One of the most popular international childrens shows was that of the Canadian production of Theodore tugboat.
A CBC production, it was set in Halifax harbour in Nova Scotia (called Big Harbour in the show) and form 1993 to 2001 there were 130 episodes filmed with the late Denny Doherty (of the Momas and Papas). The Halifax native portrayed the human ‘harbour master’ narrator. The show eventually saw distribution to some 80 countries.
What is perhaps less known is that an actual lifesized tug was built in Nova Scotia in 2000 to be an exact replica of Theodore, the main character of the show.
After initially travelling the Great Lakes and eastern U.S promoting Nova Scotia as a tourist destination, the tug later offered Halifax harbour tours and shuttle.
Theodore (the real tug) is now up for sale, a victim of COVID, a lack of tourists, and rising costs.
Owners Ambassatours Gray Line, which has owned ‘Theodore Too’ since 2015, indicated that in spite of some 10,000 passengers in its best summers, they’ve been subsidising the ship and tours for years as a sort of goodwill operation often allowing use for charity events and community initiatives. They said popularity has waned in the last couple of years and it never really made a profit.
They’ve put Theodore (the real tug) up for sale, a victim of COVID, a lack of tourists, and a need to concentrate on their other tour operations.
The ship which has sleeping for eight, a rated passenger capacity of 49, two washrooms (heads) and kitchen and dining areas.
The owners say they would prefer to see the tug iconic tug stay in Halifax harbour if possible noting that a couple of years ago a buyer who wanted to move the ship away was turned down but that may not be the case now.
Meanwhile, “Thanks for visiting us here in the Big Harbour, and we’ll see you all again next time.”
- Chronicle Herald: S Cooke: Jul 16/20: Hauling anchor: Halifax waterfront favourite Theodore Tugboat up for sale
- CBC: A Patil: Jul 16/20: Theodore tugboat replica can be yours for $495,000
- Global News: K Renic: Jul 16.20: Ambassatours puts Halifax’s iconic Theodore Tugboat up for sals (+ video report)
- CBC-Youtube- NLM Film- Theodore tugboat show