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Canadian Air and Space Museum

Canadian Air and Space Museum
Established 1997
Location 44, 40-foot freight containers in a parking lot on GTAA property. Not open to the public.[1]
Type Aviation museum
Public transit access Not publicly accessible.

The Canadian Air and Space Museum (formerly the Toronto Aerospace Museum) is an aviation museum featuring artifacts, exhibits and stories illustrating a century of Canadian aviation heritage and achievements. The museum was located in a hangar that once housed the original de Havilland Canada aircraft manufacturing building, but in September 2011 the museum was evicted by the owner of the building,[1] who decided to use it for a new sports centre instead. The museum is actively seeking a new location.

Located in what is now known as Downsview Park, the hangar was later appropriated by the Royal Canadian Air Force as a part of RCAF Station Downsview, and then later as CFB Toronto, which was closed in April 1996. On September 20, 2011, the museum was served an eviction notice by Downsview Park for non-payment of rent.[2][3][4][5]

The institution is largely run by volunteers and has the goal of educating visitors on the Canadian aerospace industry and technology. The museum has an ongoing, interactive educational program for K-12, and post-secondary students.[6] It is a registered Canadian non-profit organization.[7]


  • History 1
  • Collection and exhibits 2
    • Aircraft displayed 2.1
    • Engine collection 2.2
    • Simulators 2.3
    • Art gallery 2.4
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Replica of the Alouette I
Full-sized replica of an Avro Arrow
Avro Lancaster being restored alongside the full-sized Avro Arrow replica
Restored Tiger Moth on display

The museum is housed in what was the original factory for the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada. It is the oldest surviving aircraft factory building in Canada.[8] This building saw the creation of the de Havilland Beaver and Otter bush planes which helped to open the Canadian North, and was also the place where Alouette I, the first Canadian satellite was assembled.

Originally the Toronto Aerospace Museum, the museum was re-launched under its new name, the Canadian Air and Space Museum, on February 20, 2009.[9] At that time the museum had plans to further renovate the premises to better house their large exhibits and to provide more detailed information for visitors and school programs. Plans included specific galleries to house the full-sized Avro Arrow replica, another for the Avro Lancaster and additional galleries dedicated to the history of the de Havilland aircraft company, Canadian achievements in space, including a theatre and planetarium.

The museum was given notice of eviction from its hangar at Downsview on September 20, 2011 for failure to pay over C$100,000 in unpaid back rent, even though the museum was in the process of repaying the rent owed and had been assured they would not be evicted. The museum will have to relocate by March 2012. The museum subsequently learned that all tenants of 65 Carl Hall Road had been served eviction notices and that Downsview Park intends to replace the entire facility with a hockey rink.

Media reports indicate that the museum held its last day open on 25 September 2011 and also launched a massive campaign to save the museum, including enlisting the aid of historians like Jack Granatstein and starting a petition. On September 21, 2011 Toronto Councillor Maria Augimeri proposed a motion that "City Council call on the Federal Government to recognize the contributions of Canadian aerospace and aviation innovation; grant the Canadian Air and Space Museum (CASM) located on the site of the former military base in Downsview, a long-term reprieve and provide assurances of its preservation on the Downsview lands." The motion was passed unanimously.[2][3][5][10][11][12]

On 29 October 2011 it was reported that, although the museum building had previously been listed as a federal Heritage Building by both Parks Canada and the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, these listings had recently disappeared and Parks Canada claimed that they had been erroneous.[13][14]

The museum is currently working on relocation of the artifacts to a new location, possibly to a hangar at Toronto Pearson International Airport.[15]

The Museum is affiliated with the Canadian Museums Association, Canadian Heritage Information Network and the Virtual Museum of Canada.

Collection and exhibits

Current museum displays include: an Avro Lancaster undergoing restoration; a full-scale replica of the Avro Arrow, a de Havilland Tiger Moth, Grumman Tracker and many other Canadian-made aircraft. The museum also houses the original equipment that was used to build over a thousand Curtiss JN-4 biplanes in between 1917 and 1918, flight training simulators from the 1940s and 1950s, and exhibits relating to the history of Downsview air force base.

Aircraft displayed

Engine collection


Art gallery

  • The First DH82C Tiger Moth original oil painting by Charles Kadin, 1998.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Canadian Air & Space Museum - Visit Us". 
  2. ^ a b Amy Dempsey, "Air and Space Museum to become ice rink", Toronto Star, September 20, 2011
  3. ^ a b Niles, Russ (September 2011). "Canadian Air Museum Evicted". AVweb. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Toronto's Canadian Air & Space Museum shut down". The Vancouver Sun. 24 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Allick, Chantaie (September 2011). "Air museum volunteers still hoping for reprieve".  
  6. ^ "Teacher Information". 
  7. ^ "About us". 
  8. ^ About Us, accessed February 20, 2009
  9. ^ "The New Canadian Air & Space Museum Celebrates The Canadian Centennial Of Flight". February 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  10. ^ Canadian Air & Space Museum (September 2011). "Eviction Notice - What Happened?". Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Toronto City Council (September 2011). "Notice of Motion". Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Internet Petition (September 2011). "Long-term reprieve and protection of historical site at 65 Carl Hall Road.". Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Historic Downsview building slated for demolition". CBC. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  14. ^ "Air and Space museum faces demolition". Hamilton Spectator. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  15. ^ "Talks underway on Canadian air museum's new home | News". Retrieved 2012-09-28. 

External links

  • Canadian Air and Space Museum
  • Canadian Air & Space Museum Photos of aircraft and aviation related exhibits at the Canadian Air & Space Museum
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