Canadian Air and Space Museum in Toronto
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 is located in a hangar that once housed the original de Havilland Canada aircraft manufacturing building.
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.
The institution is largely run by volunteers and has the goal of educating visitors on the Canadian aerospace industry and technology.
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. 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. 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, 2001 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.
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.
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.
- AEA Silver Dart Replica on loan
- Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow replica
- Avro Lancaster FM104 Restoration Project
- Beechcraft CT-134 Musketeer
- Canadair CT-114 Tutor
- CT-133 Silver Star
- de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk
- de Havilland Tiger Moth DH82C
- de Havilland Canada CS2F Tracker (Currently in storage.)
- Fleet 80 Canuck
- Found Brothers Aviation FBA-2A (Currently in storage.)
- SHARP (Stationary High-Altitude Relay Platform)
- UFM Easy Riser ultralight
- UTIAS Ornithopter No.1 - University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies
- Zenair CH 200
- Alvis Leonides
- de Havilland Gipsy Major
- Iroquois Jet Engine replica
- Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp
- Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr
- Rolls-Royce Derwent
- Link C8 Trainer
- Air Canada Viscount Simulator
- The First DH82C Tiger Moth original oil painting by Charles Kadin, 1998.
- Organization of Military Museums of Canada
- Military history of Canada
- de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd
- Parc Downsview Park
- Canadian Air and Space Museum
- Canadian Air & Space Museum Photos of aircraft and aviation related exhibits at the Canadian Air & Space Museum