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Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada


Experiences to discover:

The Tug Trent


The tug Trent was a boat designed for the logging industry and built strong enough to break through ice when necessary. The Trent performed many duties in its role on the canal, usually towing heavy materials and machinery like dredges, scows, timbers and stoplogs for dams. It was used as a platform to place wooden buoys along the navigation channel in the 1950s and served as a platform for diving operations as well.

When Parks Canada celebrated the centennial of National Parks in 1985, each site was asked to choose a symbol to represent themselves. The tug Trent was chosen by the Trent-Severn Waterway because it is Canadian made of Canadian steel, represents the entire site, and embodies the spirit of hard work in service to Canadians.

Life Span
1947/48: The tug Trent was built in Owen Sound by Russel Bros. Ltd.
1970s: Retired from active work duties
1980s: To mark the 60th anniversary of through navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway in 1980, a floating exhibit was mounted on a construction barge and towed behind the tug Trent. It operated in this way with great success throughout much of this decade.
1998-2000: The tug Trent was refurbished by the Friends of the Trent-Severn Waterway utilizing 7000 volunteer hours.
2000-2005: Now classified as a workboat, the Trent travelled the Waterway as a display piece.
2010: Trent is once again resurrected to carry the stories of our history to the communities along the shores of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Young Visitor Enjoys the Tug Trent Young Visitor Enjoys the Tug Trent
© Parks Canada

Tug Trent Specifications

  • No power assisted steering - just arm power!
  • 13 metres (45 feet) long
  • 3.8 metre (12’ 10”) beam
  • 1.5 metre (5’) draught
  • Loaded weight is 25 tonnes (32.3 tons)11.4 cm (4.5”) drive shaft
  • 4:1 reduction gear box
  • Wet clutch
  • 101.6 cm (40”) propeller6819 litres (1500 gallons) diesel fuel (2 tanks)
  • 135 hp
  • 6 cylinder
  • Single screw (101.6 cm/40”)
  • 2 cylinder Lister diesel
  • Used for fire-fighting
  • Pumps bilge in the event of a leak in the hull
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