This past Saturday I went to the Canadian Air & Space Museum with my dad. The professional engineering association he's with organized a tour for it's members and family or friends. It sounded quite interesting to me so I asked my father if we could go.
The museum is located at Downsview Park which is northwest of Highway 401 and Allen Road. It's at the old De Havilland Aircraft factory. Built in 1929, it's the oldest surviving aircraft factory in Canada and was the birthplace of many famous Canadian-designed planes. Now it's home to many artifacts and aircraft associated with aerospace technology and innovation of the Greater Toronto Area.
Upon arrival we were given some snacks and sat down for a brief introduction to the place. After the talk we broke into smaller groups and were given a very informative tour around the buildings. It was the first time I've ever been in a room with a bunch of relatively small planes, let alone get close enough to touch a few historical ones (though you're not supposed to do that). If you're like me your only experience with planes is at the airport on one of those large Boeings when you fly across overseas on vacation.
Needless to say I was quite fascinated. Among the interesting planes were the De Havilland Tiger Moth. It was a bi-plane used as a basic trainer across Canada during World War II. They were built in the very building that the museum is now in. They're also restoring an old AVRO Lancaster Mark X bomber that used to be displayed down near Ontario Place. Being exposed to the elements for many years and enduring squatters and vandals it was in pretty rough shape. They were used in World War II as well and were able to carry a payload of 18,000 lbs in bombs. This specific plane was built by Victory Aircraft (later AVRO Canada) in Malton back in 1945. Lastly there's a full sized model of the AVRO CF-105 Arrow. Back in 1958-1959, when it was first developed, it was considered the most advanced interceptor in the world. Sadly it never reached production. The project was scrapped back in 1959, some say because of political reasons.
Anyway, it wasn't a bad way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon for me. I learned a few things and was able to get up close to some neat looking planes.