Canadian Air & Space Museum

Canadian Air & Space Museum

February 20, 2009 10:30 ET

NEW Canadian Air & Space Museum “Takes Flight”

on the 50th Anniversary of the Avro Arrow Cancellation and celebrates 100 years of powered flight in Canada

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2009) - Lieutenant Governor Attends Official Launch of Museum

Hollywood icon Harrison Ford voices his support as revitalization and expansion plans unveiled

Today, the New Canadian Air and Space Museum (formerly the Toronto Aerospace Museum) unveiled a $2 million capital campaign and shared its plans for an exciting revitalization and expansion project that will showcase Canadian aerospace leadership and innovation, create a new home for the only full-scale replica of the legendary Avro Arrow, as well as establish new galleries and classrooms for experiential learning.

"Every day, we celebrate Canadian aviation and space leadership and innovation, as people get a first-hand look at our marvellous, Canadian, historical collection," said Wayne Barrett, Chair of the Board of Directors, Canada Air and Space Museum. "But, as you can see, we have a very confined facility. So I'm delighted to be announcing our revitalization and expansion project and ushering in a new era in the Museum's development, in conjunction with this proud year of the Canadian Centennial of Powered Flight."

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, attended the official launch. His Honour was joined by representatives from Air Canada, the Ontario Aerospace Council, Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Messier-Dowty, the Royal Canadian Mint, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, Downsview Park, and Canada's Air Force. City councillor Maria Augimeri, representing Mayor David Miller, proclaimed today 'Aerospace Day" in Toronto and encouraged everyone to participate in Canadian Centennial of Flight celebrations and support the museum.

"This launch celebrates the many achievements of the Canadian aerospace industry," said Lieutenant-Governor Onley. "I am pleased to be present for this new chapter in the museum's development and to see it supported so enthusiastically by the aerospace, airline and space industries, as well as the military and other proud Canadian supporters."

Actor Harrison Ford, an avid pilot and proud owner of a de Havilland of Canada DHC-2 Beaver (the world's first successful short takeoff & landing airplane), sent a congratulatory message by video.

"Congratulations on your Centennial of Flight Celebration and the launch of the Canadian Air and Space Museum's revitalization and expansion project," said Ford. "I'm glad to see that the birthplace of the de Havilland Beaver is being preserved, along with a century's worth of stories and other great aviation achievements. I wish you all the best with raising funds to create such a world-class facility and urge everyone to donate to the Canadian Air and Space Museum."

To honour the occasion, the Royal Canadian Mint presented the museum with a Centennial of Flight Commemorative Coin that salutes the Feb. 23rd, 1909, maiden flight of the Silver Dart, Canada's first successful flying machine.

"It's remarkable that the origins of the world's fourth-largest aerospace industry began on the frozen surface of a lake in Nova Scotia," said Rod Jones, Executive Director, Ontario Aerospace Council, representing the Ontario aerospace industry. "It's important that Canadians have access to a facility that showcases our remarkable achievements and history and makes Canadians aware of the contribution that the Canadian Aerospace Industry has made to their well-being, to their families and to that of their communities. Proudly, our story continues to unfold, thanks to 75,000 aerospace industry professionals, whose work and innovation generates $21 billion for the Canadian economy."

Remembering and celebrating the Avro Arrow

In 1988 on the 30th anniversary of this historic aircraft's first rollout, a challenge was issued to Canadians to build a full-scale replica of the Avro Arrow. Canadian Air and Space Museum CEO,and former Avro employee, Claude Sherwood was one of the dedicated volunteers who took up the challenge and lead the construction of the world's only full-scale, museum quality, replica of the Avro Arrow.

"When people come to the museum, they are struck by the size of the Avro Arrow," said Barrett. "There's nothing like being able to see examples of Canadian accomplishments, whether it's a seeing the full-scale replica of the Avro Arrow, looking at an actual Tiger moth or seeing the restoration of a Lancaster Bomber."

Making history come to life is a key focus at The Canadian Air and Space Museum. Students from more than 2,000 area schools regularly participate in hands-on group tours that are tailored to teacher's needs and integrate with school curriculum.

"We place a high priority on creating experiential learning opportunities that engage youth, in the hope of inspiring them to be the next generation of aerospace innovators and inventors," added John Harper, Director of Education, Canada Air and Space Museum.

Canadian Air & Space Museum's vision unveiled

In the museum's current form, the Avro Arrow is without a proper home. The revitalization and expansion project will create a place for the Avro Arrow replica in the Avro Canada Gallery. The City of Toronto's Lancaster Mark X Bomber will find a home in the Aviation of Defence Gallery, where visitors can observe the restoration of this historic aircraft.

Future plans include a classroom area known as the Science and Adventure of Flight Wing, an upper and lower Space and Discover Gallery that is dedicated to Canadian achievements in space and features a Space and Discovery Theatre and Planetarium, a workshop for "hands-on" experiences, a state-of-the art theatre, a Gallery devoted to telling the history of de Havilland Canada, an area where Restoration and Fabric Demonstration projects can be viewed by visitors, a Civil Aviation and Transport Gallery that will showcase Canada's accomplishments in the commercial airline industry, a Gallery where Toronto's illustrious aviation history will be showcased, as well as the restoration and recreation of the original de Havilland Canada Office Gallery. Outside visitors can marvel at the Bombardier Commercial Airline Gallery.

Fly Pass and Opening Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday

Following today's announcement, approximately 25 aircraft from several Ontario flying clubs departed from Downsview Park and flew around the CN Tower to celebrate the day's events. The last aircraft towed a banner inviting people to visit the new Canadian Air and Space Museum's web site.

On Monday, Feb. 23rd, Canadian Air & Space Museum Chair of the Board of Directors, Wayne Barrett will open the market at the Toronto Stock Exchange to mark Canada's Centennial of Powered Flight.

The museum also is working with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) to design an exhibit that showcases the museum, inside Terminal 1, at Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

About the Canadian Air & Space Museum

Once the home of de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd, the Canadian Air and Space Museum (formerly the Toronto Aerospace Museum) is located in the oldest-surviving aircraft factory building in Canada, and is one of Canada's oldest and best-preserved aerospace heritage buildings. It is also the birthplace of the leading Canadian space technology company, best known as SPAR. The New Canadian Air & Space Museum is dedicated to telling the distinctly Canadian stories of aviation, space history and innovation.

Now in its 10th year, the volunteer-driven organization features the only full-size replica of the magnificent Avro Arrow. For information on tickets, directions and museum hours, call 416-638-6078 or visit


Contact Information

  • Susan Douglas, Director, Marketing & Business Development, Canadian Air & Space Museum
    Primary Phone: 416-666-4912