The Building

Our building, our home, and our most precious artifact: De Havilland Canada Plant No. 1, 65 Carl Hall Road.

De Havilland Canada

The building at 65 Carl Hall Road isn't just full of history it's part of history - from the days of wood and fabric open cockpit biplanes of the 1920's, to the dawn of the space age in the 1960s.

The building is the original 1929 home of the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., (one of Canada's most successful aircraft manufacturers) and also the original home of Canada's leading space technology company best known as SPAR.

The site contains the oldest surviving aircraft factory in Canada, and the birthplace of the famous Beaver and Otter bush planes which opened the Canadian North and were sold to customers in 65 countries. It's also where de Havilland engineers assembled and tested the first Canadian satellite, Alouette I, which established Canada as the third nation in space when launched in 1962. The Downsview site also shares the distinction of being the home of one of the world's leading commercial aircraft factories, and was Toronto's air force base for 50 years.

The building is more than a structure, but a symbol that celebrates the aerospace accomplishments of Canadians, and the long association of Canada with aeronautical innovation, aircraft manufacturing, military aviation, air transport and the pure joy of flight.

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Federal Heritage Status

Granted status as a Recognized Federal Heritage Building in May 1992, the building is undoubtedly worth its weight in history. The status has been inexplicably lost, but the assessment remains.

Read the complete FHBRO heritage assessment [pdf]


Timeline

A year-by-year breakdown of the building as it developed, as well as its contributions to Canada's war effort and aviation innovation.

See the timeline