Industry of British Columbia

From Dominion of British Columbia

Aerospace Industry

Shipbuilding & Related Industries

Vancouver Island


  • Cameron Genoa Mills - Active during the First World War, built ten cargo ships.
  • Falconer Marine Industries - Builder of fishing boats, built three target tugs and three harbour patrol craft during the First World War for the RBCN. Closed 1931.
  • Foundation Company - Established in 1873 as Colling & Cook's Ways; bought out in 1888 and became Clark & Turpel's Shipyard, subsequently received its current name. Produced wooden coastal vessels for civilian use, during WWI built 25 wooden cargo ships for the RBCN. Closed 1933.
  • Harbour Marine Company - Established in 1914 as a subsidiary of the Victoria Machinery Depot on Songhees Band land. Ceased industrial operations in 1927, but the yard continued in use by the Songhees band as a private repair facility for fishing boats and small craft until 1955.
  • McKay Cormack - A small builder, started up in 1958 to build search-and-rescue boats for the BC Coast Guard. Closed 1969.

Point Hope Shipyards (1938) -> Point Hope Marine (repair yard, Seaspan subsid.)

-- Same ways leased by Foundation Corporation (above) in 1917

Victoria Machinery Depot [1900-1967, Burrard subsid. after 1951]

-- NB: VMD was orig. engine/boiler maker Albion Iron Works (1882-1900)

Victoria Motor Boat & Repair Works Ltd [WWII, 6 x harbour patrol craft]


Esquimalt Marine Railway Co (1890s) -> B.C. Marine Railway Co -> Yarrows (1913)

Yarrows --> Burrard Yarrows [*] --> Versatile Pacific Shipyards [1984]

-- * Burrard subsid. after 1951; name changed in 1970

Victoria Shipyards (2000, Washington Marine Group)

Minor Yards - Armstrong Bros (Victoria); Alberni Engineering Ltd (Port Alberni, 1914); Cowichan Welding (Duncan); Banks Marine Industries (Parksville); Cholberg (Victoria); Halliday Marine (Nanaimo); Nanaimo Shipyard (Nanaimo, 1930s)




Benson Bros. (1907) -> AC Benson Shipyard (1925) -> Benson Bros. Shipbuilding (1942)

-- Orig. False Creek, 1938 Coal Harbour, 1974 takes over Star in New West.

BC Marine Ltd (1914*) -> BC Marine Shipbuilders (1962) [Victoria Drive]

-- * 1898 subsid. of B.C. Marine Railway; now part of West Coast Manly Shipyards

Hamilton Bridge -> Western Bridge & Steel Fabrication -> West Coast Shipbuilders [WWII]

-- NB: 'Western Bridge' on site of dormant J. Coughlan & Sons yard (below)

Hoffar Motor Boat Company (1911) -> Hoffar-Beeching (1926) -> Boeing Canada (1927)

-- NB: Boeing built flying boats, actual boat-building stopped in 1939

J. Coughlan & Sons [WWI] (for Columbia St site, see Hamilton Bridge above)

Northern Construction, False Creek (10 x cargo ships, all in 1919)

RivTow Industries (1982) --> West Coast Manly Shipyards

-- RivTow Straits tugs took over BC Marine, John Manly, & West Coast Salvage

Vancouver Dry Dock [WWII Burrard Dry Dock subsidiary]

Vancouver Shipyards (1902-1968, then moved to Pemberton Ave, North Van)

West Coast Salvage & Contracting (1914-1977)

- 1982 aquired for RivTow to become part of West Coast Manly Shipyards

Western Canada Shipyards [WWI, 6 x cargo ships, 1918] False Creek

West Coast Manly Shipyards (see RivTow Industries above)

Minor yards: ABC Boats; Allied Shipbuilders (see North Van); HH Allen; British Columbia Iron Work; Fryatt/Bel-Aire (see N.Van); GE Cates; McAlpin & Allen


Allied Shipbuilders (1967, prior to that, Columbia St, Vancouver)

Bel-Aire Shipyard (1963, prior to that Cardero, Coal Harbour since 1956)

Matsumoto Shipyards (1956-1989, Dollarton)

McKenzie Barge & Derrick (1932) --> McKenzie Barge & Marine Ways (1970-1989)

-- NB: McKenzie B&M still exists at Dollarton but now only as a repair yard

North Vancouver Ship Repair --> Pacific Dry Dock [Burrard subsid. after 1951]

-- Repair yard turned shipyard during WWII, Pacific absorbed into Burrard

Vancouver Shipyards (in downtown Vancouver from 1902-1968)

Wallace Shipbuilding/Burrard Dry Dock [North Van corporate history below]

Wallace Shipyard, Ltd. (1909, incorp False Creek, 1905) -> Wallace Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Ltd. (1920) -> Burrard Dry Dock Co., Ltd. (1926) -> Burrard-Yarrows Ltd. (1979); Versatile Pacific Corp. (1984-1988)

William Lyall Shipbuilding Co Ltd [WWI, 1917-1921]


Breezedale Marine [m-1980s, fish boats]


Fraser Shipyard & Industrial Centre

-- NB: operates on former site of Benson Star Shipyard

John Manly Ltd. (1947-1982, bought by RivTow)

-- NB: Name is reclaimed by West Coast Manly Shipyards

Star Shipyards (1980, aka Mercer's) -> Benson Star Shipyard (1973-1984)

New Westminster Shipbuilding & Engineering [WWI, 1918-1919] Poplar Island

Westminster MR [WWI]


Pacific Construction [WWI, 2 x cargo ships, 1918]


Sylte Shipyard, Ltd. (1992, 100+ hulls to date)


Vito Steel Boat & Barge Construction (1965-1987)


Bulger, J.M. [1900-1910, CPR tugs & pass boats]


Prince Rupert Dry Dock

Sam Matsumoto - fish boats until 1941, relocates to N.Van after WWII internment

Construction, Engineering, and Other Manufacturing Industries

Incomplete list

Vancouver Island


Forestry, Lumber, Paper

Vancouver Island


Mining and smelting

Vancouver Island


Other Industries