Original Ship Registers
An abstract of ship information which includes most of the surviving ship registers in Canada can be found in the Naval Marine Archive’s Ships database.
Most of the surviving manuscript registers were microfilmed at Library and Archives Canada and are available via the Héritage site of Canadiana.ca. A handful have not yet been digitized. This collection reproduces the microfilm. Unfortunately, a number of reels are titled by only one of the array of registers on that film. The links below are to the first reference for that port
Note: Due to an odd twist in British Imperial and provincial legislation governing vessel registration, for over 20 years American built hulls could not be acquired by Canadians and placed on the provincial registry, but could be registered on the British imperial registry, the closest port being Montreal. Consequently, many vessels built in the United States and bought by Canadians were registered in Montreal even though they were incapable of transiting the locks of the Welland or St. Lawrence canals. In addition, many Canadian vessels registered in Montreal occasionally or routinely traded on the Great Lakes if they were of a size to transit the canals.
- (reel C-3191) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c3191/747
- (reel C-3192) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c3192/5
- (C1210) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c1210/331
- (C-1211) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c1211/670
- (C-1212) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c1212/1
- (C-1213) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c1213/1
- (C-2473) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2473/1
- (C-2434) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2434/354
- (C-2435) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2435/4
- (C-2435) https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2435/164
- (C-2471) https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2471/643
- (C2472) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c2472/5
- (T12336) https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_t12336/9
St. Catharines: http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c1214/3
- (C3192 http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c3192/234
Wallaceburg: (C-3191) http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c3191/565
Note: additional volumes of registers were reported on C-1214, C-3185 and C-1473 that were not located on the digitized versions of those reels
Owen Sound: reported to be on C-7635 which appears to be all Toronto
Milford: C-390 (not digitized yet.
Ports in Ontario not on the Great Lakes:
Register of vessels closed out (1904-1964)
The Closed out registers include documentation gathered at the national level each year as vessels passed out of registry. Typically the following year the vessel is dropped from the List of Shipping. A significant number of these registry documents can be searched by vessel name through the Archives Search option at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) site. Not all of them have been digitized yet. Or they can browed via the link below
Canada Shipping List
The Canada Shipping List went through a variety of titles, and was only published intermittently before 1901. In 1917, the first pages of the List covered the international Rules of the Road, and the specific set for the Great Lakes.