September 30, 2011
It is absolutely disgraceful that
Parc Downsview Park would even consider evicting the Canadian Air &
Space Museum so that is can demolish the building and build a four-pad
hockey rink in its place. Not only is the museum a great asset to
Toronto and to the preservation of Toronto and Canada's aviation and
military heritage, the building that the museum occupies is the original
de Havilland Aircraft production building, which was built in 1929. It is the third oldest aviation building in Canada, where de Havilland build aircraft such as the Beaver and the Otter bush planes, and military aircraft such as the Tiger Moth, the Mosquito and the Chipmunk. The de Havilland Tiger Moth would go on to be the basic trainer aircraft for pilots during World War II.
Aloutte I, Canada's first satellite, which was launched in 1962, was also manufactured at the de Havilland facility.
Such action by Parc Downsview Park is an insult to all those who worked at de Havilland and in the Toronto aerospace industry.
While critics could go on about the
fact that the museum was behind in their rent payments (the museum was
seeking to address that issue when the hammer fell), Parc Downsview Park has made it clear that was not the reason for the eviction. This is a completely unnecessary exercise since if Parc Downsview Park really wanted to build an arena, there is plenty of vacant land within the park to build such a facility.
I hope aviation and military history buffs will put the word out that we need to save the Canadian Air & Space Museum, along with our historically significant buildings, so that they can continue to preserve and promote our aviation accomplishments for future generations to enjoy.