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Land Force Central Area Training Centre Meaford:
Originally opened in 1942 as a detachment of Camp Borden, the
Meaford Army Armoured Fighting Vehicle Range (also known locally as the
Meaford Tank Range) served as a training camp for the Royal Canadian
Armoured Corps School, as well as a gunnery range for various artillery
The Camp would remain open as a part of the post-war Army. In
1955, the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School was given full
responsibility for the Meaford AFV Range. The Field Training Section
ran the training at the camp with their fleet of Centurions &
Sherman tanks and 22 Sherman APCs.
Meaford was a very busy training camp until the late 1960s
when all Armoured Corps activity ceased. The Royal Canadian Armoured
Corps School departed Borden for CFB Gagetown in 1970.
Although the site
never officially closed, the guards at the main gate were all that remained until 1973, when Militia units in Southern Ontario began using the site as a training
area in the early 1970s. The derelict World War II-era barracks
remained empty as the troops were quartered in tents. The property was designated the Meaford Range and Training Area.
In 1973 the Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce petitioned the
Federal government to develop the land as a Federal park, to be named
the Lester Bowles Pearson Memorial National Park, but the idea was
The introduction of new vehicles and weaponry, namely the Grizzly and Cougar light armoured vehicles in the early 1980s, saw use of MRTA ranges increase substantially, particularly given that CFB Petawawa's ranges were insufficient.
By the late 1980s, the Federal Government recognized a need to
revitalize the neglected Militia. Subsequently, the Meaford Training
Area was made a permanent establishment in 1989 for the
purpose of training Militia soldiers. Named CFB Borden - Meaford
Detachment, the base received more that $80 million for the construction
of roads, barracks, messes, offices, recreational facilities and
work-shops. The training centre was re-named Militia Training and
Support Centre Meaford in 1992.
In 1995, the Royal Canadian
Regiment Battle School relocated to MTSC Meaford from CFB Petawawa,
allowing Meaford to become a major training centre in Ontario. That same
year, MTSC Meaford was once again re-named Land Force Central Area
Training Centre Meaford and all support elements at the base became the
responsibility of a civilian company, Canadian Base Operators, Inc.
"Today the Centre is considered to be state-of-the-art. It's
primary purpose: to revolutionize the training of reserves" (ATC
Meaford - A Short Base History).
Source Material: ATC Meaford - A Short Base History, supplied
by Lieutenant-Colonel M.P. Zuwerkalow, Commanding Officer, Land Force
Central Area Training Centre Meaford (1999), "The Owen Sound Sun Times"
from 21 September 1995, ATC Meaford web site -
http://www.meaford.com/atc2.html, the personal recollections of
ex-Private Phillip Schwartz, Grey & Simcoe Foresters (2002), the
Armour School web site -
supplied by the Midland Huronia Museum (2004) & the personal
recollections of Colonel J.C. Forsyth, OBStJ, CD, Honorary Colonel,
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry - 1993-2007 (1999).