1858 engraving of Victoria

Colonial History Vancouver Island

Maureen Duffus - Author and Historian


Vancouver Island History

Cole Island Naval Magazine

Official Heritage Site Designation for Cole Island

Cole Island Heritage Site ceremony
Among guests at the unveiling of the commemorative plaque were, from left, Linda Carswell of the Friends of Cole Island Society, Harbour Master Commander Paul Leblanc, Barron Carswell, and Esquimalt/Juan de Fuca MP Dr. Keith Martin.

Cole Island was officially named part of Esquimalt Harbour District heritage sites at a commemoration ceremony June 29, 2006 at HMCS Naden.

It joins several buildings in the Dockyard, the 1880s hospital complex at Naden, and the Veterans Cemetery as "a key example of our naval heritage," designated by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Board Chairman Dr. Richard Alway spoke of the collection of historically significant Royal Navy buildings. "We have already lost so much of our built heritage ... to demolition ... that we feel a strong responsibility to preserve what is left."

Commander Randall Cassick also spoke of the importance of preserving the examples of mid-nineteenth century naval architecture for future generations.

cfb esquimalt heritage building
heritage hospital building

Patients recovering from disease or wounds used to sit in the fresh sea air on the long porches of the 1890s wards. The smaller building with the Victorian gingerbread trim was originally officers' quarters for doctors and nursing sisters. It became the first naval museum, later moved as a military museum to a nearby building between Anglican and Roman Catholic Chapels which are also part of the heritage complex.

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