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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 Ontario in the Panama Canal
HMCS Ontario in the Panama Canal

The Canadian cruiser HMCS Ontario passes through the locks of the Panama Canal, likely during a 1950s training cruise.

Ontario and other vessels helped train personnel for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) during the post-war expansion prompted by increasing Cold War tensions. Entering service with the RCN at the end of the Second World War, Ontario had arrived in the Pacific just as Japan surrendered. After refitting in Esquimalt, British Columbia, the cruiser spent much of its time as a training vessel until it was decommissioned in 1959.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19900076-996

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