First steamship in Canada

The age of steam came to Canada on August 19, 1809, when brewer from Montreal John Molson launched the first all Canadian made Accommodation, North America's third steamship.

The vessel measured about 22 metres long in the keel. The two paddle wheels were moved by a six horsepower engine. The engines were cast at Forges of St. Maurice, the metal work was done in Montreal and the ship was built at Munn's yard. Fascinated by the industrial uses of steam power, John Molson undertook the project after hearing about Robert Fulton's successful Hudson River steamboat service in 1807.

Seeing the future in steam-powered navigation along the length of the St. Lawrence, after the plan had been approved to bypass the Lachine Rapids, Molson formed a partnership with two Englishmen to build the first Canadian steamship and he succeeded.

John Molson, an eighteen-year-old English immigrant was rescued from a Mid-Atlantic shipwreck and eventually reached Montreal in 1782. He built an industrial empire there including the then largest brewery and distellery, the first railway and this Canada's first steamboat.

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