Montréal is an island, bordered by the St. Lawrence to the east and Rivière de Prairies to the west.
John Molson, maritime industry investor
Like his father before him, he began as a brewer. However, a true businessman, John Molson Jr. began investing in the maritime industry as of the early 19th century.
In fact, he was responsible for the first Québec steamship.
In the years that followed, he and his sons dominated shipping. Their fleet, which had up to 36 boats, was the largest in America!
These ships generally had a flat bottom, to be able to navigate in shallow waters.
The first steamers were fitted with a paddle wheel. Invented in 1685, it was driven by the pressurized steam produced by boilers fueled by wood or coal.
Although they were not very fast, the advantage of these boats was that the duration of their voyage could be calculated quite precisely, which was not the case for sailing ships.
Accommodation and the beginning of a new era
Launched in 1809, it was the first steamship made entirely in Canada, thanks to the investments of brewer John Molson.
The Accommodation could carry about 20 passengers and travel at an average speed of 4 knots, slightly faster than walking. It made the Montréal-Québec City run in 66 hours.
Its launching marked the onset of a new era for Canada’s maritime industry.