Cole Island
Feature Type:Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh.
Status: Official
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: N end of Esquimalt Harbour, just W of Victoria, Esquimalt Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 48°27'12"N, 123°27'03"W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 92B/6
Origin Notes and History:

Cole Island adopted 1 May 1934 on National Defence sheet 415a, Victoria, as labelled on British Admiralty Chart #1901, 1859 et seq; not "Coles Island" as labelled on Pemberton's 1855 map "South Eastern Districts of Vancouver Island".

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Named in 1847 by Lieutenant Commander Wood, HM surveying vessel, Pandora, after Commander Edmund Picoti Cole, RN, master of HMS Fisgard under Captain J.A. Duntze. Cmdr Cole served on this station 1843-47.

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)

"The Royal Navy used [this island] to store live ammunition unloaded from the fleet’s ships as early as 1860. An official 1887 site plan for “Magazine Island” shows three large ammunition magazines, a small arms ammunition building, a caretaker’s house, boat house and several other structures. At its peak use, the island had 18 buildings on it. Now, there are five. Ownership of Cole Island changed many times. When the Royal Navy left its Esquimalt base in 1905, the newly formed Canadian Navy continued to use the magazine storage. It was officially transferred to the Canadian Navy in 1914. After being declared obsolete for military purposes during WWII it was abandoned again and became an addition to nearby Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park. BC Parks took over stewardship of the island in the 1970s. In June 2006, Cole Island was designated as part of the Esquimalt Naval Sites National Historic Site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada - considered the “most complete site of Royal Naval activity and infrastructure in the Commonwealth"." (excerpts from Friends of Cole Island website/June 2014)

Source: included with note