OPPS first patrol boat comes home

ORILLIA – The OPP and the Friends of The OPP Museum unveiled the service’s first marine vessel on May 25, adding a rare piece of history to the museum at general headquarters.

Built at Niagara-on-the-Lake by Shepherd Boats, Temagami is a 1949 22-foot Runabout Deluxe Sedan. Along with sister boat Kenora, it was one of only two marine vessels the OPP had to navigate Ontario lakes and rivers, and marks the creation of the OPP’s first Marine Unit. It was stationed at the Temagami Detachment and was a welcome relief to officers who previously had to rely on whatever local water transportation was available for loan or hire.

The Friends of The OPP Museum purchased the vessel for the museum in 2010 and following some minor restoration work, is now making a public appearance. Temagami is in excellent condition in light of its age and the more than 20 years she served as an OPP Marine Unit boat.

With a beautiful mirror-finish mahogany deck, original siren, and fenders and even the original chrome name plate letters on the stern, it goes back to a time when wooden boats ruled the waves.

Temagami is available for public viewing on the main floor of GHQ where it will remain as an OPP Museum display along with Car 1, a 1941 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Coupe that represents the OPP’s first cruisers. 

“Thanks to the hard work of the Friends of The OPP Museum, Temagami has rejoined the OPP family after all these decades and we are extremely pleased to have this historical vessel connect us to the early days of our OPP Marine Unit,” said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.

Temagami is five feet wide and can comfortably carry six passengers.

It still has its original state-of-the-art Chrysler Vee Drive engine, capable of speeds up to 45 miles per hour that operates with pedals and gears similar to a car.

Today, the OPP cover more than 110,000 square kilometres of lakes and rivers, which accounts for 95 per cent of Ontario’s policed waterways.