The purpose of this web site is to provide information about Polson Iron Works,
a thriving ship-building and engine-building company active
in the late 1800s and early 1900s in Toronto, Canada.

The Company & People


What it made

William Polson born, son of Angus Polson and Sarah Penicott 1834
Franklin Bates Polson born, Port Hope, February 10.   1858  

1878 Engines built for:

Franklin Bates Polson married Emma A. Wood, December 31 1880
   1881   Engines built for:
Annie Senisa

William Polson and Company created
Engineering, machining, steam yachts, boilers and engines

 June, 1885, Emma M. (née Wood), wife of Franklin Bates Polson, dies at the age of 25 leaving 2 daughters

Emma's Obituary

   1885   Engines built for:
Ripple, Dortha (Ramona), Mermaid, D. Foster, Ivey Alderson
Polson Iron Works Company of Toronto Limited incorporated
Boiler and engine works
  1886   Ships Built:
Mockingbird, Conqueror,Vivid, Rescue

Engines built for:
Maid of the Mill, Adrelexa, Kingfisher

Franklin Bates Polson
joined the Toronto Board of Trade
  1887   Ships Built:
Electric (1891, 1893, 1899)

Engines built for:
Lenore, Ivey Alderson.

 Owen Sound Dry Dock
   1888   Ships Built:
City of Chatham

Engines built for:
Alberta, Dawn, Verbena May, Ranger, Herbert M.

barge commissioned by the Parry Sound Lumber Company.

Owen Sound Article by Bruce Rudolph

  1889   Ships Built:
Siesta, Undine, Mizpah, Manitoba - the first steel ship built in Canada

May 4 • Manitoba launched,
Owen Sound
the first Canadian all-steel passenger vessel.

Engines built for:
Maggie May, Sweet Mary, Maud S., Vixen, Daisy, Roy

John Bellamy Miller
became a director of the company
  1890   Ships Built:
Ontario, car ferry built for the CPR, Naiad, Seguin (launched July 6) Seguin's Story,

Engines built for:
Erastus Wiman, Emulator, Camilla

     1891   Ships Built:
(Electric), Constance

Engines built for:

  1892   Ships Built:
Siesta, Undine, Mizpah, Curlew, Petrel

Engines built for:
A.J. Flyman, Ojibway

  Owen Sound shipyard
and production moved back to Toronto.

Owen Sound Article by Bruce Rudolph

  1893   Ships Built:

  1895   Engines built for:
   1897   Ships Built:
Knapp Roller Boat launched
at the Toronto yards, near the foot of Sherbourne Street. Knapp Roller Boat's Story

Engines built for:
Charlie M.

1898 Ships Built:
Annie C. Hill, Wanda

Engines built for:
Brockville, Notos, Mizpah, Nellie T.

1899 Ships Built:
Majestic, (Electric)

Engines built for:
Ishkoodah, Mink

Senator W.E. Sanford's yacht the Naiad built

Naiad Article by Bruce Rudolph

   1900   Ships Built:
Bobs, Llaus, Islander, Llano  
Llano's Story

Engines built for:
Laura MC

  William Polson dies

William Polson's Obituary

Franklin Bates marries Bessie Stephen Thomson, March 20

  1901   Ships Built:
Algoma, Ina   Ina's Story   ,

Engines built for:
Frontenac, Caroline, Lady Franklin, City of Bala

Sept 2, J. Israel Tarte launched
a hydraulic dredge.

  1902   Ships Built:
Kate, Espanola, Inenew, Sir Wilfrid (P.W.D. 117, see 1909)
Sir Wilfrid/P.W.D. 117's Story

Engines built for:
Hiawatha, Ophir, Dawn, S.W. Marchment

1903  Ships Built:
Linnea, Mildred, Rambler, Lurcher
Lurcher's Story


Simla, Zara

 April 19 •The Great Toronto Fire
Wikipedia, Toronto archives
   1904   Ships Built:
Vigilant , the first Canadian-built armed vessel.

Engines built for: Wawinet  Wawinet Story

  1905   Ships Built:
Temagami, Wanda II

  Ships Built:
Bluebell, Hercules, Navarch, Pikouagami
Hercules' Story

Engines built for:
Amanda, Sea Gull, Armour, Rosena

Oct 28 • Franklin B. Polson dies
leaving 4 children and a widow.

Franklin Bates' Obituary

  1907   Ships Built:
Morning Star Morning Star's Story, Roberval, Bessie Butler

Engines built for:
King Edward, Highland Belle, Lena May, Mary L., Nymph

     1908   Ships Built:
Charles Lyon, (illegible), Loretta

Engines built for:
Jasmine, Herbert M.

  1909   Ships Built:
Keego, P.W.D. No. 117 (Sir Wilfrid, see 1902)
PWD117, dredge
P.W.D. 117's Story

Engines built for:
Ramona, Island Lassie, Brockville, Shanly, B.C.L. Tug 4, Queen of Temagami

1910 Ships Built:
Shuniah, Trillium, Bigwin, Ella Mary
Bigwin/Ella Mary Story
Trillium launched June 18,  Trillium Web Site 

Engines built for:
Ressel Roque

1912 Ships Built:
G.R. Geary G.R.Geary's Story, Kwasind, MNCO No 6 Drill Scow, Batchawanna Batchawana StoryBatchawana

Engines built for:
Joe Goodwin

    1913    Ships Built:
Port Nelson

Engines built for:

1914 Ships Built:
City Dredge No 2, Cyclone, Grenville Hudson Bay No. 1, Hudson Bay No. 2, Hudson Bay No. 3, Keego, Kuskanook, Q.H.C. No 51, Q.H.C. No 52, Q.H.C. No 53, Q.H.C. No 54, Q.H.C. No 55,
  Grenville's Story  

Engines built for:
T.J. Jarmin

1915 Ships Built:
Ontario #2Ontario 2's Story, Seventy Five, Tornado, Wanda III

Engines built for:

1916 Built: The M.F.P Tractor Biplane
1917 Ships Built:
Messines, St. Eloi, St. Julien, Vimy, Ypres
1919 Ships Built:
Knapp Roller Boat
buried by land reclamation, somewhere between Sherbourne and Parliament Sts, under the railway viaduct.

 1937 Engines built for:
Klondike II
Toronto's waterfront redevelopment threatens Canadian maritime history. 2008