For the military buffs in the family, the Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum is something to check out!
The museum follows the development of the naval presence on the West Coast of Canada. It traces this development from its beginnings in 1848 when Esquimalt Harbour – large, sheltered, and close to Victoria — began to be used as an anchorage. The Royal Navy kept Esquimalt as a base until 1905, when the Pacific Squadron was abolished and Canada took responsibility for defending its own coastline. The museum traces the ups – and downs – of the Canadian Navy with a series of exhibits, from the Navy’s formation in 1910, through the turbulence of two World Wars, the conflict in Korea, and beyond.
Location: Naden at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt
The museum is situated within a Canadian Forces Base. It is open to the general public, but you will be required to stop and present your photo identification to security at the main gate of the base before getting permission to enter.
Leave downtown Victoria by the Johnston Street Bridge; this bridge can be approached along Pandora, Wharf, or Store Street. This will take you directly on to Esquimalt Road. Proceed along Esquimalt Road until you reach Admirals Road. Turn right on Admirals and travel a short distance (about 300 meters) till you reach the first traffic light where you will turn left to the main gate on to CFB Esquimalt. Once inside the base, signs and markings on the roadway will lead you to the museum’s parking lot.
Travel time from downtown Victoria to the museum by car is approximately 10 minutes. Allow about 20 minutes if you are travelling by bicycle.
The Victoria Regional Transit System, offers frequent bus service that can take you from downtown Victoria to just outside the main gate of CFB Esquimalt. Allow for about a 5-10 minutes walk from the main gate to the museum.
To help guide you here, there are blue lines painted on the road surface. Follow these lines as you walk or drive through Naden from the Admirals Road entrance. There is also signage marking the way, just look for the signs with the letter ‘M’ for museum.
The buildings marked with a white letter ‘M’ are Museum Building 20 – Administrative Office, Building 29 – the Museum workshop, and Buildings 37 & 39, which house the museum exhibits and displays.
Hours & Pricing
10:00 a.m – 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
The museum is closed on most weekends & statutory holidays.
Museum archives and office ~
8:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
Admission to the museum is by donation. The donations they receive help the museum conduct research projects, improve its archives and holdings and the care of its collection, and add new and informative exhibits and displays.
~ $2 for adults
~ $1 for seniors and students
~ $5 for a family
Bookings and tours
For bookings and tours information, contact 250-363-4312.
*Please note – The museum tour guides are volunteers, and guide availability for tours is not always guaranteed. It is best to book tours 1-2 months in advance.