City Love Hamilton

HMCS Haida 1943 – Hamilton Museum

Hamilton Navy
Written by Ivan Sutton

There is another gem to discover in ever surprising city of Hamilton.  Within a walk of Pier 8, where residents and tourists alike gather to take in the waterfront, to have ice cream, take a walk or be entertained, is the Royal Canadian Navy.  And travel right to the lake is the national historic site of the HMCS Haida.

The HMCS Haida is a Tribal class destroyer that served in the Second World War, the Korean Conflict and the Cold War. (Parks Canada)  And it is the only surviving Tribal Class destroyer out of 27 that were built for the Royal Canadian Navy.  Now the Haida is a museum ship docked here in Hamilton.

On the day we went, there was no charge for admission.  We were treated to a very knowledgeable crew that were always ready to answer questions as we make our way through the ship.  This was not a guided tour, so we had the chance to sit in the captains quarters, spend time in the mess hall, travel down to the sleeping quarters and check out everything on deck.

It truly brings to reality to tight spaces these men had to work, some of the stairway opening barely wide enough to pass through.  It was a beautiful day when we went.  Standing on what looked like the bridge, an exterior area lacking any comfort, I could imagine what it might have been like, those brave men heading away from home to war.

If you have visited the HMCS Haida, we would love to get your feedback!  Send us a note on our contact page.

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Ivan Sutton

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