Wreck Diving in Kingston, Ontario
Though scuba diving isn't something I do on a regular basis these days, I'm lucky that the best freshwater wreck diving is in an area just a short drive from where I live. The diving around Kingston Ontario, and along the St. Lawrence seaway has more than a dozen documented wrecks in good condition, just waiting for you to explore.
Kingston is in southern Ontario, and about a 2 hour drive from Ottawa. Or coming from the west, it's about 3 hours from Toronto.
The waters in this area used to be too murky for decent diving, but in recent years there have been a serious infestation of zebra mussels. Not great for the ecosystem, but these little mussels have cleared up the water significantly. The visibility is just incredible, making this the best fresh-water wreck diving area in the world.
Here are the best known Kingston wrecks, along with the year they sank:
- Munson (1890)
- Marsh (1917)
- Comet (1861)
- Wolfe Islander (1985)
- G.T Davie (1945)
- Aloha (1917)
- Effie Mae (1993)
- Cornwall (1930)
- Sheboygan (1915)
- Maple Glen (1925)
- "Queen Mary" (1925-1930?)
- "Titanic" (1925-1930?)
- "Glendora" (1925-1930?)
Obviously, the Queen Mary and the Titanic are just nicknames for these popular wrecks.
If you have never actually wreck dived before, you need to know the safety regulations for this kind of diving. The technical term is "penetration diving", and many diving centers offer courses in the safety precautions of diving into enclosed spaces.
The water in this area can be cold, but that can be overcome with a few equipment modifications. A ¼" wetsuit should be fine, or a dry suit will provide a bit more body warmth while diving. It is also recommended that you either used an environmentally-sealed first stage to prevent free flows due to ice build up. Either that, or get an anti-freeze kit for your regulator. These precautions are important during the winter months with the temperature being less of a problem during summer dives.
Unless you are already familiar with the wrecks in the area, I suggest visiting the Limestone Dive Center for local directions and information. You can either dive on your own, or join up with a diving tour group so you don't miss any good wrecks.