Jean Parisien

Jean Parisien – CSL Assiniboine


CSL Assiniboine on the St. Marys River, June 24, 2017. Photo by Roger LeLievre


Build Information

Stern Section [Original Hull]

Year Built: 1977

Builder: Davie Shipbuilding LTD., Lauzon, Quebec

Hull #684

Registry: CAN 368347

IMO #7413218

Laid Down: —

Launch Date: July 7, 1977

Commissioned: December 9, 1977

Forebody [Cargo Section & Forward]

Year Built: 2005

Builder: Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario

Hull #80

Laid Down: —

Launch Date: June 26, 2005

Commissioned: July 5, 2005


The Jean Parisien was constructed as a self-unloading bulk carrier for Canada Steamship Lines. She was designed with a rounded bow and a square stern to maximize efficiency and capacity. She featured a C-Loop style self-unloading system with a three-belt cargo hold layout.

She was the last of five similar sister ships constructed during the 1970’s, the others being the J. W. McGiffin [CSL Niagara, 1999]H. M. Griffith [Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, 2000;], AlgolakeLouis R. Desmarais [CSL Laurentien, 2001;].

The Parisien was rebuilt in 2005, and her self-unloading equipment consists of a single hold belt leading to an aft loop-belt system to a 250′ deck-mounted boom. Since her holds are box shaped without slopes, she utilizes a pair of front-end loaders to move cargo to the unloading belt after the cargo no longer flows via gravity.


  • Fins installed at bow to assist with icebreaking, Purvis Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, 1979
  • Rebuilt with a new forebody, Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario, 2005.
  • Repowered, 2014.

General Stats

As Constructed

Length Overall: 730′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 720’06”

Breadth: 75′

Depth: 46’06”

Loaded Draft: 30’03”

Capacity: 22,772 Gross Tons, 16,351 Net Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 258′

Number of Cargo Holds: 5

Number of Hatches: 23

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Grain, Salt Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1 (in Kort Nozzle)

After Rebuild, 2005

Length Overall: 739’10”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 730’10”

Breadth: 78′

Depth: 48’05”

Loaded Draft: 30’04”

Capacity: 36,768 Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 253′

Number of Cargo Holds: 1 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 24]

Number of Hatches: 24 [Dimensions: 55’x16’03”]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Grain, Salt Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1 (in Kort Nozzle)

Engineering Equipment



Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: Pielstick, Beloit, WI

Engine Model: 10PC2-2V-400

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 9000 BHP

Repower – 2014

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: MaK

Engine Model: 6M32C

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 6000 BHP



Jean Parisien – 1977-2005

Owner: Power Corporation of Canada, Inc., Montreal, QC [Parent company of Canada Steamship Lines]

Operator: Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC

Flag: Canadia

Home Port: Toronto, ON

CSL Assiniboine – 2005-Present

Owner: Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, QC

Operator: Canada Steamship Lines

Flag: Canada

Home Port: St. Catharines, ON

Her Story

The Jean Parisien was constructed in 1977 as a self-unloading bulk carrier for the Power Corp. of Canada, the parent company of Canada Steamship Lines. She was launched on July 7, 1977, the day before her near sister ship Louis R. Desmarais was launched at St. Catharines, Ontario. The Parisien entered service on December 9, 1977, sailing from Quebec City to Sandusky, Ohio, to load coal for Hamilton, Ontario.

The Jean Parisien set a Seaway grain record on September 1, 1981. She ran aground on the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay, New York on October 10, 1981, holing herself and blocking the shipping lane. She was freed on October 12. The Jean Parisien was an active participant in Canada Steamship Lines’ operation of unloading cargoes directly into the holds of an ocean ship.

The Parisien had the honor of opening the Welland Canal as both the first upbound vessel and first downbound vessel on March 30, 1993 and April 5, 1993, respectively. On July 11, 1994, the 1,000-Footer Edgar B. Speer unloaded into the holds of the Parisien, which in turn unloaded onto the dock at Nanticoke, Ontario. The Speer was equipped with a short shuttle-type unloading boom, preventing her from unloading on her own at the dock. The Jean Parisien suffered a fire while in winter layup at Port Colborne, Ontario, on February 3, 1996. The fire was located just above the engine room, causing smoke damage and damaging some wiring in the accommodations block.

In the fall of 2003, the Parisien was removed from active service and used as a topping-off vessel at Montreal, Quebec. She took a load of iron ore to Hamilton, Ontario, and laid up at the Port Weller Dry Docks at St. Catharines, Ontario, on December 14, 2003. Her name and billboard lettering on her hull were painted out on July 16, 2004. It was announced on August 24, 2004, that she would be the subject of a $30 forebody replacement. She would be the fourth and final phase of Canada Steamship Lines’ forebody replacement program.

The Parisien was soon placed in drydock, where her old forebody and cargo section was cut off just forward of the aft accommodations. The old forebody was towed to the scrapyard at Port Colborne in November. The new forebody was constructed in drydock, and the “new” vessel was launched on June 26, 2005. The new hull featured a state-of-the-art self-unloading system with completely automated controls, as well as a completely automated engine room.

She was christened CSL Assiniboine on June 29, 2005, and entered service on July 5, 2005. The Assiniboine was repowered in 2014 with new MaK diesel engines. She continues to be an active member of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet, serving the ore, coal, and grain markets.

Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on May 20, 2020



Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 30-31.

Berry, Sterling P. “Parisien, Jean”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 20 May 2020. <>

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Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 190.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.9.

Wharton, George. “CSL Assiniboine”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 20 May 2020. <>