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The Empress of Ireland, a forgotten history
Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père
Rimouski , Quebec


   In 1904, Canadian Pacific
ordered two fast and
comfortable passenger ships
from Fairfield Shipbuilding
and Engineering in Glasgow,
Scotland. At that time,
Fairfield was one of the few
companies able to build
almost all of the components
of a ship. On June 29, 1906,

the Empress of Ireland made
its maiden voyage, becoming
the biggest and most
luxurious passenger ship
navigating the St. Lawrence
River, and one of the largest
and most luxurious ships in
the world. Making ports of
call in Québec and in
Liverpool, England, the ship

had to go through Pointe-au-
Père to pick up or drop off
its pilot. In 1914, when
Pointe-au-Père was on the way
to becoming one of the
country's most important
navigational aid centres, the
Empress of Ireland was rammed
by another ship and sank
offshore in 14 minutes. This

maritime tragedy, which
resulted in 1,012 deaths, was
imprinted on the memory of an
entire generation before
fading into oblivion
following the advent of the
First World War.

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