Quyon-Fitzroy Harbour ferry officially opens with christening

The Quyon-Fitzroy Harbour ferry is officially back up and running after a $2.85 million upgrade to a cable ferry service which included expanding the docks and building the now-christened Grant Beattie.

The ferry has been crossing people and their vehicles since 1893 and is a vital service for the communities it serves and those travelling through the area west of Ottawa.

From 50 cents for two horses to $8 a car, from paddle wheels to steam to diesel, the ferry has changed a lot in 120 years and this upgrade is just another evolution.

Owner Don McColgan said this larger ferry, which can accommodate 21 small cars, solves a major problem they've faced in recent years.

"The GPS would send a tractor trailer down to the Ontario dock but it doesn't tell you that we couldn't cross you," he said.

Now, they can cross transport trucks as well as trailers and RVs, something very valuable to the families with cottages on the Quebec side and homes in Kanata and Fitzroy Harbour.

For 12 years the McColgan family has been working to make an upgrade and finally, with the help of two municipal governments, two provincial governments, and the federal government it's now up and running.

"Traditionally we have more affiliation with Quyon than we do with any other area so this is really good news for us on both sides," said Councillor Eli El-Chantiry who helped champion the project.

Having the ferry out of service during the repairs has made for difficult times for the family but with the new, less costly, electric cable ferry running daily they're back in business.

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