Unlocking North Vancouver History

A Riveted Community: North Vancouver’s Wartime Shipbuilding


During World War II, North Vancouver’s shipyards made a vital contribution to the Allied victory. They produced almost half of the cargo ships built in Canada to replace those sunk by German submarines. Before the days of air transport, these merchant ships were critical for carrying North American supplies and equipment to the theatres of war in Europe and Asia. Britain found that it could not produce enough ships on its own, and asked the U.S. and Canada for help. At a time when eastern Canadian shipyards were far more established, North Vancouver’s high productivity came as a surprise. Company owners and their swelling ranks of employees rallied strongly to the cause, structuring their lives around “shipyard time” to maximize output and participating enthusiastically in the community war effort.

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