Unlocking North Vancouver History

A Riveted Community: North Vancouver’s Wartime Shipbuilding

List of Wartime Ships Built

When it came to the naming system for Canadian-built merchant vessels, national pride played a big role. Vessels to be operated under the Canadian flag were named after well-known Canadian parks, while those to be operated under the British flag were named after famous historic Canadian forts. Ships later transferred between Britain and Canada had their names switched from “Fort” to “Park,” or vice versa. The names of forts were taken from a list compiled by the Canadian Department of the Interior. In some cases, the forts were not located on Canadian soil but scattered around North America. The names of parks were less scientifically chosen. Some park names recurred frequently across the country, while others weren’t parks at all, but the names of villages, suburbs and even libraries. To add to the confusion, some Canadian parks were renamed after World War II to conform to revised social or political attitudes.

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This board was one of two that detailed the North Sands, Victory and Canadian-style 10,000-ton ships built at Burrard Dry Dock’s north and south yards during World War II.

The boards hung at Burrard Dry Dock Company’s main site in North Vancouver.

The boards were painted and hung after the war as a reminder of the company’s significant wartime achievement.

Burrard Dry Dock was proud of its employees’ work; three of the sign’s columns record the days taken to launch and deliver each ship.

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