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Crow's Nest Officers' Club National Historic Site of Canada

88 Water Street, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2011/07/19

The building which shelters Crow's Nest, on Water street. The club is located on the fourth floor of the joint building on the right-hand side; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, 2010 (Nicolas Miquelon)
Façade of the building
The Crow's Nest, view toward the north-east.; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada 2010, N. Miquelon
Interior View
The Crow's Nest Officer's Club, view toward the south-east; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada 2010, N. Miquelon
Interior View

Other Name(s)

Crow's Nest Officers' Club National Historic Site of Canada
Crow's Nest Officers' Club
Club des officiers Crow's Nest
Seagoing Officers’ Club, Newfoundland Officers’ Club - Crow’s Nest

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/07/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Crow’s Nest Officers’ Club National Historic Site of Canada is located on the third and fourth floors of a late 19th century brick industrial building on Water Street near the harbour of St. John’s, Newfoundland. A staircase leads to the club’s third floor, containing a kitchen and dining room. The fourth floor, filled with furnishings, pictures and items relating to the Battle of the Atlantic, retains the character of a welcoming wartime gathering place for off-duty military personnel. Its tavern-like interior contains a bar, armchairs around a fireplace, and closely packed tables and chairs. Hanging from beams and ceiling and arranged on walls is a large military artefact collection, while a U-boat periscope rises through the ceiling. Official recognition refers to all interior club spaces and the associated artefact collection.

Heritage Value

Crow’s Nest Officers’ Club was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in June 2010 because:
- it was established by the Canadian commander of the escort flotilla during the Second World War in order to create a more effective operational force through increased social interaction amongst the Allied naval officers and their counterparts in the Merchant Marine who were involved in the Battle of the Atlantic; and more specifically in the Newfoundland Escort Force;
- in the spirit of camaraderie, it brought together officers from all nations involved in this gruelling theatre of war to relax, share stories, and develop a familiarity, solidarity, and ease that would bolster their effectiveness on the high seas; and,
- through its major collection of military artefacts, many of which date from the Second World War, and the evocative atmosphere created by their jumbled placement on virtually every vertical surface of the club, the Crow’s Nest reflects a rich body of naval tradition, preserves the memory of the officers and sailors who bravely escorted ships across the North Atlantic, and serves as a testament to them.

The heritage value of the Crow’s Nest Club also lies in its nickname “Crow’s Nest”; its function as a gathering place for thousands of military personnel from more than a dozen nations between 1942 and 1945; and its continued importance since May 1946 among Newfoundland navy, army and air force officers, war veterans in general, and civilians as a place to socialize. The Club offers a rare glimpse into the social life of naval officers and sailors, who have imbued the place with an atmosphere of naval tradition. The Club’s well-preserved nature attests to its significance in Canada’s military and social history.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include: - the location in an industrial building on a street overlooking St. John’s Harbour; - the interior fourth floor of the building, including the main club room, the bar located on the west side, and the office; - the interior third floor with its entrance to the main club room;
- the club space as a place of camaraderie, relaxation, and storytelling, both during the Second World War and The Battle of the Atlantic, and afterwards; - a major collection of military artefacts dating from the Second World War that help preserve the memory of naval officers and sailors who fought in the Battle of the Atlantic.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1942/01/01 to 1945/01/01
1946/01/01 to 1967/01/01
1971/01/01 to 1971/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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