MS Norgoma’s fate darker after feasibility fail

The fate of the MS Norgoma is once again in question.

TOBERMORY—A group seeking to relocate the SS Norisle’s sister ship the MS Norgoma to the Tobermory docks and convert it into a coffee shop extension announced on Thursday, November 12 that a study on relocating the Norgoma within Little Tub Harbour showed that the project is not feasible.

The plan had been to move the Norgoma to a location on the docks beside the The Sweet Shop and The Coffee Shop in Tobermory, businesses which the proponents have operated for 40 years, but were seeking a means of expansion.

Unfortunately, Tobermory Real Estate Investors (TREI) group’s study determined that the move could not be accomplished without “significant and unacceptable disruption to the existing dockage arrangements, or in a manner which would enable acceptable access and parking for visitors to the vessel.”

The Norgoma, which is currently tied up at Purvis Marine Docks in Sault Ste. Marie beside Algoma Steel, had been a fixture on the Sault waterfront for decades and operated by a non-profit organization as a museum and restaurant, but had recently fallen on hard times and after spending $25,000 a year to support the vessel, the municipal council finally pulled the plug.

The proponents of the plan to move the ship, saving a significant piece of Great Lakes marine history from the cutting torches, expressed regret that they were unable to develop a workable plan.

The proponents have informed the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula of their findings.

“We want to thank Ryan Deska and Peggy Van Mierlo-West of the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula for their co-operation while we reviewed this proposal,” said Mike Goman, spokesperson for TREI in a release announcing the company’s decision. “We also want to thank mayor, council and staff of the City of Sault Ste. Marie for their willingness to give us some time to see if a solution can be found for the future of the Norgoma.”