The legendary Maid of Mist boats may not run on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls this season or next, according to the company that runs the world-famous boats.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Christopher Glynn president of the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co., said the loss of its lease with the Niagara Parks Commission for space on the Canadian shore near the Horseshoe Falls wher the boats are docked creates “uncertainties” and may mean the company won’t operate from the Canadian side anymore.

Niagara Parks officials announced the agency has awarded a new 30-year lease to Hornblower Canada, a California-based company that operates boat tours of Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco, and the Statue of Liberty, in New York City. Hornblower is to take over operations in the spring of 2014.

“Today we learned that the Maid of the Mist’s bid for the renewal of its lease with the Niagara Parks Commission was rejected by the Ontario government,” Glynn said in the statement.

“As a result of this decision, our business, with a 165-year history of service to tourists from around the world, may soon come to an end. The Maid of the Mist has provided world famous, safe, reliable and affordable boat tour service, and its trademarked brand name has become synonymous with the Niagara Falls experience, drawing millions of tourists to the region annually.

Glynn continued: “The implications of this decision are very complex, and impact on many parties and create many uncertainties, including whether or not a boat tour service will be offered in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 2012. We are carefully assessing our position and will be consulting with other affected parties as we attempt to address the many serious issues resulting from this decision.”

The Glynn family has owned Maid of the Mist since 1971.

They own the Canadian Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. and the Maid of the Mist Corp., which they have a separate lease with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to run boat tours on the American side.

Niagara Parks Commission Chairwoman Janice Thomson said Wednesday “The one comfort I have is that it was an open and very, very fair process. I feel it is something that anyone can look at and examine and know that it was done with all fairness in mind.” Thomson also said she hopes the Glynn’s will reconsider their stand and run the boats for the next two summers.

(From Bullet News)