Master Catalog of Canadian Oil Companies that Issued Road Maps

(Major and Regional Oil Company Version)

Among the most enduring icons of 20th Century travel are the free roadmaps that motorists picked up at gas stations they stopped at during their road trips and vacations. These roadmaps not only served as essential navigation tools during their journeys but also as cherished souvenirs long after the trips were over. Canadian oil companies were quick to pick up on the power of roadmaps as promotional items. Over the years, Canadian oil companies of all sizes and types issued roadmaps. Although the era of free maps has passed, in recent years, oil company roadmaps have become highly desirable collectable items.

At the time most Canadian oil company roadmaps were issued, nobody gave any thought to the possibility that they might some day become collectable. As a result, unlike coins or stamps, there has never been a definitive list of what oil companies issued roadmaps and when they issued them. This catalog has been created to help fill that void, intended to serve as a resource to guide people who are interested in roadmaps or roadmap collecting.

This version of the catalog, the Major and Regional Company version, is a free tool for anyone to use for noncommercial purposes. It is tailored for new map collectors as well as for non-collectors who come into possession of old roadmaps and want to learn more about them. It is set up so that a person who has a map, but doesn’t know anything about oil companies, can look up a name on the map and find information about it on the list. The format is simple and easy to use. The list contains three columns. The first column alphabetically lists company names and brand names that major and regional oil companies are known to have issued roadmaps under. Because it lists both company names and brand names, many companies are listed more than once. This was done intentionally to make it easier for a person to find relevant information no matter what name on the map is used to search. The second column lists the first and last known date of issuance for each company/brand. The third column is intended to provide context, with comments and cross-references.[i]

Another version of the Canadian Master Catalog, intended for experienced roadmap collectors, is being prepared. That version will be comprehensive. In addition to the major and regional oil companies included in this version, it will include information on every single Canadian oil company known to have issued a roadmap. That version will be available for use by RMCA members in the members section of this website. If this is something that interests you, all you will need to do to access it is to join the RMCA. Annual dues are only $15. For more information, please click the membership tab.

Canadian Oil Company Issuing Period Comments & Cross References
B-A 1929 – 1950 British American Oil Co. Ltd, Toronto ON. post 1950, see B/A
B/A 1950 – 1968 pre 1950, see B-A. 1968 edition has Gulf logo; post 1968, see Gulf Canada
BP Canada 1957 – 1974 bought and rebranded Cities Service’s Canadian operations in the late 1950’s
BP Canada/Supertest 1973 dual branded for one year after BP bought Supertest
Canadian Petrofina (Fina) 1954 – 1974 marketed in Ont & Que. first station opened in late 1953
Champlain early 1930s – 1967 Champlain Oil Products Ltd., Montreal QC earliest maps are undated
Chevron (Standard Oil of British Columbia) 1936 – 1975 pre 1936, Dominion Oil Company
Co-op, Federated 1946 – mid 1970s federation of co-ops in three Western provinces. most recent map is undated
En-Ar-Co of Canada (Canadian Oil Co’s. Ltd) 1935 – 1938 Canadian Oil Co.s Ltd, Toronto ON. post 1938, see White Rose Canada
Esso (Imperial Oil Co. Ltd) 1949 – 1981; 1998 based in Toronto ON. pre 1949, see Imperial ( Imperial Oil Company Ltd)
Federated Co-operatives Ltd 1946 – mid 1970s co-ops marketed in MB, SK, and AB. most recent map is undated
Fina (Canadian Petrofina) 1954 – 1974 marketed in Ont & Que. first station opened in late 1953.
Gas & Oil Producers Ltd (Purity 99) 1929 – 1950 based in Calgary AB. post 1950, see Purity 99 (Anglo-American)
Gulf Canada 1969 – 1974 B/A rebranded Gulf in 1968. pre 1969, see B/A
Husky Canada 1956 – 1997 Husky issued some distinct maps for distribution in Canada only
Imperial Esso 1949 – 1981; 1998 pre 1949, see Imperial ( Imperial Oil Company Ltd)
Imperial (Imperial Oil Company Ltd.) 1920s – 1948 based in Toronto ON. earliest map is undated; post 1948, see Imperial Esso
Irving 1936 – 1967 Irving Oil Co., St. John NB see also, Les Petroles
McColl-Frontenac (Texaco Canada) 1947 – 1975 pre 1947, see Red Indian
North Star Oil Ltd. 1926 – 1961 based in Winnipeg, MB. post 1961, see Shell Canada
Pacific 66 1964 – 1974 Pacific Petroleums Ltd. Canadian subsidiary of Phillips 66
Petro-Canada 1985 Canadian government purchased Gulf Canada in 1980s. since privatized
Purity 99 (Gas & Oil Producers Ltd) 1929 – 1950 Gas & Oil Producers Ltd. post 1950, see Purity 99 (Anglo-American)
Purity 99 (Anglo-American Exploration Ltd.) 1954 – 1963 name change to Anglo-American Exploration Ltd. post 1963, see Royalite
Red Indian 1924 – 1946 McColl-Frontenac Oil Co. post 1946, see McColl-Frontenac (Texaco Canada)
Royalite 1955 – 1969 post 1969, see Gulf Canada
Shell Oil Company of Canada 1930 – 1991 opened its first service station in 1925
Standard Oil of British Columbia (Chevron) 1936 – 1975 pre 1936, see Dominion OIl Company
Sun Oil Company Ltd (Sunoco Canada) circa 1930 – 1975 opened first service station in 1930. earliest maps are undated
Supertest 1933 – 1972 post 1972, see BP Canada
Texaco Canada (McColl-Frontenac) 1947 – 1975 pre 1947, see Red Indian
Union Oil of Canada circa 1930 – 1942 subsidiary of Union Oil of California. retail marketing assets sold off in 1943.
Union Oil of Canada 1967 – 1975 subsidiary of Union Oil of California. retail started up again in 1960s.
White Rose-Canada (Canadian Oil Co’s. Ltd) 1940 – 1965 pre 1940, see En-Ar-Co Canada. post 1965, see Shell Canada
White Star Refining Co. Ltd 1928 – 1932? early Mobilgas subsidiary based in Windsor ON. newest map is undated

© 2011. Compiled by Jim Wakefield. This document and its contents are intended for personal use only. Any commercial use, reproduction, or publication of this document and/or any part of its contents is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of the RMCA or its author.


[i] Please note that a number of American oil companies also issued maps of Canada and/or Canadian provinces. This catalog is of Canadian Oil companies that issued roadmaps. To find information on an American oil company that issued a map of Canada, please reference the Master Catalog of American Oil Companies that Issued Road Maps, also on this website. Like the Canadian catalog, the American catalog will eventually have two versions, a Major and Regional Oil Company and a larger Comprehensive Version, which is being prepared for use by RMCA members in the planned members section of the RMCA website.