Naval Shipyards, York (Upper Canada)

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Naval Shipyards, York
York, Upper Canada
Type Shipyard
Site information
Controlled by Royal Navy
Site history
Built 1793–1798
In use 1790s – 1813
Battles/wars Battle of York 1813
Garrison information
Garrison Fort York

Naval Shipyards, York (Upper Canada) was one of the shipyards of the Royal Navy on Lake Ontario. The yards was called for by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe in 1793 [1] and operated from 1798 long before the town of York was populated and up to the War of 1812. The yard was on the western edge of the town (east of the Fort Rouille) and located south of Front Street on the shores of Lake Ontario west of Bay Street (today the rail tracks south of Union Station). Ships were built along the sand shores using the trees from the forests inland and launched into Toronto Bay. While shipbuilding resumed in York (and later in Toronto), the naval yards did not build any other navy ships after 1813 and abandoned and likely moved to a safer and more protected location in Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard.

The yard built a few ships:

  • Toronto - schooner 1813 and wrecked 1817
  • HMS Prince Regent - schooner launched 1812 and renamed HMS Beresford in 1813, as HMS Netley 1814 and finally base ship HMS Niagara; broken up 1843
  • HMS Isaac Brock - incomplete frigate 1813

Shipbuilding in Toronto did re-emerge years later, but it was all in private hands:

  • Polson Iron Works at Frederick Street 1883-end of World War I
  • Cooper's Wharf slip - early 19th century to 1845
  • Toronto (Dufferin) Shipbuilding Company at Keating Channel 1917-?
  • Dominion Shipbuilding Company 1917-?
  • Canadian Shipbuilding Company
  • Toronto Drydock and Shipbuilding Company
  • numerous builders at mouth of Rouge River 1810-1856 [2]

See also[edit]