The Construction of the CityPlace Schooner
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In 2015, the wreck of the CityPlace schooner was discovered in downtown Toronto. The remains were excavated by Archaeological Services, Inc. and relocated to the Fort York National Historic Site, also in downtown Toronto. In the spring of 2018, students from Texas A&M University’s anthropology department traveled to Fort York to document the wreck. The data collected during the field season served as the basis for a conjectural reconstruction of the vessel. An analysis of the remains shows that the wreck is that of a merchant schooner built in the late 1820s or the 1830s. It was initially constructed with a daggerboard or a centerboard and was modified during its career to remove the same. At the end of the vessel’s working life, it was abandoned near the shoreline and used as fill during an expansion of Toronto’s growing waterfront. This thesis focuses on the construction of the CityPlace schooner. It examines the historical context for the vessel, including the impact of the Great Lakes’ economy and transportation-related infrastructure on the region’s shipbuilding industry during the 19th century. The 2015 excavation and 2018 hull documentation are also described. The study provides a detailed description of the hull remains observed during the 2018 field season and presents a hypothetical reconstruction of the vessel derived from an analysis of the remains and the construction of similar contemporary vessels. The CityPlace schooner wreck provides valuable insights into shipbuilding practices on the Great Lakes during the early 19th century and the effects that the development of the region had on shipbuilding during this time.
Herbst, Julia M. (2019). The Construction of the CityPlace Schooner. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from