HMCS BYTOWN Naval Officer's Mess


Commissioned: 01 Jun 1941          Paid off: 07 Dec 1964


HMCS BYTOWN was a depot ‘ship’ created to allow RCN personnel in Ottawa, ON, to be paid. All uniformed personnel needed to be borne on the books of a ‘ship’ for accounting purposes, even if they were serving at a shore establishment. This is a tradition held over from the Royal Navy, and these ships are often referred to as ‘Stone Frigates.’ BYTOWN served in this role for the Naval Service Headquarters (NSHQ) and the Ottawa Half-Company, the Naval Reserve Division that became HMCS CARLETON on 1 November 1941. A short time later, on 21 May 1941, CARLETON was amalgamated with HMCS BYTOWN. On 23 Nov 1942 she was stood up again as a separate unit and re-commissioned as HMCS CARLETON.


Two years after BYTOWN was established, the HMCS BYTOWN Naval Officer’s Mess would open. The Mess is located at 78 Lisgar St in a building built in 1898. This was across from the Naval building of National Defence headquarters (now the site of Ottawa City Hall). While BYTOWN would be pad off in 1964, its name is carried on by the Mess. The Mess has managed to stay a staunchly naval institution despite several efforts to form a single officers’ mess for all three elements of the Canadian Armed Forces. BYTOWN remains a vital part of the social lives of Navy officers in the Nation’s Capital.



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     


Kay, John B.


died - 02 Nov 1944




(JJJ27) Staff at HMCS BYTOWN


From the collection of CPO2 J.J. Joly, Fin Clk, RCN / C.A.F.


Courtesy of Jean-Marc Joly