HMCS Haida is a Tribal-class Destroyer which served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1943-1963. The Haida has served in World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Cold War giving it the legendary status among Canadian naval ships as “Canada’s most fightingest ship”. Apart from having a storied past in battle, it is also now one of the largest tourist attractions in Hamilton providing an educational and visually striking experience.
It is awe inspiring walking up to HMCS Haida through a modest parking lot to find a 115 metre long destroyer looming over the docks. Not only is the destroyer impressive for its size but also her contents. The experience of walking through the living spaces once occupied by sailors from the 1940s provides context to all the history books. The tight quarters and low ceilings give you a sense of the struggle the naval fleet would have felt on a day to day basis and especially the urgency that would have been created during an attack. These material experiences combined with the helpful and informative guides creates a fun learning experience and a powerful historical lesson.
"Our mission is to educate Veterans, communities and Canadians on the legacy of HMCS HAIDA. This will be accomplished through multi-tiered educational programs focused on schools, youth groups, senior facilities and service clubs."
HMCS Haida has well deserved its titles and is worthy of the trip down to the Hamilton Harbour to experience her impressive size, past and achievements.
Watch our video on HMCS Haida from our series 60 Seconds: