Howe Island-County Ferry Service

Frontenac County manages operations for the Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry, a cable-driven ferry owned by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.


On demand, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Eating Periods

The County of Frontenac, as an employer in the Province of Ontario, is bound both by the Employment Standards Act (ESA), 2000 with respect to eating periods and its Collective Agreements with its employees, including the ferry staff. To ensure compliance with the ESA and the Collective Agreement with its ferry workers, the break times for eating periods have been adjusted. Depending on staffing levels and circumstances, the following can be used as a guide only:

Monday to Friday - Days (There is generally no disruption of service for these periods)

  • 11:30am to 12:30pm
  • 2:30pm to 3:00pm
  • 4:30pm to 5:00pm

Saturday and Sunday - Days (No service during these periods - some exceptions during the summer)

  • 12:00pm to 12:30pm
  • 2:30pm to 2:45pm
  • 4:30pm to 4:45pm

All Nights (No service during these periods)

  • 12:00am to 12:30am
  • 2:30am to 2:45am
  • 4:30am to 4:45am

These time periods are approximate to allow for repositioning of the boat to the mainland and may vary.


Click here for all fare information. All passengers are required to purchase appropriate fares, and may be refused passage if they do not. Cash only.

Ferry Capacity

15 cars.

Crossing Time

A normal crossing time is approximately 7 Minutes.

Truck Loading Restrictions

During peak periods (between 6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. travelling off the Island, and 4:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. travelling onto the Island) only one "Heavy Truck" will be allowed under as outlined below.

One "heavy truck" (defined with a weight/length combination not to exceed 21 tonnes and 8.5 metres/28 feet), may be loaded during peak periods as long as, in the opinion of on-duty staff, the "heavy truck" can be loaded efficiently and safely onto the ferry with 14 other vehicles or a combination.

Note that as of November 16, 2016 loading restrictions on vehicles supporting agricultural business on Howe Island will be lifted.  These vehicles will be permitted to be ferried to and from Howe Island, on a first come, first cross basis, regardless of the time of the day. 

Commercial Restrictions

Trucks are limited to 45 MT and a vehicle and load length of 95 feet.  There is an "off-island" restriction of trucks over 3000KGs from 6:30am until 8:30am and an "on-island" restriction of trucks over 3000KGs from 4:00pm until 6:00pm.

Passenger Conduct

The County reserves the right to refuse passage to any person who is conducting themselves in an unsafe, unlawful, or is considered to be objectionable manner.

Maintenance Period

A scheduled by-weekly maintenance period occurs between 10:00am and 12:00pm on alternating Tuesdays. Unscheduled maintenance can occur without prior notification.

Weather-related out of service periods

Occasionally, inclement weather, ice blocking the track or high winds disrupt ferry schedule.

Contact Information

Office Phone: (613) 542-4959

* NOTE: There is no telephone aboard the ferry that is available for general enquiries.