What is the Canora building?  The Canora building houses a 2200 hp Marine Triple Expansion  steam engine built by John Inglis in Toronto Canada. Recognize the name?  Inglis still makes products today. They built 2 engines for the Liberty ships and 62 for Canadian vessels in the early 1900. This is the last surviving one. It came out of the Canora ship.

The Canora ship was originally ordered to provide a passenger link between Victoria to Patricia Bay. The Canora was 108 long and 2385 Tons with a 12 foot prop. It was designed as a passenger ship, but was never completed.  It left Quebec City Sept 28 1918 and arrived in Victoria Dec 7th. It ended up being turned into a rail ferry. In later years the Canora was called a dirty ship because it used coal and was difficult to keep clean.  The galley was infested with man eating cockroaches.

In 1984 the Canora ship was to be scrapped. The owner and George Hoffman figured it would be a shame to scrap a historic piece of history. He raised money and sponsors to remove the Triple expansion steam engine out. It took 5 months to get the engine out. 106 1 1/2 bolts had to be cut off of the base, and the top of the ship had to be cut open (40 x 20 foot hole).

It was lifted out with a 400 ton crane and set down on a rail car. Amongst the people at the event was two Ceo from Inglis. They liked the Idea that something they built that many years ago would be preserved

CN rail moved the 76 Ton engine to Chilliwck via rail. They left it in front of the rail station waiting to be transferred to the Atchelitz Museum. The train station platform was at the end of a street. A person took the wrong street and went off the end of the road and onto the tracks getting stuck on the track. The dispatcher saw the car on the track and called ahead to stop the oncoming train 10 miles out. When the train came on at 45 miles per hour it split the tracks and went into the freight car totaling it and breaking all the straps on the Canora engine. Luckily the train platform was beside the Canora Engine keeping it from tipping over.  The train station survived despite a high pile of cars in front of it.  A total of 32 cars went for scrap and there was 3.5 million dollars in damage. The  Canora engine Came away without a scratch.

here is a article written by the Chilliwack progress May 16 1984.

The Canora engine finally made its journey to the site it is on today.  Their goal was to have it up and running for Expo 86, but there was some internal damage and it could not get repaired at the time.


Over the years some members have worked on the engine, so that it spins over using an electric motor, as steam operation would cost a lot of money. It is a excellent display that a lot of people like to see and wonder about. The Canora ship will be 100 years old in 2018.

Triple Expansion Steam Engine

Here is another link to Forum that I posted about the Triple Expansion steam engine

Future upgrades for the Canora Building.

In the process of looking for funding to replace roof on the Canora building which house’s many other steam engines along with the Canora’s engine.

A new donation to the Club

125 HP Cleaver Brooks Boiler out of the Royal Columbian Hospital Capable of running the Canora’s Triple expansion steam engine, and also supply steam to run other small and large steam engine’s .  This will enable us to have a steam show in the future.