The RCN began planning the St. Laurent-class destroyer in the late 1940s and originally intended to procure 14 vessels. Delays in design and construction saw the number of vessels for the St. Laurent-class halved to 7. The 7 remaining vessels were redesigned as the Restigouche-class, taking into account design improvements found during construction of the St. Laurent's.
There were seven ships of the class commissioned between 1958 and 1959.
The most noticeable difference between the St. Laurent and Restigouche classes was that the latter had the bridge raised one full deck higher in order ot see over a new forward Vickers 3"/70 Mk.6 gun mount.