The sixth of her class, Columbia was built by the Burrard Drydock Company in North Vancouver. She was commissioned on 7 November 1959 and soon afterward left for service on Canada's east coast.
On 9 September 1960 Columbia sailed from Halifax to represent Canada at the Nigerian independence celebrations. She returned to Halifax on 25 October after steaming 10,500 miles and visiting a number of African ports.
In March 1967 she departed Halifax in company with Crescent and Algonquin enroute to Esquimalt for duty with Pacific Command.
Decommissioned on 18 February 1974, Columbia served as a stationary training ship in Esquimalt, her propellers replaced with no-thrust 'wheels' so that her engines could be run without her leaving dockside.
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