CFB Esquimalt

CFB Esquimalt – former Esquimalt Royal Navy Dockyard
Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada

Canadian naval ships docked at CFB Esquimalt
Coordinates 48°25′52″N 123°25′54″W / 48.43111°N 123.43167°W / 48.43111; -123.43167Coordinates: 48°25′52″N 123°25′54″W / 48.43111°N 123.43167°W / 48.43111; -123.43167
Type Naval base
Site information
Controlled by Canadian Forces
Site history
Built 1860 to present
In use 1842-present
Official name Esquimalt Naval Sites National Historic Site of Canada
Designated 1995
Garrison information
Garrison Royal Canadian Navy

Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt (CFB Esquimalt) is Canada's Pacific Coast naval base and home port to Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific Headquarters.

The base occupies approximately 41 square kilometres (10,000 acres) at the southern tip of Vancouver Island on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in and around the municipality of Victoria, British Columbia, adjacent to the western limit of the provincial capital, Victoria.

CFB Esquimalt comprises facilities including Naden (formerly HMCS Naden),[1] Her Majesty's Canadian (HMC) Dockyard Esquimalt, Fleet Maintenance Facility – Cape Breton (FMF-CB), a Fire Fighting and Damage Control School, the Naval Officer Training Centre (NOTC Venture), and extensive housing including 716 personnel married quarters located at nine sites such as Belmont Park, Work Point, and Royal Roads.

The present dockyard and drydock, known as Her Majesty's Canadian (HMC) Dockyard Esquimalt, dates to the Royal Navy's Esquimalt Royal Navy Dockyard (1842–1905) and was the Royal Navy's Pacific Station until 1911; Today it serves as the Canadian Naval Headquarters in the Pacific.

Due to their significance in Canadian naval history, four sites at CFB Esquimalt (the dockyard, the former Royal Navy Hospital, the Veterans’ Cemetery and the Cole Island Magazine) have been designated the Esquimalt Naval Sites National Historic Site of Canada.[2]


HMCS Aurora, HMCS Patriot, and HMCS Patrician at Esquimalt in 1921.
Orca (PCT 55) (Orca class) cruises among the Gulf Islands, 1 August 2007
HMCS Brandon, minesweeper based out of CFB Esquimalt
HMCS Oriole, sail training ship based out of CFB Esquimalt

As of March 2013, CFB Esquimalt services the following ships assigned to Canadian Fleet Pacific


CFB Esquimalt contains several recognized and classified federal heritage buildings on the Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings.[4]

The Institute for Stained Glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at the Multi-Faith Naval Chapel[5] and the stained glass at the Old Naval and Garrison Church (1866), now known as St Paul's Anglican.[6]

Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum

Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum
Location HMCS Naden, Naden Museum Square, Building 37, Esquimalt, British Columbia

CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum is located at HMCS Naden.[7] Building 20 (c. 1891), part of Naden Museum Square is a Municipal Heritage Property.[8] Building 37 (c. 1889) part of the Naden Museum Square is also a Municipal Heritage Property and is also on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.[9] HMCS Naden was named after the Dominion Government Ship Naden, which was commissioned as a tender for the Royal Naval College of Canada from 1918 to 1922 for training in sail.[10] The museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, OMMC and Virtual Museum of Canada.

Other facilities

Map showing the three areas of the base.

CFB Esquimalt operates a bus service to provide intra-base transportation.

The Lookout is the base newspaper, which covers local, national and international news with specific interest to Navy and Canadian Forces members and family issues.[11]

Other properties that are part of CFB Esquimalt include the Albert Head training area near Albert Head, Metchosin, located approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) by road southwest of downtown Victoria. It occupies approximately 88 hectares (220 acres), 4 of which are developed as training facilities. Fort Albert Head was established in the late 1800s along with Fort Rodd Hill and other installations, to provide shore defence for the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Victoria Harbour. The training area is used for Regular and Reserve Force training throughout nine months of the year and is home to the Regional Cadet Instructor School (Pacific) that trains Canadian Forces Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) Branch that deliver the cadet program. During the summer months of June, July and August the area houses the Albert Head Air Cadet Summer Training Centre. Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental Test Range at Nanoose Bay is also part of CFB Esquimalt. The facility provides non-explosive technical testing of sonobouys, torpedoes and other equipment. Naval Radio Station Aldergrove in the Fraser Valley houses transmitting and receiving equipment for long distance communications.

See also

Nearby naval facilities

Historical background


  1. Naden lost its "HMCS" designation in unification when all Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) shore establishments became part of the Canadian Forces Base system. "Canada – National Defence: CFB Esquimalt – History"
  2. Esquimalt Naval Sites. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  3. "Canadian Navy: MARPAC – Maritime Forces Pacific – Esquimalt Harbour". 13 December 2006. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  4.[] Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings.
  5. stained glass at the Multi-Faith Naval Chapel
  6. stained glass at the Old Naval and Garrison Church (1866)
  7. "CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum Home Page". Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  8. Naden Museum Square, Building 20. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  9. " – Listing – Naden Museum Square, Building 37". Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  10. Reference: Esquimalt Naval Base: A History of Its Works and Its Defences, by Major F.V. Longstaff, 1941,
  11. "The Look-Out". Retrieved 2010-02-21.
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