Naval Ammunition Depot Bunkers - Kamloops, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 50° 40.435 W 120° 22.896
10U E 685004 N 5616835
Quick Description: Today a historic site, this was once the site of a large ammunition depot, created to store naval munitions during, and for many years after, World War II.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 8/28/2020 2:54:47 PM
Waymark Code: WM131Y6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
Constructed in 1944-45 by the Vancouver-based Dominion Construction Company Limited, these bunkers are some of the few remaining structures of the type to be found in Canada. They were built to store munitions thought to be required by the Royal Canadian Navy and the British Fleet should the west coast of North America be attacked by the Japanese in the second World War.

Following its decommissioning in 1963, the site was used as a correctional centre until 2002. Of the original 22 partially-buried concrete bunkers, just a few remain as reminders of the fear of imminent attack following December 7, 1941.
Naval Ammunition Depot Kamloops
...The depot originally included twenty-two bunkers, also known as magazines, administration buildings, mess halls, and officers’ living quarters. Different magazines stored different materials such as filled shells, cartridges and small arms ammunition. The magazines were built along a linear access road.

A Canadian Pacific Railway rail spur was constructed for the unloading of the ammunition, which was then transported up the hill by means of a mile-long aerial tramway.

The depot was declared surplus and closed in December 1963.

The property was sold to the provincial government and became Rayleigh Correctional Centre. The jail closed in September 2002 after 39 years of operation, replaced by the larger Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre.

The former Depot is located near 1455 McGill Road at Bunker Road in Kamloops. The bunkers that remain were officially dedicated as National Historic sites in 2007.
From Canadian Military History
Naval Ammunition Depot Bunkers
DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE
The Naval Ammunition Depot Bunkers consist of 22 partially-buried concrete bunkers grouped along a winding linear access road approximately two miles west of downtown Kamloops. Located on a flat bench at the edge of a steep escarpment, the site is adjacent to an industrial area on McGill Road. Each structure is comprised of a windowless one-storey concrete storage space, entered through steel entrance doors and enclosed, to the full height of the storage space within, by earthen blast protection walls.

HERITAGE VALUE
The remaining bunkers of the former Naval Ammunition Depot, constructed between 1944 and 1945, are historically significant as a rare surviving Canadian example of ordnance buildings from the Second World War era and as symbols of Canada’s wartime and military experience. The bunkers reflect a period of national and international investment in defense spending after the entry of the United States into the war in December 1941. In particular, they reflect Canadian and American strategic concerns that the long, mostly unpopulated Pacific coastline of Canada could provide a back door to the invasion of the North American continent, and that coastal installations were vulnerable to air attack. Planning for the depot began in 1943. It was intended to store bulk explosives for the western command of the Royal Canadian Navy and stocks required for the British Fleet, to meet operational and practice requirements for the Pacific Fleet by maintaining stocks of ammunition for immediate issue, and to repair, manufacture, modify and inspect ammunition stores and components. The depot was constructed by the Vancouver-based Dominion Construction Company Limited, but by the time it opened, the threat of invasion was non-existent. The depot was used as back-up storage for ammunition expended in fleet exercises. The depot was declared surplus and closed in December 1963, reflecting the onset of the Cold War and the perception that the conduct of war had moved beyond land-based confrontation.

The surviving bunkers, known as magazines, are representative of the infrastructure of the eight advanced ordnance depots constructed across the country by the Royal Canadian Navy at strategic locations far enough away from the coast that they could not easily be attacked by carrier-borne aircraft. Kamloops was selected as one of the sites because of its easy rail access to the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert and the west coast ports of the United States. At the base of the escarpment was the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway; a rail spur was constructed to facilitate the unloading of the ammunition, which was then transported up the hill by means of a mile-long aerial tramway. The depot originally included twenty-two bunkers, administration buildings, mess halls, and officers’ living quarters. Different magazines stored different materials such as filled shells, cartridges and small arms ammunition. The bunkers were placed at a safe distance from one another along a linear access road. Three primary types of bunkers have survived: an exposed above-ground bunker of board-formed concrete buried in a mound with extending angled entry walls; an underground bunker with a red-brick chimney vent; and an exposed above-ground bunker of concrete block with a projecting canopy, with surrounding blast mounds formed behind trapezoidal board-formed concrete walls. In the event of an explosion, the surrounding embankments would direct the blast upwards through a lightweight wooden roof that was designed to fragment.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS
Key characteristics that define the heritage character of the Naval Ammunition Depot Bunkers include their:
- location on a hillside at the edge of an embankment, hidden amongst the topography but proximate to rail and road networks
- arrangement along a linear access road, set back from the main access road
- orientation, form, scale, spacing and massing of the various types of bunkers expressing their functional requirements
- construction materials including board-formed concrete, vertical concrete revetments, concrete blocks, red-brick internal vents, steel doors and wooden roofs
- earthen blast protection embankments shaped at the angle of repose
- deeply recessed entrances
- internal arrangements of magazines including any remains of shelving and painted signage
From Historic Places Canada
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

Address:
1455 McGill Road
Kamloops, BC
V2C 6K7


Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
To log a visit to a Waymark in this category at least one photo of the property, taken by the visitor, must be included with the visit, as well any comments they have concerning either their visit or the site itself. Suggested inclusions are: what you like about the site, its history, any deviations from the description in the heritage listing noted by the visitor, and the overall state of repair of the site.
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
MapQuest
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Western Canadian Heritage
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.