Esquimalt Dockyard

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H.M. Dockyard, Esquimalt
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Part of Pacific Station
Pacific Ocean
TypeNaval Dockyard
Site information
OperatorRoyal Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
Controlled byBoard of Admiralty
Site history
In use1865-1905

Esquimalt Dockyard or formally HM Dockyard, Esquimalt was a Royal Naval Dockyard on Canada's Pacific coast from 1842 to 1905. The naval dockyard was located in Esquimalt, British Columbia, adjacent to Esquimalt Harbour and the city of Victoria, to replace a base in Valparaíso, Chile as the home of the Royal Navy's Pacific Station and was the only Royal Navy base in western North America.

In March 1905 due to high maintenance costs it was handed over to the Canadian government and renamed HM Canadian Dockyard, Esquimalt who continue to operate In 1945 it was again renamed Canadian Forces Base, Esquimalt.


Esquimalt Harbour was established as naval port in 1842. Permanent shore facilities started to be constructed in 1855 by the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy established an alternate base at Esquimalt in 1865 and in 1876 the first major construction began: the Royal Navy graving dock. Built for the Royal Navy’s largest ships, the facility received its first vessel, HMS Cormorant, in July 1887. The graving dock helped to strengthen the navy’s capabilities in the Pacific region.

The dockyard built 94 ships in the first seven years after its construction. Starting from the late 19th century, the Department of Admiralty gradually handed over the base to Canada due to high maintenance costs. The Royal Navy's Pacific Station was formally abolished in March 1905 and the base was officially transferred to Canada in 1910.

The larger Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD) was built by the Canadian Government in 1924 and was closed in 1945. In Canadian Forces Base, Esquimalt came into existence in April 1966 under the programme to integrate the navy, army and air force into the Canadian Forces.

In Command

Admiral-Superintendent, Esquimalt Dockyard

  1. Rear-Admiral William Oswald Story RN, 12 October, 1914 - 27 April, 1917. (also Senior Naval Officer, West Coast of America).[1]


  1. Gough, Barry (2016). Britannia's Navy on the West Coast of North America, 1812-1914. Victoria, BC, Cananda.: Heritage House Publishing Co. pp. 319–321. ISBN 978-1-77203-109-6.