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The history of Canada's Navy & Military on Canada's west coast

Esquimalt Naval Sites

Esquimalt Naval Sites

On 29th June, 2006, at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, a plaque was dedicated in the Museum Square at Naden to recognize the significance of four naval station sites as an historic district of national significance.

The Esquimalt Naval Sites are:

~ The naval Dockyard at Esquimalt;
~ The former Royal Navy hospital buildings at Naden - now CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum;
~ The Veterans Cemetery off Colville Road in Esquimalt, God's Acre (formerly the Royal Navy cemetery);
~ Cole Island (formerly the munitions depot for the Dockyard)


Here is the text from the Esquimalt Naval Sites plaque:

"The long naval presence here has produced a unique legacy among defence sites in Canada. From its establishment in 1865 until Britain's Royal Navy withdrew in 1906, Esquimalt served as headquarters of the vast Pacific Station.

"In the Dockyard, the Admiralty built wooden storehouses and repair shops for the Pacific fleet. Well-crafted brick buildings, many still in use, replaced the original structures in the 1890s.

"A hospital complex was installed at nearby Pilgrim Cove. Sailors who succumbed to disease or to the hazards of life at sea were buried in the Royal Navy Cemetery. Cole Island, isolated at the northern tip of Esquimalt Harbour, housed gunpowder and high explosives.

"In 1910, the new Royal Canadian Navy took over the base, eventually expanding the Dockyard and hospital sites to provide training and administrative facilities, and the heavy industrial complexes needed to service the modem Canadian fleet.

"These sites embody more than a century's evolution of naval defence by British and Canadian forces."