Canadian Forts


Fort Alexandria | Barkerville Post | Beavermouth Post | Bella Bella Post
Bella Bella WWII Defences | Boat Encampment | Fort Chilcotin | Fort Essington | Fort Grey
Homulchesan Indian Fort | Fort Hope | Fort Kamloops | Fort Kluskus | Kootenae House (1)
Kootenay Post (2) | Lac d'Orignal Post | Fort Langley | Lillooet Indian Fort
Linklater's Post | McDougal's Post | Fort McLoughlin | New Westminster Barracks
Point Grey Battery | Quesnel Post | Fort Shepherd | She-Whaps Post
Spider Island Radar Station | Fort Steele | Stanley Park Battery | Thompson River Post
Vancouver Defences | Vancouver Post | West Bank Post | Fort Yale

Vancouver Island - page 2 | Northern British Columbia - page 3


Last Update: 08/MAY/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2010 American Forts Network

Harbour Defence of Vancouver - FORT WIKI

Point Atkinson Battery
(1942 - 1944), West Vancouver
A field emplacement for one 18-pounder MK1 gun, used as the examination battery for the harbour defence. The gun was later fixed-mounted on a concrete pillar mounting (which still exists). Site located immediately south of the lighthouse (built 1912), adjacent Lighthouse Park, a city park. A concrete pedestal for a fire-control/range-finder station is located immediately west of the lighthouse. Two searchlights were emplaced here in 1941, one position still remains. The concrete powerhouse for both searchlights also remains, located immediately north of the lighthouse. A number of wooden barracks also still exist near the lighthouse. There is no public access to any of these structures on the grounds of the lighthouse station, which is beyond the public park. The Naval Port War Signal Station for Vancouver Harbour was also located here in the vicinity of the lighthouse.

First Narrows (North) Battery
(1939 - 1944), North Vancouver, Vancouver
An AMTB battery of two 12-pounder quick-firing guns was temporarily located at the Capilano River Spit. It was moved to a three-story concrete "gantry" located under the piers of the Lions Gate Bridge. No remains. Three searchlights were also emplaced here. One AA gun was emplaced nearby at Ambleside in 1942.

Siwash Rock Battery
(1914), Stanley Park, Vancouver
Two 4-inch naval guns were temporarily emplaced here in WWI. A searchlight was later located here during WWII (emplacement still remains).

Stanley Park Battery
(1939 - 1943), Stanley Park, Vancouver
Located on Ferguson Point, originally armed with two 6-inch MK7 guns on MK2 mounts, later replaced with two 4.7-inch guns. The guns were swapped-out in 1942 with those on Yorke Island. The gun emplacements were buried in 1948. The site is marked by a Royal Canadian Artillery plaque. The two-story underground magazine still exists, but no public access. The Officers' Mess still exists, now incorporated into the Teahouse restaurant. The battery observation post and the powerhouse were demolished in 1963. Two searchlights were also emplaced here. The 1000-acre public park was originally created in 1888. See also Vancouver Park Board - Stanley Park

Point Grey Battery
(1914, 1939 - 1950/1968), Vancouver
Located on Point Grey at the present University of British Columbia, Museum of Anthropology. In WWI two 60-pounder field guns were positioned here. In WWII two 6-inch MK7 guns were initially emplaced here on temporary mounts, soon replaced by three 6-inch MK7 guns on MK2 mounts. One source makes a reference to Fort Grey in WWII. Placed in caretaker status in 1948. In 1950 the barracks were used as extra dormitories for the students of the University of British Columbia (aka "Fort Camp"). The Battery OP was used as a military radio transmitter station until the 1960's. The reservation was transferred to the province in 1968. One gun position and the cantonment area were demolished in 1973 for the construction of the museum. The other two gun positions still remain at each end of the museum. The examination gun (1939 - 1942) was a 6-pounder Hotchkiss gun. A 3.7-inch AA gun was on the point some distance from the fort. Two additional AA guns were also in the area. Two searchlights were positioned on the beach (concrete towers and powerhouse still remain).

Steveston Battery
(1939 - 1943), Steveston
A field emplacement for two 18-pounder MK1 guns. An AA battery was also located here. One 18-pounder gun was later replaced with two 25-pounder guns in 1943. Located near the northern bank of the mouth of the south arm of the Fraser River, at the end of the Steveston Highway on the west dike of Lulu Island, north of town.

Boundary Bay Battery
(1942 - 1945), Boundary Bay
An anti-aircraft battery was located here to protect the nearby military airfield.

NOTES: The WWII Fire Command post (1942 - 1944) was once located at "Wadsley" (West Vancouver), near McKechnie Park. It was later converted to a private guest house, but was demolished in 2006 or 2007. A battery observation post was located at Prospect Point, First Narrows (South). From 1943 - 1945 there were four additional sites with four each 3.7-inch AA guns, which replaced 40mm Bofors guns emplaced in 1942, located at Little Mountain, Lynnmour, Burnaby, and Sea Island (Vancouver International Airport). The Royal Canadian Air Force Seaplane Base was located at Jericho Beach, now a city park. The concrete apron and three original station buildings still remain, now in adaptive re-use.

Vancouver info gathered from "Vancouver Defended: A History of the Men and Guns of the Lower Mainland Defences, 1859-1949" by Peter Moogk, 1978, Antonson Publishing.

Special thanks to David Morgan and Robert Zink of the Coast Defense Study Group for providing info on the Coast Artillery Defences of British Columbia.
Also thanks to John Eckersley (CDSG) and Vic Stevenson for corrections and updates.

Homulchesan Indian Fort
(unknown dates), near North Vancouver
A palisaded Indian village was once located here on the present-day Capilano Reserve. No remains.
(info courtesy of Mike Clevan)

Vancouver Post
(1889 - 1920), Vancouver
A Hudson's Bay Co. post. Replaced Fort Langley as the main HBC depot. The first HBC Store in the area was built in 1887 on Cordova Street in Gastown, closed in 1893. The main HBC warehouse was also built in Gastown in 1895 at 321 Water Street, used as such until the 1960's (still extant as the Hudson House). See also History of the HBC Vancouver Store from HBC Heritage

New Westminster Barracks
(1858 - 1864 ?), New Westminster
The colonial capital until replaced by Victoria in 1866. Royal Engineers were sent here to provide law and order against American-led uprisings and threats of annexation after the 1858 gold rush in the Fraser River valley.
(additional info courtesy of Mike Clevan)

Fort Langley (National Historic Site)
(1827 - 1886/1889), Fort Langley FORT WIKI
A Hudson's Bay Co. post. Original site located downriver at Derby at Derby Reach Regional Park. A new fort was built in 1838 at the new location, repaired in 1839 after a fire, but was completely rebuilt again in 1840. It features an extant 1840 warehouse, and 1957 reconstructed Big House, northwest bastion and Servants' quarters. Later, this fort became a provisioning post for the 1858 gold rush. The palisade wall was dismantled in 1864. British Columbia was proclaimed a crown colony here in 1858. The colonial capital was promptly moved to New Westminster as a more militarily defensible location than either Fort Langley or the earlier site at Derby. See also The Children of Fort Langley by Lisa Peppan || See also Fort to Fort Trail

Of interest nearby is the Langley Centennial Museum and National Exhibition Centre (admission fee).

Fort Hope (National Historic Site)
(1848 - 1889/92), Hope FORT WIKI
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records begin in 1860). It was also used during the 1858 gold rush, when the town was formally established. Of interest in town is the Hope Museum and Visitor Centre complex on Water Avenue.

Fort Yale
(Yale Museum and Historic Site)
(1848 - 1849, 1864 - 1889), Yale FORT WIKI
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover 1864 - 1889). The first post was abandoned in favor of the better situated Fort Hope. The town was formally established in 1858 during the gold rush. This BC Heritage Area is managed by the Yale and District Historical Society. See also The Gold Rush Town of Yale from BC Heritage

McDougal's Post
(1861 - unknown), Princeton
A fur trade post.

West Bank Post
(1820's - 1860's), West Bank
A fur trade post.

Lillooet Indian Fort
(unknown dates), Lillooet
A palisaded Indian village was once located here. No remains.
(info courtesy of Mike Clevan)

Fort Kamloops
(1812 - 1932), Kamloops FORT WIKI
An American Pacific Fur Company post was originally located here in early 1812, also known as She-Whaps Post. This was the northern most extent of the American trade posts in the old Oregon Territory. In October 1813 it was bought out and then abandoned by the North West Company, which had already built a competing post on the other side of the river (Thompson River Post) (also 1812). The Hudson's Bay Co. took over control of the NWCo. post in 1822, and rebuilt it in the 1840's. A second HBC post was built in 1861 across the river to replace the first. A replica of the second HBC post is at the Kamloops Museum and Archives at 207 Seymour Street.

A palisaded Shuswap Indian village (date ?) was once located here. No remains.

Fort Shepherd
(Fort Shepherd Conservancy Area)
(1857 - 1870), near Trail
A Hudson's Bay Co. post, located on the west bank of the Columbia River six kilometres south of town, built to replace Fort Colvile on the American side of the border, and to serve the Sinixt Indian trade (Fort Colvile, however, remained in operation until 1871). Closed briefly in 1862. Reopened in 1863 during the Kootenay Gold Rush. The Dewdney Trail from Hope to Wildhorse led through Fort Shepherd. The abandoned post burned down in 1872. A stone cairn (1951) marks the site.

Fort Steele
(Fort Steele Heritage Town)
(1888 - 1898 ?), Fort Steele
The town was originally called Galbraith's Ferry. It was renamed in 1888 with the establishment of the post. This was the first permanent North West Mounted Police post west of the Rocky Mountains. There are over 60 homes and other restored buildings in this living history town. Admission fee.

Kootenay Post (2)
(1860 - 1880's), near Roosville
A long-established Hudson's Bay Co. post that had to relocate across the newly surveyed international boundary from Montana. Also known as John Linklater's Post at this time. Following the discovery of gold in Wild Horse Creek, the post was moved to Joseph's Prairie (1862 ?). Eventually replaced by Fort Steele. (See also MONTANA page 3)

Kootenae House (1) (National Historic Site)
(1807 - 1808), near Wilmer
A trading post for the North West Company located north of Windemere Lake. It was later moved south into present-day Montana, and stayed there for several decades until politics forced the HBC to relocate back north across the international boundary in 1860 (see above).

Beavermouth Post
(1884 - 1885), near Field
A temporary NWMP post built to watch over, and keep the peace between, the railroad gangs through Kicking Horse Pass.

Boat Encampment
(1811 - unknown), near Mica Creek
A North West Co. post on the Wood River near its mouth at the Columbia River (area is now submerged under Kinbasket Lake).

Lac d'Orignal Post
(Mount Robson Provincial Park)
(1810 ? - unknown), near Moose Lake
A North West Co. post near Yellowhead Pass.

Fort Alexandria (National Historic Site)
(1821 - 1867), Alexandria FORT WIKI
A North West Co. post built shortly before the merger with the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC records begin in 1824). Rebuilt in 1836. Mainly used as a storage depot for goods going north from Kamloops to Stuart Lake and Fraser Lake. Grew into a large tent camp during the 1858-62 gold rush. Several buildings were still standing after 1881 until demolished in 1915.

Fort Chilcotin
(1829 - 1844), near Redstone
A Hudson's Bay Co. post (HBC records cover 1837 - 1840), located just above the confluence of the Chilcotin and Chilko Rivers. The Tsilhqot'in Indians generally did not support the post (they were known as a rather uncooperative and warlike band).
(info courtesy of Jim Wright)

Quesnel Post
(1864 - 1904), Quesnel
A Hudson's Bay Co. post.

Barkerville Post
(1851 - 1884), Barkerville
A Hudson's Bay Co. post.

Fort Kluskus
(1844 - unknown), near Nazco
A Hudson's Bay Co. post that replaced Fort Chilcotin. Located at the Kluskus Lakes west of town. This post also did not succeed due to Indian indifference.

Fort Essington
(1835 - unknown), near Bella Coola ?
A Hudson's Bay Co. post on the Bella Coola River, according to the "National Atlas of Canada" (1974).

Spider Island Radar Station
(1943 - 1945), Spider Island
An RCAF Chain Home Low early warning air defence radar was located here, south of Bella Bella at the southern entrance to Queens Sound, within the present-day Hakai Luxvbalis Conservancy Area.

Bella Bella WWII Defences
(1940's), Bella Bella
A two-gun 75mm AMTB battery and an AA battery were located here to protect the military seaplane base.

Fort McLoughlin
(1833 - 1843/1882), Campbell Island FORT WIKI
A Hudson's Bay Company post within Milbanke Sound. Exact location undetermined, probably on the island's northeast side near Old Bella Bella (Waglisla). Also known as Bella Bella Post. Abandoned for Fort Victoria, although the site was still intermittently used until 1882.

Towns: Little Fort on the Thompson River, south of Clearwater.

Vancouver Island - page 2 | Northern British Columbia - page 3

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