About The Shipyards

The Shipyards are located just east of Lonsdale Quay and the SeaBus terminal on the waterfront in North Vancouver. See location on Google Maps.

Award Winning

 Cornerstone Award - September 2021

The Shipyards in North Vancouver won in the transformative project category which recognizes projects that have creatively renewed or transformed historic places or landscapes for new or traditional use. Recognized for its commitment to supporting and expanding the local economy. Learn more on the reminetwork.com website.

 Excellence on the Waterfront Award - August 2021

The Shipyards received top honours in the ‘Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program’ from the Waterfront Centre which was established in 1987 in the United States to recognize top-quality waterfront planning, design and development work from around the world. Learn more in our news release, the Waterfront Center awards summary, or watch our video to learn more about The Shipyards.

 Community Project Award - March 2021

The City won top honours from the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) receiving a Community Project Award for its redevelopment of The Shipyards. Recognized for its commitment to supporting and expanding the local economy, the City took home the award at the 2021 BC Economic Development Awards.

History of The Shipyards

The Wallace Shipyard opened in 1906 and grew into one of the most impressive industrial operations in western Canada. Alfred Wallace was the original shipyard owner/operator. The company changed names several times from Wallace Shipyards to Burrard Dry Dock, Burrard-Yarrows and finally Versatile Pacific Shipyards.

The Shipyard’s long list of accomplishments included the building of the schooner Mabel Brown (1917), the CPR ferry Princess Louise (1921) and the R.C.M.P. schooner St. Roch (1928). The St. Roch is now a National Heritage Artifact at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Under the guidance of Alfred Wallace and his sons Clarence and Hubert, the Shipyard was an industry leader in innovation and production.

The Shipyard’s productivity peaked during World War II when it became the largest employer of shipyard labour in B.C. During the war, it produced 109 of the 312 "Victory Ships" produced in Canada. Entire subdivisions were created in North Vancouver to house the workforce. The Shipyard’s contribution to the war effort was so significant that at the end of World War II, Clarence Wallace was decorated as "Commander of the British Empire".

Clarence Wallace served as BC’s first native-born Lieutenant Governor from 1950 to 1955. Following World War II, shipbuilding activities slowed and the ship repair industry became more prevalent. Ice breakers (including the Terry Fox) and super ferries were constructed during this time. The Wallace family sold the Shipyard in 1971.

With a surplus of shipyard facilities in BC, the Versatile Pacific Shipyards closed in the early 1990s. The easterly portion of the site with the Panamax Drydock has continued to operate as the Vancouver Drydock Company.

For more information on the history of The Shipyards, visit MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver.

Transformation from Industrial Area to Dynamic Public Space

The Shipyards Transformation


Contact Info

The Shipyards Office
Tel: 604-982-8383
Email: theshipyards@cnv.org
Instagram: instagram.com/TheShipyardsCNV

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