The SAGUENAY and the SKEENA were the first warships, other than auxiliaries, which were built expressly for the RCN.
Patterned on the RN Acasta or "A"-class destroyers, they incorporated certain "changes and additions considered necessary for service in Canadian waters."
Weighing in at 1,320 tons, both ships had a length of 322', a beam of 32.5' and a draught of 12'. Here boilers and engines developed 34,000 hp, and the ships design speed was 35 knots. She mounted 4-4.7" guns, 2-2 pounders, 5 machine guns and 8-21" torpedo tubes in two quad mountings. He crew complement was 138 all ranks.
To make them suitable for 'Canadian waters', they were given additional strengthening against floating ice, a larger than normal margin of stability (to counter icing on the upper decks, superstructure and rigging), steam-heat, ice cupboards, shower-baths and a special ventilation system.