2 Intelligence Company perpetuates the presence of a military intelligence unit in Toronto that can be traced back to the original No. 2 Guides Company that was formed April 1, 1903. As mounted units, Guides Companies were tasked to survey their respective regions as well as to collect information of potential military intelligence value.
Upon mobilization for World War I, Guides personnel were reassigned to other duties. This was due to the fact that there was no establishment for intelligence units in the British divisional structure on which the Canadian Expeditionary Force was based. Guides personnel however did serve in intelligence capacities at corps, division and brigade level throughout the war.
Following the end of World War I, units of the Corps of Guides were restructured as Cyclists and a company assigned to each Military District. On December 15, 1921, the company in Toronto was re-designated No. 2 Cyclist Company. As Divisional troops, these units were tasked to conduct reconnaissance and force protection.
Canada’s military intelligence unit was resurrected early in WW2, and renamed the Canadian Intelligence Corps. This time when the war ended, there was no talk of disbanding again. Reserve militia intelligence companies were created once again, to provide support to Canadian regular army, with 2 Intelligence Training Company located in Toronto.
Reserve intelligence units lost their individual identities during the Cold War. Requirements during this time demanded military intelligence and policing to work closely together, thus intelligence units were folded into their policing counterparts.
The joint military intelligence and policing arrangement proved over time to be sub-optimal, and in 1982, Toronto’s 2 Intelligence Company was reformed again as a reserve intelligence unit. Since then, the unit has provided a ready source of trained intelligence personnel to Canadian Forces abroad.