads where frequently inaction is the only action. ~ To be
lamented ever after.
We have at hand an opportunity to return a wonderful element of the past
so that it may take part in our future and make it better. ~ To bring
joy and happiness to millions of children and adults alike as it did
then, for yet another half century and beyond. ~ Going beyond happiness
to cause parent/child bonding as it did then. ~ Laughing and squealing
children being hugged by their parents as they both are sprayed by
bursting waves. ~ These and similar memories are what you are told of
when you ask people why they love the Canadiana. ~ It was a common
ground for young and old to enjoy together; something we have precious
little of now. ~ Our efforts at education, for all its' worth, will pale
against those moments. ~ Those moments of "education" that cannot be
packaged or taught in a classroom.
It is our desire to bring back the "Crystal Beach Boat". ~ To sail
again. ~ To provide the joy it can and will provide. ~ Our cruises and
package tours will allow us to self sustain, to re-invest and to support
similar efforts. ~ We see our total future in education, historic
preservation, cultural exchange and the other areas of mutual benefit
for our two countries and the peoples therein. ~ With the S. S.
Canadiana as a floating museum and fully restored to its Victorian,
turn-of-the-century appearance and operation, it will be brought to
where it can be boarded, and cruises taken, by school children on field
trips. ~ They will view the ship in action and learn of its operation
and history. ~ They will see an earlier technology, an era of steam and
mechanical means. ~ They will learn that older is often better and to
not disdain the past. ~ Like others who have come before, they will gaze
in awe at the gigantic historic triple expansion engine as it drives the
boat through the waves, its monstrous crank shaft and other moving parts
fully visible with its open construction. ~ They will exhilarate in the
crashing waves, the sights, sounds and smells of the lake. ~ For many,
their only opportunity.
There is further the vision of preserving this historic vessel for all
the worth of that alone but also as a symbol to the City of Buffalo of
her great maritime past and at the same time, her modern day rebirth. ~
A symbol to be seen in every skyline photo of the city. ~ A symbol to
identify with the city, to bring people to the city, to bring
conventions, to bring movie makers, to bring attention. ~ With Buffalo
as the center of New York's Niagara Frontier and Ontario's Niagara
Peninsula, we will commune with Canada for all the good purposes we are
about. ~ The S. S. Canadiana will bring about one great "Eastern Lake
We can and must restore this beautiful, classic and beloved piece of
history. ~ She is able to provide much more good for many more years. ~
She has held on since first leaving Crystal Beach with a seemingly human
spirit but this is very likely our last opportunity to bring the lady
back. ~ We must act. ~ Please lend a hand.
This pitifully small condensation cannot hope to answer all the
questions. ~ We have additional details not presented as to ways and
means of re-building and operating the S. S. Canadiana and all the
wonderful reasons for doing so. ~ We simply hope this synopsis has
whetted the appetite of those able to bring back this wonderful ship. ~
If so, please allow us the opportunity of a more complete presentation.
The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc.
© SS Canadiana and
Mr. Lee Online