An arm of Canada's federal government has served a six-month eviction notice on a major aviation museum in the country's largest city. Workers at the Canadian Air and Space Museum in Toronto got to work last Tuesday to find the locks changed and an eviction notice on the door. The museum is on former Canadian Forces Base Downsview, which was closed decades ago. The airfield remains active as a private facility for Bombardier. The company builds Q400 airliners and business jets there but several hundred acres were designated as a park by the government and the museum occupies a sliver of those lands. The government-owned corporation that runs the park has struck a deal for the site with a developer who will put up a hockey and skating arena with four sheets of ice. The announcement stunned the local aviation community and prompted owners of some of the museum's artifacts to collect them.
The museum, which is run by a non-profit foundation, was behind in its rent and suffering financial difficulties, but had recently made rent payments and was attempting to get back in the black, said a statement from the museum board Thursday. Among the artifacts in the museum is a full-scale model of the CF-105 Arrow, a sophisticated fighter/interceptor developed by the Avro company in the 1950s. The program was cancelled before the fighter went into production, a decision that remains controversial in Canadian aviation circles. The building that houses the museum is a museum piece itself. It's the original de Havilland Canada factory that saw development of famous designs like the Chipmunk, Beaver and Otter.