RMS Empress of Ireland was an ocean liner that sank in the Saint Lawrence River following a collision with a Norwegian SS Storstad in the early hours of 29 May 1914. Of the 1,477 persons on board the ship, the accident claimed the lives of 1,012. The number of deaths is the largest of any Canadian maritime accident in peacetime.
The Empress was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering at Govan on the Clyde in Scotland and was launched in 1906. The liner, along with her sister ship Empress of Britain, was commissioned by Canadian Pacific Steamships (CP) for the North Atlantic route between Quebec and Liverpool in England. The ship had just begun her 96th sailing when she sank.
The wreck lies in 40 metres (130 ft) of water, making it accessible to divers. Many artifacts from the wreckage have been retrieved. Some are on display in the Empress of Ireland Pavilion at the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski, Quebec. The Canadian government has passed legislation to protect the site.
Numerous books have been written about the sinking of the Empress and several films have been made.