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The Early Cold War
Rebuilding and Transformation

The Canadian navy's main Cold War mission was anti-submarine warfare, as it had been in the two world wars. It sought to build a force of ships, personnel, and facilities to fulfill this mission, as well as to pursue other national objectives like sovereignty protection.

HMCS Porte St. Louis and HMCS Porte St. Jean
HMCS Porte St. Louis and HMCS Porte St. Jean

This photograph from around 1960 shows the training ships HMCS Porte St. Louis (left) and HMCS Porte St. Jean (right).

Built in early 1950s, these ships and others in their class, named after gates in the French fortifications at Quebec City and Louisbourg, originally served as gate vessels. Designed to tend to anti-submarine nets that would protect major Canadian harbours in the event of war, gate vessels would open and close the nets to allow friendly ships to pass through. Their primary peacetime function was as training ships, giving naval reservists experience with life afloat.

CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum

Graveyard, Sorel, P.Q.
HMCS Micmac
HMCS Sussexvale
Twin 40mm Bofors Gun
HMCS Magnificent and Destroyer
Royal Canadian Navy Recruiting Advertisement
Canadian Ships in Halifax Harbour
Model, HMCS Mackenzie
Desktop Radar Model
Model, HMCS Provider
HMCS Assiniboine and Sea King Helicopter
Twin 3-Inch Naval Gun and Mount
Uniform, Rear Admiral Sturton Mathwin Davis
HMCS Porte St. Louis and HMCS Porte St. Jean
Ship's Crest, HMCS Porte de la Reine
HMCS Ontario in the Panama Canal
Life Ring, HMCS Quebec
Royal Canadian Navy Recruiting Poster
Master-at-Arms Ron Crawford, HMCS Cornwallis, 1953
Wrens Recruiting Advertisement
Naval Reserve Recruiting Poster
HMCS Malahat Crew, 1957
Naval Fire Fighting Training
Cadets in Summer Training