William Turpel was born to Irish immigrants to Nova Scotia John Campbell and Mary Turpel
In 1888 Turpel purchased the Colling and Cook’s Ways established on Victoria’s Upper Harbour in 1873. The yard was located on a point of land that created the deep, sheltered bay on harbour’s west shore, perfect for ship-building. He renamed it Clark and Turpel’s Shipyard. Through the next 40 years the yard went through several name changes though Turpel, and later his sons Samuel and Emmerson retained ownership. Turpel added a two cradle marine railway in 1894 to allow the yard to work on two vessels at a time
Turpel passed away in 1903 at age 65.
A century and a half later, the shipyard remains an important harbour enterprise.