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Business and History - Victoria Machinery Depot Company Limited

Victoria Machinery Depot Company Limited

This page was reproduced with permission from the Canadian Manufactures Association. The Canadian Manufacturers Association, renamed Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, holds the Copyright for the text and images.

This information came from Industry '67 Centennial Perspective, published by The Canadian Manufacturers' Association in May 1967. The original document is accessible through Western Libraries Shared Catalogue.


On May 4, 1863, a new business was founded in Victoria, B.C. This was the Albion Iron Works, predecessor of the Victoria Machinery Depot Company Limited, under which name it was incorporated in 1888.

From its earliest days the company has been active in ship construction and repair contracts. This activity continues today on a much enlarged scale. The company is also active in the manufacture of pressure vessels and heat exchangers for Canadian use as well as export.

During the first World War the company was engaged mainly in ship repairs and the manufacture of artillery shells. It was in the difficult period between the first and second World Wars that Victoria Machinery Depot branched into more diversified fabrication.

The desperate need for merchant and naval shipping in 1940 brought the company immediately into naval ship construction. A contract to build five corvettes for the Canadian Navy was followed by a large number of contracts for freighters, with the result that a second yard was built in Victoria which produced not only freighters but also tankers and Air Force supply ships.

Photo of multi wall pressure vessel by VMD Post war modernization and expansion of facilities of the Industrial Division of the company has enabled it to produce heavy wall vessels for the petro-chemical, fertilizer, pulp and paper and related industries, some of which have been the largest of their kind produced in Canada.

One of the company's major current projects is the fabrication of one of the world's largest offshore drilling rigs. Victoria Machinery Depot is also one of North America's leading manufacturers of critical service heavy wall (including multi-wall) pressure vessels, and heat exchangers.