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Downsview Hangars
CFB Downsview

Once a bustling air force base for the Canadian Forces, Downsview has found itself relegated to the role of being a large urban park since the end of the Cold War. Parts are still used by Bombardier Aerospace as a test facility, but its heyday as the test location for many projects, including the Avro Arrow, are long gone.

Location attributes for Downsview Hangars
Location   Toronto, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1929 :: 1996
Status   Demolished
Difficulty   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

And now the former base is undergoing a radical change, with plans to convert much of the space into small communities with large parks in them. Part of that plan involves tearing down some of the former military infrastructure... and among these are the hangars and control tower.

It's a shame that they have to go, since they are iconic landmarks that were visible from both Sheppard Ave. and Allen Rd, serving as a reminder of what the land was formerly used for. However, with the closure of the airfield for military purposes, it was inevitable that the hangars would eventually go.

By the time I got there, one of the two hangars themselves were almost gone, and the control tower had been stripped down pretty good of anything useful. However, the building has been spared the scrappers... all the electrical systems were still in place. The boiler room was also remarkably intact, save for the ice that was in the bottom of it (although the ice was much nicer than the prospect of having to wade through stagnant water).

I went back a week after the initial visit, and discovered that the remainder of the building was down. I guess I picked the right time to go to catch it before it was lost to the world.

End Of The Line - March 2010 (Extra Restricted Content)
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