Unit History: Park Steam Ship Co
Canadian built ships were owned by the Park Steamship Company, an arm of the Department of Munitions and Supply, and were operated by Canadian shipping companies. These ships were named after Canadian parks, ie SS ROCKCLIFFE PARK. Ships built for the British account were named after Canadian forts, ie SS FORT QU’APPELLE. Crews for these ships were recruited from the Merchant Navy Manning Pools, in Halifax, Saint John, Montreal and Vancouver. In general, the armament built and placed in these ships was common to both the Forts and the Parks.
The Canadian fleet developed quickly during the war going from about 39 ocean and coastal ships, and 1,450 seafarers, to about 210 ships and 12,000 seafarers at the end of the war. By 1942 Canada was building its own ships and by the end of the war 403 ships had been built — 183 for the Canadian flag, and 220 for the British flag. The ownership of the Canadian ships rested with the Park Steamship Company that was a Crown corporation under the Department of Munitions and Supply.