Using The Ferry

We operate the Frontenac Howe Islander ferry on demand 24 hours per day, seven days a week. There are no scheduled crossing times. Reservations are not required or accepted.

We carry cars and light trucks, commercial vehicles, farm equipment, motorcycles and bicycles.

We encourage you to stay in your vehicle during the passing to keep crossing times to a minimum.


Take exit 632 from Highway 401and proceed southbound on Joyceville Side Road. Cross County Road 2 and continue south on Howe Island Ferry Road to the terminal.

Average crossing time

The crossing time is dependent on the load carried, loading time, wind and ice conditions and boat traffic in the channel. The crossing time is impossible to predict.

The busiest travel times are the commuter hours. It's busiest leaving Howe Island in the morning between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. The busiest time leaving the mainland is late afternoon between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. During these periods wait times will increase. During the summer on Fridays, traffic increases after noon and as such longer wait times occur.


You must operate bicycles or other self- propelled vehicles only as directed by us.

Dangerous goods

We may refuse to carry dangerous goods and vehicles transporting dangerous goods. We are not obliged to give reasons for refusal.

Heavy vehicles

Crossing for heavy vehicles (over 6000 kg) is prohibited off the island from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and to the island between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to accommodate commuters. Heavy vehicles in support of farm operations are permitted to cross at any time subject to the maximum weight restriction.

Vehicles with a total gross weight over the posted weight limit are prohibited at all times. Where vehicles are close to the posted weight limit a gross weight a weigh slip may be requested in advance of passage.


Drivers of motorcycles are to remain with and have sole control over their vehicle duration of passage.

Notification of service interruptions


There are two parking lots at the ferry, one on the mainland and a second one on the island. The island parking lot is approximately 100 meters south of where the ferry lands.

Don't park vehicles in the terminal parking lot in contravention of posted signs.


The only payment method for single passage tolls is cash. Crewmembers appreciate exact change.

Prohibited conduct

  • Obstructing or interfering with employees who are engaged in the navigation or operation of a vessel or the management or operation of the terminal
  • Interfering with, impeding or obstructing the operation of a terminal or vessel
  • Entering or occupying any place on a terminal or vessel not intended for public use or access, unless authorized to do so
  • Selling or offering for sale any item or merchandise on a terminal or vessel unless authorized in writing by us
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages or taking drugs in areas provided by us
  • Aggressive, violent or abusive behaviour towards our employees

Regular maintenance

We perform regular maintenance by-weekly typically on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. These days and times are a guide only and are subject to change. See our calendar for scheduled maintenance times.

Despite all precautions un-scheduled service interruptions do occur. Inclement weather and moving ice have the ability to curtail normal operations without prior notice.

School buses

School buses get priority passage when children are aboard.

Vehicle loading procedures

We have vehicle loading procedures to maximize the capacity of the vessel for both number of vehicles and maximum weight. We may request that passengers pass waiting trucks so that the ferry can be loaded efficiently. Likewise, there may be times that we can only take trucks due to trucks weight and ferry limits. Crew appreciate the understanding of all for this process.

Walking on to the ferry

You can walk on to the ferry on all of its crossings. For safety reasons, walk on passengers are requested to board after vehicles are boarded.  There are no enclosed  spaces for passengers during the crossing.