Industry of British Columbia

From Dominion of British Columbia

Aerospace Industry[edit]

Shipbuilding & Related Industries[edit]

Vancouver Island[edit]


  • 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[edit]

Incomplete list

Vancouver Island[edit]


Forestry, Lumber, Paper[edit]

Vancouver Island[edit]


Mining and smelting[edit]

Vancouver Island[edit]


Other Industries[edit]