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Description found in Archives

Department of Marine fonds [textual record, architectural drawing, cartographic material]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

120.32 m of textual records
2 architectural drawings : on one sheet, blueprint 58 x 86 cm.
1 diagram : blueprint, mounted on muslin 60 x 184 cm.
2 profiles : on muslin, blueprint, blueline print 70 x 215 cm and 79 x 226 cm.

Added language of material: French

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and/or maintained by the Department of Marine and its predecessors. Researchers are cautioned that unprocessed textual records and records in other media are not reflected in this description.

Multiple media - for use in descriptive records only
96: Restrictions vary
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown. Credit Library and Archives Canada.

Finding aids are available. See lower level descriptions and accession records in ArchiviaNet (the NA website). (Other)

Biography / Administrative history

The Department of Marine and Fisheries was "called into existence" on July 1, 1867 and a Minister appointed, the Honourable Peter Mitchell. The Act legally creating the Department on 30 June was assented to on 22 May 1868 (31 Vic., Ch. 57). The schedule attached to the Act which established the Department of Marine and Fisheries in 1868 listed the mandate and responsibilities into five major areas. First, the Department was responsible for Sea, Coast, and Inland Fisheries and the management and protection of anything related to these areas. Second, the Department was responsible for the administration of Trinity Houses and Trinity Boards, Pilots and Pilotage and Decayed Pilots' funds. Third, the department was responsible for the maintenance of Beacons, Buoys, Lights and Light-houses. Fourth, the Department was to monitor harbours, Ports, Piers and Wharves, Steamers and Vessels which belonged to the Government of Canada. This did not include Gunboats or other vessels of war. Fifth, the Department was involved with the overseeing of Harbour Commissions and Harbour Masters.

Gradually, the newly formed Department of Marine and Fisheries assumed all duties in marine matters. In 1870 the Department took over the management of all lighthouses, lightships, buoys, and beacons for the Trinity House of Quebec. Montreal Trinity House continued to manage lighthouses in the St. Lawrence region until 1 July 1873 when it was abolished, with some its functions going to the Department of Marine and some vested in the harbour Commissioners of Montreal (36 Vic., Cap. 61) and this Branch was responsible for the administration of these tasks.

In 1922, the National Defence Act united all services related to national defence into the Department of National Defence. This Act placed a number of marine related matters under the jurisdiction of the Marine and Fisheries Branch. Hydrographic Survey, the Tidal and Current Survey, and the Radio Telegraphic Services were now administered by the Branch. The same Act also added the patrol of Northern waters as one its mandates in 1927 when it was decided to divide the Department into two separate branches, Marine and Fisheries. In 1930 the increased workload rendered it necessary to make both branches independent. During its operational life, the Branch was twice rated as a Department of its own right (1884-1892, 1930-1936), and was eventually merged together with the Department of Railways and Canals and the Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of National Defence to form the Department of Transport in 1936.

Additional information

Source of title
Title based on the act creating the department. 20-21 George V, Chap. 31 20-21 Georges V, Chap. 31

No further accruals are expected.

Related materials
Researchers are advised to consult the following related material within the Government Archives Division: RG12, A1, vol. 2588, files #8954-9 and 8954-10, and RG42, vol. 408, files #123-1-3 and 123-3-1.


Other system control no.