Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Depot Johnstown
Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Depot Johnstown (1942 - 1957) - Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Depot Johnstown was a large concrete reserve ammunition magazine for the major naval gun batteries in Sydney Harbour and Canso Strait, located at Johnstown, Richmond County, Nova Scotia, Canada, on the southeastern shore of the Bras d'Or Lake. The station monogram was JO/C (Station Monograms are found marked on military transit cases and packaging as well as on some of the ordnance and may also be found incorporated in various case headstamps).
Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Depot Johnstown History
Part of the Harbor Defense of Sydney.
World War II (1939-1945)
One of the least known projects for Cape Breton's defence was completed in 1942. R.E. MacDonald, a local contractor, built a complex of magazine buildings, including a large, heavily built concrete ammunition store and a brick laboratory/residential building for handling and testing explosives. The sum of $33,780 was allocated for the project. The complex held reserves of ammunition that could be transported readily to both the Sydney and the Strait of Canso defences, but that were safely removed from areas that might come under attack. A detachment of approximately twenty troops of the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps manned the site. The magazines were similar to the ones at Debert, Nova Scotia and McGivney (McGivney Junction), New Brunswick.
Post World War II (1946-1957)
Post-War, the site was used as a sub-depot of No, 31 Ordnance Depot in Debert, staffed by a single Private as a caretaker. The sub-depot was cleared of ammunition by February 1957 and closed on 18 March.
The depot site is located on private property, on the west side of Highway 4, south of Johnstown. All that remains is the laboratory building, now a private residence, one of the Magazine structures, now used as a storage building, and the concrete foundation pad of the second Magazine Building. The large cribs for the wharf are visible underwater in the adjacent cove.