COVID Update for local hospitality business

sunrise on boatelMaking Waves Boatel originally started in 2004 at Ontario Place Marina and then relocated to Harbourfront Centre in 2010. Since then the Boatel has been a summer destination for travelers from around the world.

In 2019 owners Diane and Ted spent the winter in the Bahamas providing hurricane relief work to Abacos which was hard hit by hurricane Dorion in September of that year. Loaded down with thousands of dollars worth of relief supplies, the Greenes headed to the Abacos to provide much need supplies and also help with construction relief efforts and spearheading beach cleanup. Diane also volunteered to teach sea glass art classes at the local Bahamian school. They were welcomed with open arms by the Bahamian community so desperate to recover from the hurricane and to return to normal on the beautiful tropical island. 

After 3 months of volunteer work, the Greenes headed back to Florida to do some seasonal maintenance on the Boatel. And then COVID-19 hit Florida and the rest of the world. They finished up the boatyard work and travelled north to wait for the New York Canal to open up. Unfortunately, the governor of NY deemed the NY Canal as non-essential and shut down all the winter construction work being done in the canal thereby making it impossible for the Boatel to return to Canada with the closure of the 30 locks Boatel owners Diane and Ted Greeneconnecting New York City to Lake Ontario.

Unable to return the Boatel home, the Greenes found a great marina in Deltaville, Virginia to keep the boat for the remainder of the summer through hurricane season and into the fall. They returned to Canada in May and found a place to live temporarily while waiting to return to their floating home.  They later realized that COVID restrictions would keep the borders between Canada and the US closed forcing the Greene’s to keep the Boatel in Virginia for the winter. 

In June 2021 the owners decided it was time to bring the boat back to Canada and put the boat and the business up for sale in hopes that a new owner will continue to legacy of Toronto’s only Boat Bed and Breakfast, that Diane and Ted have built. Even after having been closed for 2 years due to COVID, Making Waves Boatel still remains  #1 of 144 Bed and Breakfast in Toronto on Trip Advisor with hundreds of 5-star reviews. 

However yet another roadblock – sadly they soon discovered that the US Custom and Border Protection (CBP) refuse to issue a cruising permit which is required for Canadian flagged boats traveling in US waters.  So once again the Boatel is stranded in the United States unable to travel through US waters en route to Canada until the ban on non-essential travel is lifted maybe July 21, maybe August, or September but by then it may be too late to return the Boatel to Canada. 

For Diane and Ted Greene, the impact of COVID-19 has been devasting both emotionally and financially. Unable to operate their successful hospitality business and unable to return their floating home to Canada.  Additionally, Ted has been unable to work as a captain aboard the local tour boats in Toronto due to COVID closures. The Greene’s have moved to Hamilton until they can figure things out or the border restrictions are lifted. 

Meanwhile, the Boatel remains in Virginia ready to travel south for the winter to Florida or the Bahamas if a new owner is found, or back to Canada pending the opening of the Canada/US border and the lifting of the restriction of non-essential travel. And for the Greene’s their life remains in upheaval unable to earn an income from their hospitality business and unable to travel aboard their floating home. 

For more details on the purchase of the Boatel, serious enquiries can contact the  Greene’s at crew@boatel.ca. 

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About Diane Greene

Diane Greene stepped off the corporate treadmill in 2004 for pursue a life of traveling and adventure. 10 years later she is still operating Toronto's only Boat Bed and Breakfast and travelling with her husband on Boatel, their 65 foot trawler in the US and Bahamas during the winter. Diane has three wonderful children and 3 grandbabies. Diane loves photography, travel and scuba diving.

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