It was over a year before the 2nd Division came together as a cohesive unit and, during the interim period between formation and arrival in the United Kingdom, many changes to its organization were made. The first brigade concentrations took place in May and June 1940, until which time all units had trained in their own garrisons.
The 4th Brigade assembled at Camp Borden in Ontario, the 5th at Valcartier Camp in Quebec, and the 6th at Camp Shilo in Manitoba.
The divisional artillery was concentrated at Camp Petawawa in Ontario, and at Shilo.
The 2nd Division's structure was altered in early 1940, reducing its number of machine-gun battalions from three to one.
The Camerons and the Chaudières (now a rifle battalion) were reassigned to the newly mobilized 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, and the Winnipeg Grenadiers were sent to Jamaica for garrison duty, after which they returned to Canada then redeployed to Hong Kong, where they were captured when it fell to the Japanese on 25 December 1941.
In May 1940, The Black Watch were moved from Valcartier to Newfoundland, and in June, the 2nd Division was earmarked for garrison duty by the forces of the British Commonwealth with the Royal Regiment of Canada and Les Fusiliers Mont Royal arriving in Iceland later that month.
However, at the request of Winston Churchill these deployments were cut short as the division was badly needed in England to supplement the British Army—then facing the imminent possibility of German invasion.
As a result, most of the 2nd Division's units were sent to the United Kingdom in August 1940, although the Iceland garrison remained in place until 31 October.
The absence of the Mont Royals allowed Major-General Victor Odlum to reassign the Calgary Highlanders to the 5th Brigade in September, in an attempt to ethnically mix the brigades of the division.
Arrived European Theatre of Operations August 1940
Arrived Continent and entered combat on 19 August 1942 (Dieppe, operation Jubilee)