"Training Engineers in the Profession of Arms since 1907"


The early 1900s were formative years for much of the Canadian Army as the last of the British Forces left their Canadian garrisons. The departure of the Royal Engineers brought about the need to formalize the training of Canadian Engineers, which at the time was dispersed amongst various units, camps, and provisional schools across the country. In his report to the Militia Council in December 1906, the Inspector General recommended that the first official Canadian school of military engineering be established in Halifax , Nova Scotia . This proposed “ School of Military Engineering ” was officially authorized by Militia Order 158 on 11 July 1907, although the institution was actually up and running prior to 31 March 1907. The School was briefly closed during the First World War, when engineer field training was entrusted to training establishments of the Canadian Expeditionary Force both in Canada and in England .

In August 1927, King George V approved the use of the “Royal” in the School's name and it became the “ Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering.” With the start of the Second World War, the School was transferred to the Canadian Active Service Force and was renamed the “Royal Canadian Engineer Training Centre” on 1 December 1939. The School remained in Halifax under this name until it was moved to Petawawa , Ontario in June 1940. In February 1942 it was renamed “A5 – Canadian Engineer Training Centre” and continued to operate in Petawawa until its closure in October 1945.

During the Second World War, a second Engineer Training Centre was established to meet the increasing demand for trained sappers. This establishment was opened in Dundurn , Saskatchewan in April 1941 as “A6 – Canadian Engineer Training Centre.” One year later it was relocated to Chilliwack , British Columbia where the temperate climate afforded better conditions for year-round training. The A6 – Canadian Engineer Training Centre conducted training in Chilliwack throughout the rest of the Second World War.

With the Canadian Army's post-war reorganization in October of 1946, the School was renamed the “Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering .” This name remained until December 1968 when it was changed as the result of unification of the Canadian Forces and became the “Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering.” Engineers continued training in Chilliwack until 1997 when the School was relocated to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick as part of a federal infrastructure consolidation initiative.

Today, the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering remains the hub of Military Engineer training in Canada and is officially recognized as the Home of the Engineers. The School is responsible for the conduct of more than 85 different courses that span all ranks and occupations within the Combat, Construction, and Airfield Engineering domains, and it graduates over a thousand students every year.