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Project History

*** For Current Events, Public Meeting Times and our Blog Site please bottom of page *** 


The NANCY-GRIFFON FUND was incorporated on September 5, 1979 and derives its name from two famous vessels that sailed on the Great Lakes, this of course was the NANCY and the GRIFFON. For those who are interested in astrology, this makes the Fund a Virgo. The original NANCY had her keel laid down on this date in 1788 at Moy (now part of Windsor) and was launched on May 12, 1789. The NANCY was named after the daughter of John Richardson of Richardson Forsythe of New York who were at that time the naval architects for the XY Company of Montreal. For you who are fans of the Northwest Company, also out of Montreal, the XY Company was the financing wing which raised the investment capital each spring for the fur trading expeditions of the partners and the winterers that based their operations in Fort William at the Lake head (Lake Superior). The NANCY was herself financed by Clan Mackintosh of Moy Inverness Scotland. The vessel was operated under contract by the Clan with the XY Company and was commanded by Alexander Mackintosh, the second son of the laird of Moy.

The GRIFFON was also started in September of 1679 and was launched (at Niagara)  in the early spring of 1680 from the timbers of the FRONTENAC (built in 1675 at Cataraqui, their designs being identical) which was lasted only a few months, and is noted for being the first European vessel(s) to sail the Great Lakes (now lying at the bottom of Meldrum Bay). For those of you are students of history, these were the vessels of Sieur de La Salle.

Prognosis for - 2001:

According to the horoscope for 2001/02 the Fund will continue to enjoy a year filled with steady progress, unless other influences in the chart indicate otherwise. March, June,   September and December offer the best influences for increased popularity for the project with both fiscal and physical improvements for the Harbour, and with the completion of the new grade separation at the foot of Port Union Road, the bridge across the foot of Highland Creek linking the end of Coronation Drive (parking facility) to our site, the tunnel from the GO station (parking facility) to our site and the beginnings of the trail linkage from the Metropolitan Zoo to our site. We expect  continued positive responses from both the Federal/Provincial Ministries of the Environment for the historical and physical regeneration of the site (originally established in 1834 under the Statutes of Queen Victoria) and continued support from the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority and that they remain in good financial health as well.


What's New

What's Happening Now:

Concurrently, the project is undergoing the necessary environmental study by the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (MFO) through their Burlington offices with the co-operation of the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority. The primary focus of the project at this point in time is to ensure that the EA study encompasses the whole project not just each of the three stages of regenerative landfill and construction of the buildings, and of course the little NANCY. The Waterfront Trail's primary focus for the site includes the connection from the Guildwood Inn/Coronation Drive east across the new Highland Creek bridge to our site and on up to the Metro Zoo through a gravel walking trail primarily up the east side of the Rouge Valley as envisioned by the fund since the spring of 1975 prior to the incorporation of the fund in 1979. Currently land regeneration is occurring at the western end of Chesterton Shores, and from the Guildwood Inn along with the bridge abutments and landfill for the little bridge across Highland Creek. The bridge should be in place by July of 2001 meeting at olde Port Union Road south of the tracks. The capital allocation from the current residential development at Port Union village of $8 million for the new grade separation has been in place for some time, with construction scheduled for 2000. The site is currently being surveyed along with a tunnel from the GO station to our site. TRCA has completed the acquisition of all private lands adjacent to the project at a cost of some $12 million. The little bridge at Highland Creek and the rehabilitation of the Chesterton bridge has also been funded at nearly $3 million. The Foundation (Fund) continues to spearhead the project both from the political and corporate support point of view and enjoys the support of the City of Toronto, the Mayor and chief of the Budget Committee along with the Province and the Federal Government. This is the ONLY cash positive capital project for the City of Toronto Waterfront. Of the estimated $2 billion to be spent in the next ten years for Toronto waterfront improvements, only $75 million is being "invested" at Port Union (east Toronto). Its taken time, as all projects like this do, and all of those involved are very proud to be part of the team....- Please join us.


King's Harbour viewed from the west (across Highland Creek Bridge)

Remains of Port Union Pier (1911)

Port Union Land Regeneration - Highland Creek to Chesterton Shores 2007

Trail from King's Harbour up the west side of Rouge River to the Metro Zoo


Current Events:

1. After many years the construction of the Port Union grade separation under the CN/GO tracks was completed and opened to the public in 2006. This re-connects Port Union Road to Lake access after being cut off in 1865 by the Grand Trunk Railroad. This grade separation is a historical re-connection to our past (1832) and will function as the main entrance to the King's Harbour Marine Park, in conjunction with the east entrance at the Rouge River and the west entrance in from Coronation Drive. Everyone is now invited to both take a leisurely walk along the new waterfront park as well look forward to the new sailing basin to replace that which was lost in 1865 in the mouth of the Rouge River.            

2.In July of 2006 the Provincial Ministry of the Environment will be posted on their web-page (found in our link page) the initial results of the environmental study as it applies to the various phases for the regeneration of the 'olde' village under the King's Harbour concept. Environmental results for this regeneration programme can be seen at for as long as the Province maintains the site. One the site is brought down you will then have to write to the Ministry to request a copy. It is important, at this stage, for the Friends of the Harbour to continue to support the project. We should ensure, at all times, that those who are involved are abundantly aware that this "marvelous new amenity" (David Crombie) should be brought back in its entirety- "this exciting new project") for all to enjoy. Toronto over the last 70 years is well known for the failure to complete projects such as this, so we should continue to push for its completion.

3.There is a new development for the King's Harbour Marine Park and its two key exhibits effective January 1st, 2009. For those of you who are familiar with the history of both the NANCY [HM Schooner NANCY] and the GRIFFON [Le GRIFFON] and their connection to the Georgian Bay Coastal communities of Thornbury/Blue Mountain and Collingwood along with Wasaga Beach, the latter being were the wreck of the NANCY was raised by Dr. Alfred H. Macklin with the help of Charles H.J. Snider, Editor of the old Toronto Evening Telegram and Charles W. Jefferys of the University of Toronto Marine Archaeology and History Department and a few others in 1921-26; these communities have expressed a strong interest in restoring the old Heritage Harbour of Collingwood along with the building programme for the new NANCY. This community has expressed a strong interest in getting behind the NANCY and getting her ready for the Bi-Centennial of War of 1812 in 2012. [Refer Youtube comment at the bottom of this page]

This could very well mean the transferring of the entire King's Harbour Marine Park program to the immediate area of Collingwood and its proposed Heritage Harbour.


William Stephenson [INTREPID] We invite your support for the NANCY GRIFFON FUND project. This unique new public amenity represents a "community of interests" for everyone.

Pierre Berton [Writer] I invite everyone to join in and support the return of HM. Schooner NANCY from the War of 1812. "Flames Across the Border"

Hon. Paul Martin, Prime Minister (2004): "A terrific new project for the Toronto waterfront."

Hon. Dan McTeague: "I support the Foundation's program for the restoration of the old sailing village and harbour at Port Union."

Hon. Romeo Leblanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (1976): "You are to be commended on the design of your project which will regenerate a key piece of the Scarborough waterfront."

Hon Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (2001):"The Ministry supports the design implementation of this project from its historical point of view both in terms of regeneration and the positive effect it will have on the fisheries habitat for the lake."

Premier Mike Harris (2001): "I am pleased to learn that the plans for King's Harbour are progressing well."


Mayor David Miller and Eric Macklin

Mayor David Miller (2004): "I support the efforts of the Foundation in regards to the waterfront revitalization. It's nice to see your team with the shovels in the ground for Scarborough's new waterfront."

Mayor Mel Lastman (2001): "This project indeed sounds interesting and I congratulate you on your efforts so far."

Mayor Gus Harris (1977): "This project is just what the city needs to revitalize and regenerate its long neglected waterfront. The major hurdle to be overcome will be the grade-separation at Port Union and this can be readily financed by specific lot levies for homes developed in the immediate area. This process will be incorporated into the official waterfront plan for the City of Scarborough as soon as possible. As the Mayor of Scarborough and on behalf of the Council I fully support this project."


Eric Macklin & David Crombie

David Crombie (Chairman of the Urban Design Institute),1991: "A marvelous new waterfront project, which the community should enthusiastically endorse."

Hon. David Collenette (Federal Minister of Transportation),2001: "I believe this project will be a great benefit to the residence of Toronto, and will be quite helpful to the overall revitalization of Toronto's waterfront." 

John Campbell (President - Toronto Waterfront Corporation),2001: "The plans for King's Harbour appear quite impressive. We wish you luck on your project."

Eric Macklin & Brian Denny

Brian Denny (Chairman, Toronto Regional Conservation Authority),1982: "The Conservation Authority has been involved in ongoing discussions with Mr. Macklin and the King's Harbour proposal, and I think it is fair to say that the authority is quite interested in the concept."

William G. Davis (Premier of Ontario,1984): "I am pleased to see a private non-profit company taking the lead in a venture of this nature. Many groups would be reluctant to start a program such as yours which involves painstaking historical research and I am certainly impressed by your dedicated efforts."

William "Bill" Dempsey (Past President of the Centennial Community Recreation Association), 1992: The King's Harbour Marine Park concept represents an intelligent "best-use" land approach to the restoration of the lands and village of Port Union."


Thank you for visiting the NANCY-GRIFFON Foundation’s website. At the NANCY-GRIFFON Foundation we are committed to protecting the privacy of our donors, volunteers and supporters. We value the trust placed in us and recognize that maintaining this trust requires that we be open and accountable in our use of the information that you choose to share with us.

The NANCY-GRIFFON Foundation Inc will never rent, sell or trade our mailing lists. We only use your information, both private and corporate to keep you informed about our activities – including programs, services, open houses, walks, funding needs and special events – through periodic newsletters, letters and invitations.


Note: Phase One subsequent to 1976 and the overall planning concept of King's Harbour Marine Park which details the regeneration of the lands of olde Port Union and the restoration of Port Union harbour, the opening of olde Adams Creek and the grade separation, this phase included the purchase of all the private lands [completed in 2008] abutting the old site of Port Union from Highland Creek to Chesterton Shores. In addition this also included the Environmental Study which was completed in the fall of 2002.

Note: Phase Two which included the completion of the three [3] access routes to the site as outlined in the 1976 proposal by the Foundation including the "replica three span" bridge over Highland Creek [access west from Coronation Park], the new grade separation at the foot of Port Union Road [access central], and the access road from Chesterton Shores [access east] was officially completed September 24th, 2006. This has taken 30 years almost to the date that it was first introduced to Mayor Gus Harris, Controller Frank Faubert and Parks Commissioner Mr. Bruce Fleury in Scarborough Chambers and approved by all in principal,  including Metro Parks under Commissioner Robert Bundy. 

Note: Phase Three which has already begun will include the two moles to enclose and restore [a new sailing basin equivalent to] the olde sailing harbour from 1832 and permit in Phase Three the construction of the replicated olde sailing village of Port Union and the marina. The east mole will extend 550 meters south into the lake from the west end of the Chesterton Shore beach just east of the GO station ending with an enclosing curve to the west and the west mole to extend 500 meters south into the lake from just east of the mouth of Highland Creek ending with an enclosing curve to the east. 

As with Phase Two, we ask for your continued support for Phase Three.  This is where the communities of Scarborough-Pickering-Agincourt and Markham [SPAM] began. We can do it again with your help.  Watch for up-coming newspaper articles.  Hopefully this program will not take another 30 years to complete, otherwise we may end up with only the waterfront trail programme portion of the King's Harbour Marine Park. This part of the programme has its own Feasibility study.

NOTE: It may very well be necessary to move the programme for the vessels in this venue including HMS NANCY to the southern Georgian Bay coastal communities of Collingwood and Wasaga Beach. The reason for this move is that the Bi-Centennial of the War of 1812 is quickly approaching and it would make a great deal of sense to now base HMS NANCY in one of the old slips at Collingwood and have the NANCY operate from there as her new base. From here the NANCY would operate in her old heritage sailing grounds. For the Bi-Centennial and to justify her building cost of $2.7 million, the NANCY would operate in the "Golden Triangle" from Fort Henry [Kingston] to Fort George [Niagara], from Fort Erie to Fort Malden [Windsor] to Saulte Saint Marie with Collingwood as her focal point and main operating base. This then is largely due to the Feasibility Program for the NANCY project.

NOTE: As we see progress at the Collingwood site, then we'll plan an "Annual Walk" there too. We are currently looking for volunteers to put this one together.

Next Public Meeting:

Topic    The Annual "King's Harbour Marine Park - Port Union Walk-About
 Place    The new Port Union Pavilion immediately south of the new grade separation at the south end of Port Union road
Time    10:00 AM to 12:30 PM (noon)
Date    Sunday May 9th  2010 [or Victoria Day Weekend depending on the weather as usual]
Note    Bring your "Port Union Walking Stick" Thank you. [For info on how to make a "Walking Stick" send an e-mail "Contact Us" link shown below.

   The Walk-About for 2009 was attended by nearly 240 individuals of all ages from all over the central and eastern GTA. Attendees also included

students from the University of Toronto departments of environmental studies and urban and marine architecture. Next year the site will be twice the

size and we'll be able to walk from the beach at the western end of Chesterton Shores to west side of the beach as we approach Highland Creek. 

   For others it was also a great day to plant a few shrubs and trees provided by the nursery of the TRCA and once completed, time for a short picnic.

   See you all again next year. Be sure to bring your friends, work gloves and a jacket just in case.

Youtube Postings: Search under "War of 1812  +  Nancy". [Currently there are 3 postings with a new one due by the end of August 2009.]

Blog Site for the NANCY Project is at:

Please be there and give us your support. Thank you.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, please send them to us via our "Contact Us"...  link in our main page.