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The British American Oil Company Limited

Known as B-A Oil the company was incorporated October 17, 1906 by Albert Leroy Ellsworth of Welland, Ontario. It would go on to become the second largest petroleum company in Canada behind Imperial Oil with their Esso brand name.

In 1916 headquarters moved into the Royal Bank building at 2 King Street East (northeast corner Yonge Street) in Toronto. This 20-storey building was the tallest in the British Empire. Credit: Original Royal Bank building, Toronto. St.Marys Museum

In 1925 the first company owned service station was opened at Bloor Street West and Delaware Avenue in Toronto. Gas stations were known as service stations because the customer got SERVICE! A uniformed attendant pumped your gas for you while checking your oil level and cleaning your windshield. All this was free with the purchase of gas. If your tires needed air that was free too. Amazing! Oh yeah, and there were free street maps too!

In 1943 a refinery was opened in Clarkson, Ontario. Others were in Western Canada.

In 1948 the round B/A logo was adopted.

In 1962 B/A acquired Anglo-American Exploration Co. Ltd. and its 700 Purity 99 service stations.

In 1964 B/A acquired 96 % of Royalite Oil Co. with its 700 service stations.

B/A now had 9,300 service stations under 5 brand names giving it 25% of the market second behind Imperial Oil.

January 1, 1969 British American amalgamated with Royalite and Shawinigan Chemicals to form Gulf Oil Canada.
A Canadian icon was no more.



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