One of very few vessels built for Great Lakes service by the Saint John Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Saint John, NB, the Seaway sized gearless bulk carrier was built as the yard's hull # 1084 and launched October 15, 1967 as the Senneville for the Mohawk Navigation Co., Ltd., Montreal, QC. Named after a community near Montreal, QC located on the western end of Montreal Island on the Lake of Two Mountains, home to Mohawk Navigation's president Mr. Robert A. Campbell, the Senneville became only the second Great Lakes bulk carrier with her wheelhouse, all accommodations and machinery aft. The first laker was the Senneville's 1963-built fleetmate Silver Isle (now sailing as the Algoisle). The Senneville was built using the lightest weight steel that would pass classification society and Coast Guard inspections to save weight and increase cargo capacity. Upon entering service, the Senneville became the flagship of the fleet and departed Sept-Isles, QC on November 8, 1967 on her maiden voyage laden with iron ore for Cleveland, OH. While on this trip, she was noted to have transited upbound in the Welland Canal on November 11.