In 1959 the St Lawrence Seaway was opened, linking the 5 Great Lakes and the St Lawrence River with the Atlantic Ocean. This allowed for much larger ships to replace the existing fleet of smaller vessels. By the mid-1960s the days of passenger steamboat travel came to an end and Canada Steamship Lines now carries only general freight and bulk cargoes, primarily grain, coal, ore, salt, gypsum and potash.
In 1981 Paul MARTIN, Jr, president of the company, formed a partnership with Federal Commerce and Navigation Ltd to acquire the CSL Group Inc, Canada Steamship Lines' parent company, each party owning 50%. Since then CSL has not only substantially modernized its Great Lakes fleet but has also entered into the coastal and ocean trades, and currently operates in Europe, the Caribbean and the US East Coast. It is expected that the company will soon announce a further expansion into South America and Asia. This international demand has arisen because of the marketing by CSL of its state of the art specialized materials handling of marine-transported bulk cargoes. The company is the worldwide leader in the design and operation of self-unloading bulk vessels. Canada Steamship Lines' total fleet consists of 34 lakers and ocean lakers.
Links to Other Sites
A Century of Sail and Steam on the Niagara River
Explore 400 years of sailing history in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario region. Peruse original illustrations and rare photographs and the full text of this 1913 publication. From the “Maritime History of the Great Lakes” website.