Showing posts with label Downsview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Downsview. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Canadian Air and Space Museum Set to Close

Anna-Louise Richardson, a videographer from Toronto, has written me about the closure of the Canadian Air and Space Museum. She wrote to say that the museum has recieved notice from developers that the museum will be evicted from the old DeHavilland Building at the old Downsview airforce base in Toronto.

She noticed that this blog had posted a press release from the North York Central Library's Canadiana Department about an appearance by Keith Hyde and his talk on the DeHavilland Mosquito (Wednesday March 7, 2012), and Anna-Louise said that reading it had compelled her to write me about the closure of the CAS Museum.

There is more information available about the museum here -

She said that the developers plan to demolish the building to put up a hockey arena. She goes on to say that it is "So sad....I have started to interview one WWII vet who volunteers there and hope to interview another who has written a book about his WWII experiences as a pilot. This place is rich in history and they need our help."

I checked the website the other day, and was impressed by the amount of information that they have made available. There is a full account of the closing of the museum, the awards that they have received, a history of the mueum, and a video and photo gallery.

She produces vidoes at There you can see interviews from two WWII pilots that volunteer at the CAS Museum. One is Philip Gray, who has written the book, "The Ghosts of Targets Past", about his time as a Lancaster pilot.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The DeHavilland Mosquito

This talk, to be held tonight on military aircraft, will be of interest for those people who are interested in World War II history. The North York Central Library published this press release yesterday, and it says -

'The North York Central Library's Canadiana Department is proud to host aviation historian and aero-engines expert Keith Hyde for a talk on the DeHavilland Mosquito aircraft, built locally at DeHavilland's Plant #1 at Downsview. Prior to Keith Hyde's talk on the Mosquito at 7 p.m., aviation history resources available at the Toronto Public Library will be discussed by Canadiana Department staff.

Join us at the North York Central Library Auditorium at 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, on Wednesday March 7, 2012, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

DeHavilland Aircraft of Canada's Plant #1 was established at Downsview in October 1928 after moving from its first site at Mount Dennis. DeHavilland built Gipsy Moth aircraft totalling 1384 between 1939 and 1945 as well as building 375 Avro Ansons which were assembled from parts sent over from England. Both of these aircraft were used to train aircrews for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan that was established December 17, 1939.

Downsview Plant #1 took part in another significant war effort, building 1134 DeHavilland Mosquito aircraft. Known as the "Wooden Wonder", it was the world's fastest aircraft in World War II from 1939 to 1944 and also the world's first multirole aircraft, which in different variants carried out interception, bombing, reconnaissance and pathfinding missions for larger bomber formations. Planes built at Downsview flew to Goose Bay, Labrador for refuelling and then over to England to front line RCAF and RAF squadrons.

The Canadiana Department holds a reference collection of Canadian genealogy, Ontario local history, North York history, and materials related to Canada. The Department also houses collections from these genealogical societies such as Ontario Genealogical Society,  Jewish Genealogical Society (Toronto Branch), Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants, York Pioneer and Historical Society, and Société franco-ontarienne d'histoire et de généalogie"

Contact the North York Central Library at 416-395-5623.