The Interprovincial Steamship Company was formed in 1928 by Frank K. Warren, Halifax, to provide a freight service between the Maritime ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John, New Brunswick, and various points on the Great Lakes. The company used five ships on the route, all being of the oceangoing type. Two of them were built especially for the firm.
While much of the westbound traffic was consigned to Toronto and Hamilton, the principal cargoes being bagged sugar and steel coils, the vessels operated to the Lakehead ports of Fort William and Port Arthur. The usual eastbound cargoes were flour and grain for the east coast. A regular fortnightly service was maintained in the 1930's during the lake navigation season, while in the winter months the ships usually traded to Newfoundland and the West Indies from Halifax.
Each of the vessels in the fleet was owned by a separate company whose corporate name reflected the name of the ship. For example, DELIA was owned by the Delia Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax. The Interprovincial Steamship Company was the operator. The ships had black hulls with white trim and white cabins. Stacks were black with a broad white band on which appeared the letter 'W' in black. The Interprovincial service into the Great Lakes was brought to an end in 1939 with the outbreak of World War II. The four steamers then remaining in the fleet were required for salt water service, primarily on the east coast of Canada.
DELIA. (C.145292). Steel steamer built 1907 at Newcastle by Wood, Skinner and company. 225.2 x 34.2 x 14.3, Gross 1267, Net 775. Originally owned by the Anglo-Portuguese Steamship Company (M. Isaac and Sons, Managers), London. Not listed in Lloyds Register until 1920's. Purchased 1928 by Frank K. Warren's Delia Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, for operation by the Interprovincial Steamship Company. During the next few years she was chartered at times by the Newfoundland Canada Steamship Company Ltd., Halifax. Trapped in ice at Drook Point, Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, on March 8, 1937 while loaded with cod fish. Crushed in icefield and foundered March 11, 1937. Crew rescued by C.G.S. SAGONA.
ULVA, (a) CARRONPARK, (b) POZNAN (28). (C.135321). Steel steamer built 1912 at Alloa, Scotland, by Mackay Bros. 241.0 x 36.0 x 16.7, Gross 1401, Net 840. Originally owned by Denholm Line Steamers Ltd. (J. & J. Denholm, Managers), Glasgow. Later owned by the Scandinavian Shipping Company (Glen and Company, Managers), Glasgow. Sold 1928 to Frank K. Warren's Ulva Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, for operation by the Interprovincial Steamship Company. Sank in the ice at Port Colborne, Ontario, on December 7, 1929. Raised, refitted and returned to service 1930. Operated between the Maritimes and the Great Lakes until 1939. Torpedoed and sunk September 3, 1940 northwest of Ireland.
ZENDA (41), (b) LIVERPOOL LOYALIST (46), (c) ALA (51), (d) SAGAR PRABHA. (C.161567). Steel steamer built 1932 at Wallsend-on-Tyne by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. 248.2 x 39.5 x 14.9, Gross 1416, Net 797. Built for Frank K. Warren's Zenda Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, and operated by the Interprovincial Steamship Company between the Maritimes and the Great Lakes until 1939. Requisitioned 1941 by the Canadian government and then immediately returned to her owners who sold her on February 14, 1941 to the Liverpool Loyalist Shipping Company Ltd. (Markland Shipping Company Ltd., Managers), Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Sold April 8, 1946 to E.B. Asley, Oslo, Norway. Sold 1951 to the Merchant Steam Navigation Company, Bombay, India. Reported to have been damaged by fire at Hong Kong in 1956. Sold 1960 for scrapping at Bombay.
(Ed. Note: For his help in the preparation of this corporate history and fleet listing, our thanks go to Jim Kidd. The assistance of the Central Record of the World Ship Society is also acknowledged.)
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.