Edmonton

Edmonton Queen's auction closes in just over a week

A restaurant, a waterfront house, a pirate ship, all these suggestions — maybe minus the pirate one— are possible as the Edmonton Queen is up for sale.

Company auctioning off famous vessel held an open house on Saturday

The Edmonton Queen Riverboat hit the auction block in April. (CBC)

What would you do if you could call the Edmonton Queen yours?

The people who made their way to see the paddle boat for an open house on Saturday offered many ideas of what you could do with the famous vessel. 

You could make it Edmonton's first waterfront home suggested one. You could make it an event space, said another. One, referencing the comedic band the Arrogant Worms, suggested you could fork over some change for the boat and become a glamorous pirate on the North Saskatchewan. 

All those suggestions —maybe minus the pirate one— are all possible as the Edmonton Queen is up for sale. 

The bidding opened up on April 8th and closes on May 2th. It currently sits at $38,000.

Century Services hosted an open house of the vessel on Saturday allowing many who have never seen the boat a chance to board. 
Mickey Spencer said the bidding is getting significant attention and expects the final price to be in the six figures. (CBC)

The Edmonton Queen was built in Sherwood Park in 1992 and first set out on the river in 1995. It has been a popular attraction ever since. 

The boat is a harken to the City of Edmonton, the first riverboat to paddle the water in, well, the City of Edmonton.

The 42-metre long vessel first graced the waters of the North Saskatchewan in 1909 making many voyages until she was docked for good in 1918. 

No matter who buys it, Mickey Spencer, with Century Services, the company handling the auction, said he can't see the boat leaving its famous spot on the river. 

"Whether it is a restaurant and they keep the dinner cruises going and it's still a boat that goes up the North Sask, I think the new owner is going to have a life for it in the Edmonton river valley," Spencer said.

Wally Malinowski has been on many pleasure cruises with the Edmonton Queen and said that it was the history that drew people to the well known attraction. 

"This was a tribute to the history of Edmonton," said Malinowski. "The old Edmonton Queen could one time take you to Winnipeg. That was a part of history and this is a tribute to history." 

The view of Edmonton's downtown from the deck of the Edmonton Queen. (CBC)

Spencer said the bidding is getting significant attention and expects the final price to be in the six figures. 

"I knew, with the significance to the area and the piece of history you would be buying, we would have interest from multiple parties," he explained. 

"As big of interest, and as many parties, maybe not." 

Donna Blum said she always wanted to go on a voyage down the North Saskatchewan but has never had the chance. 

"There is a lot of beautiful historic pictures in here," said Blum." The scenery right from the dining room area is gorgeous. I really didn't really realize Edmonton was this beautiful from this level. The water is green, it's very glacial, there is no ice."

"It's just gorgeous down here, I can't believe I missed out on an opportunity to have a ride on this boat." 

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