Camp Nanaimo was established in 1939 as a military training camp, and also served as a Combined Operations base for army training and navy personnel until 1943. After being officially closed in 1946, many of the buildings were sold off for civilian use. Camp Nanaimo would later reopen as the house of the 5th Field Artillery, “B” Company of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, and the 748 Communications Troop. With the looming threat of nuclear war in the 1950s, the government decided to construct a secret underground bunker for high-ranking politicians, within the grounds of Nanaimo’s military base.
By the 1970s, Camp Nanaimo began to downsize, with around half of the land being sold off. In 1973 the land was acquired by the former Malaspina University College, known today as Vancouver Island University. Currently, Camp Nanaimo is used as a Detachment of CFB Esquimalt. Most of the WWII era buildings have been demolished over time. However, one of the few remaining buildings from that era is an old H-Hut that sits on the university property, and is currently used by the Navy League of Canada. (From the Collection of the Nanaimo Military Museum)