On February 26, 2015 the Communications Security Establishment’s new building on Ogilvie Road in Ottawa was officially named the Edward Drake Building.
Lt. Colonel Edward Drake’s leadership in Canada’s signals intelligence community spanned four decades. In 1945 he served as the director of the wartime joint discrimination unit, which brought together signals intelligence units from Canada’s Navy, Army, Air Force and the Civilian Examination Unit. In 1946, Drake was named Director of Canada’s first peace time cryptologic agency, the Communications Branch of the National Research Council, or the CBNRC. The CBNRC grew under his leadership for 25 years, and in 1975, became the Communications Security Establishment that we know today.
Drake was one of the first advocates for a national signals intelligence service. Following the end of the Second World War, he played an important role in building intelligence partnerships with the United Kingdom and the United States. This post war collaboration and cooperation evolved into the Five Eyes partnership that continues to benefit Canada and Canadians today.
Drake is recognized as a true pioneer of the Canadian signals intelligence community. He was intent on maintaining Canada’s cryptologic capabilities in the face of rapid technological change. These challenges and the determination to overcome them persist at CSE today. It is entirely fitting that his legacy live on in the new CSE building.