Burrard Dry Dock, in its later years known as Versatile Pacific Shipyards, was started by Alfred (Andy) Wallace in 1894 as a shipbuilding and ship repair business on False Creek at the foot of Granville St. in Vancouver. In 1905 the Wallace Shipyard Company was Incorporated, and in 1906 the new shipyard was moved to its present site in North Vancouver along Esplanade east of Lonsdale.
During and after the First World War the Wallace yard produced cargo vessels for the Imperial Munitions Board and the Canadian Government Marine. In 1921 the company was reorganised under a federal charter and its name changed to Burrard Dry Dock Company. The first floating dry dock began operation in 1925.
The Second World War saw a major expansion of the plant, ship construction and workforce, with well over ten thousand employees at its peak. For the first time women were hired in large numbers in traditional male occupations, although they were all laid off at the end of the war. Expansion after the war led to the acquisition of Yarrows in 1946 and Pacific Dry Dock (formerly North Van Ship Repairs) in 1951. The latter was closed in 1954 and its physical plant integrated with Burrard's.
While Burrard continued to build many varied types of ships after the war, its competitive edge was blunted by decreased government subsidies, offshore competition, and a general downturn in the world shipbuilding market. In 1972 the Wallace family sold the business to Cornat Industries for 10 million dollars and ended their association with the company. But the struggle for success did not get any easier. When a letter of intent was signed with the Canadian government in 1987 for a lucrative contract for the building of the Polar 8, it looked like there might be at least a temporary reprieve. But in 1990 the project was cancelled and the company folded. The last employees were laid off in December of 1992, and the Victoria Division closed in early 1994. Certificate:
Class A Stock, issued in the 1960’sPrinter: Canadian Bank Note Company Dimensions:
7 1/2” (h) x 11 1/2” (w) Incorporation: CN-Canada Subject Matter: Maritime and Related
| Ship Builders
| Dry Docks and Shipyards Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured
| Allegorical Angel
| Ship Featured Condition:
Vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body.