Started in 1925 by Harold B. Elworthy and the Coulson brothers, of Victoria, BC. Elsworthy looked after the business functions. The Coulsons brought the coastal tug boat Quinitsa and later the harbour tugboat Dellac.
In 1926 the company purchased the fleet and business of Gardiner Towing Company. Over subsequent years the company added a number of tug boats and barges purchased from various independent owners. In the early 1940s Elsworthy left the company and joined Stanley McKeen in Straits Towing Company Limited. Straits Towing later purchased Island Tug and Barge.
Elsworthy then dissolved his partnership with McKeen, taking his share of the company’s assets with which he re-established Island Tug and Barge Ltd. In 1952 the company acquired Young and Gore Tugboat Company Ltd. The large tugboat Sudbury was purchased in 1954 and was fitted out as a salvage ship. In 1958 Island Tug and Barge amalgamated with Victoria Tugboat Company Ltd., then in 1960 the company negotiated with the McAllister Brothers of New York and Montreal’s ‘s Sogmines Ltd. The next year, 1961 saw the purchase of the tugboat Mogul and two barges, Griffco and Griffson from the Griffiths Steamship Company.