The Canadian Air & Space Museum based in Toronto recently was served with an eviction notice by its landlord, Downsview Park group. Door locks have been changed and the museum has been closed to the public since September 24. Plans for the historic building are to convert it into a four-pad ice complex.
Following a financially difficult period, the museum was late on its rent, and owed $ 100,000 to its landlord. The chairman of the museum says he recently sent $ 22,000 but that the group refused the money and sent him the checks back. According to the group, the payment of the rent is not the only issue. The building is crumbling, according to the group, and an operator has agreed to invest heavily if it is converted to an ice complex. The group has also offered to assist the museum to store its collections and help it relocate somewhere else in Downsview Park.
The building the museum is using is a former Royal Canadian Air Force building with a strong history: it is there that the Canadian Flying Club movement was launched in the 1920s. Some 3,000 aircraft were also produced there during the war, and it was later used for the development of iconic aircraft such as the DHC-1 Chipmunk, DHC-2 Beaver and DHC-3 Otter, as well as assembly and testing of the Alouette 1, Canada’s first satellite.
The museum is appealing visitors to donate or purchase from the museum’s shop and support it by contacting their MPs.