In recent years a new type of dive site has been popping up around the Greater Toronto Area. There are at least 7 such sites that have been made public in the past two years. From wrecks to unique underwater displays of collected items,
This should be great for the industry, local dive stores and charter businesses. The nature of these attractions however may be putting the brakes on what some may have planned to be a local diving boon.
These new dive sites are essentially someone else’s trash and while they may be vessels on the bottom of the lake, they are not in fact shipwrecks. On closer examination these vessels have unique features that set them apart from their historical counterparts. Many of them are modern, have no damage to their hulls, lack many of their fittings and some inexplicably have a secret cargo of cement bags.
Photo by Warren Lo
Various cities and organizations in the
Here in Canada fees in the thousands of dollars are needed just to apply for an assessment of your reefing idea. If your proposal gets turned down, your money is gone along with your dreams of creating an artificial reef. Local, provincial and federal agencies will be involved, public meetings held and the project can only move forward if everyone can agree. In
Photo by Warren Lo
Even if these sites were of interest to local divers, it is not as if the individuals who arranged the transition from dry dock to lake bed will be taking out an advertisement in the local newspaper. The act itself and the exact location are kept secret, the reefers invariably fuming mad when they find out that the
These hulks on the bottom are unlikely to entice anyone to travel to the Toronto area specifically for diving. What may have started out as a well intentioned idea, just ends up littering one of our greatest natural resources. Efforts would be much better spent searching for the thousands of existing wrecks just waiting to be discovered.
This author does not care much for secrecy when it comes to these covert wrecks and has begun using them for training, practicing skills associated with underwater archaeology, historical research, etc. So while not useless to everyone, the impact on the environment through, lack of controls and the impossibility of publicity to stimulate the local diving industry makes the proposition a losing one.