What's New

September 13, 2017

The Ministry of Transportation and Rankin Construction Inc. are following the regulatory approval process that is required to complete the design and construction of the Amherst Island Ferry Docks Improvements.

All approvals must be in place to ensure that regulatory requirements are met and the process is open and transparent. We continue with site preparation so that construction is ready to begin when final approvals are received. You will continue to see some activity on-site as we get ready for construction in fall 2017.

Future updates will be available on this website and through our Twitter feed @A_I_ferrydocks. Watch your mail for a Construction Start Notice, which will contain information on the timing and duration of upcoming construction. A copy of the notice will also be placed on this website.

August 17, 2017

Off-shore drilling to take place beginning August 21 (weather permitting) in support of geotechnical investigations. No impact to ferry service.

August 3, 2017

In-water survey work will take place around the Amherst Island Ferry docks over the next two weeks. This work will not impact ferry service.

June 20, 2017

A Design and Construction Report (DCR) has been prepared and is now available for review and comment. The DCR can be viewed on our Documents page. The DCR is available for a 30-day public review starting June 21, 2017 and ending July 21, 2017. If you have any comments or concerns with the project, or the findings of the DCR please submit them through the Contact Us page. The project will be eligible to proceed to construction in summer 2017 following the completion of the 30-day public review period and acquiring permits and approvals. The Project Team will respond to all comments generated during the 30-day public review; however there is no opportunity to request a Part II Order (‘bump-up’) from the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

June 14, 2017

On June 8, 2017, there was a three-hour disruption in the ferry service to Amherst Island between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. due to a cable getting caught in the propeller of the Frontenac II.

The cable was part of a system being used for underwater survey work of the lake bed at Stella and Millhaven. This survey work is an essential part of pre-construction operations for the upcoming contract to improve the ferry docks and involved placing a sensor cable in the channel with one end tied at the shore and the other end tied to an anchored buoy in the water.

As the ferry came into the Millhaven dock at 11:30 a.m. the current generated by the ferry pulled the cable from the shore into one of the ferry propellers causing the engine to slow down. The ferry crew immediately shut down the drive unit and ferry service was disrupted while a dive crew was quickly called to the site to remove the cable and inspect the propeller for damages.

The ferry crew then took the vessel out with no vehicles on board to do sea trials to confirm the propeller was operating properly in order to safely return back into service.

By 2:10 p.m. the ferry returned to the Millhaven dock and ferry service resumed.

Thanks to the swift response of Loyalist Township, the Ministry of Transportation and Rankin staff, the situation was resolved quickly and safely. The procedure to perform this survey work has been modified to ensure this does not occur again. Survey work is scheduled to continue during the week of June 19.

Rankin fully understands and appreciates the importance of the Amherst Island ferry service and regrets the disruption and inconvenience that occurred.


Rankin Construction Inc. (RCI) and their design consultant Morrison Hershfield (MH) have been selected by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to construct the Amherst Island ferry docks improvements. The project is located in Loyalist Township, within the County of Lennox and Addington (see map below).

Click image to enlarge

The Amherst Island ferry provides year round transportation to and from the mainland terminal in Millhaven to the Island terminal in Stella.

The recommended plan for the improvements was determined during an Environmental Assessment Study completed in January 2014.

Benefits & Improvements:

  • Easier access to and from the island;
  • Improved efficiency of ferry operations;
  • Better accommodation for increasing number of large commercial trucks and farm equipment;
  • Converting existing docks from side to end-loading;
  • Larger paved parking areas and sidewalks;
  • Upgraded bubbler system for winter ice control; and,
  • New terminal buildings with public restrooms, bike racks and staff offices.


  • Design phase to be completed in mid-2017;
  • Construction phase to begin in late summer 2017;
  • New end-loading docks in-service June 2019; and,
  • Project completion summer 2020.

Opportunities for public input and involvement will be provided throughout the project. These are further discussed within the Consultation section of this Project’s website.

This website will be updated regularly with information on future public meetings, construction scheduling and project documentation as it becomes available.

If you wish to submit feedback, be added to the project mailing list or submit a question, please use the Contact Us section of this website.