HMCS Oriole was originally laid down as Oriole IV, the successor in a line of vessels named Oriole that were in service as the personal yachts of prominent families at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club of Toronto, Ontario. She was sometimes referred to as the club’s unofficial flagship. Work was stopped on her construction due to a strike, but the vessel was taken to Neponset, Massachusetts where she was completed. The ship was launched June 4th, 1921.
During the Second World War she was chartered by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as a training vessel. The ship was transferred to the Navy League following the war and was again chartered as a recruit training vessel in 1950.
Oriole IV subsequently moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1951. She was officially commissioned HMCS Oriole 19 June 1952 and was moved to her current home port of Esquimalt two years later for use as a training ship for junior officers.
In 1956 she was purchased outright by the RCN and attached to HMCS Venture at Esquimalt.
Today she remains a training platform and performs critical strategic engagements on behalf of the RCN throughout the West Coast of North America. Her busy calendar consists of various community events such as yacht club openings, sea fairs and local sailing events in addition to RCN sponsored adventure training for other units.
She has competed in 50+ iterations of the Swiftsure international yacht race, and has won the venerable Victoria to Maui race on corrected time. In completing these high profile taskings on behalf of the Canadian Fleet Pacific and Maritime Forces Pacific, Oriole continues her original role as a medium for getting CAF members to sea and introducing them to a different aspect of the seagoing lifestyle.
In preparation for a very busy sailing program in 2017/18, Oriole has recently completed an extensive refit to ensure her continued seaworthiness. In 2017 she will take part in Rendevous 2017, a tall ship festival which will tour Eastern Canada as part of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.