ROYALITE, launched December 15,1915, for Imperial Oil, made history as the first tanker to be built in Canada. The vessel was intended for the Great Lakes trade but headed to sea in 1916 due to the demands of World War One. She was based at Halifax while on the coast and did make some transatlantic runs.
The 258 foot (78.6 metre) tanker returned to the inland seas before heading back to the Atlantic for World War Two duty. In the post
war years she experienced both freshwater and saltwater sailing.
Imperial renamed their liquid cargo carriers in 1947 and ROYALITE became the IMPERIAL WELLAND. A year later the vessel received major damage in a grounding accident on a shoal near Canso, Nova Scotia. The ship lost her rudder and had extensive bottom damage.
Fortunately,she was without cargo and there was no spill or pollution danger.From 1957 to 1963, IMPERIAL WELLAND was based at Montreal as a bunkering vessel. There she refuelled a variety of ships from cargo carriers to passenger liners. Her final days were spent back on the
Great Lakes and she left for the last time in April 1965. After unloading at Kingston, Ontario, the vessel sailed for the St. Lawrence.
Sold for scrap, a tug took IMPERIAL WELLAND and IMPERIAL SIMCOE and headed overseas late in the summer of 1965. The tow line broke twice enroute to Santander, Spain, but the ships were retrieved and they arrived safely October 13, 1965. After fortynine years of service, the longest in Imperial Oil history, ROYALITE/IMPERIAL WELLAND was cut up for scrap.