The former RCAF Station Downsview/CFB Toronto long served as a place of innovation for Canada's aerospace industry. Prior to Downsview Airport becoming a military installation in the post-WW2 era, the 1929 Mathers & Haldenby-designed structure built for de Havilland Aircraft of Canada produced the innovative wood-construction fighter-bomber, the Mosquito, which would go on to play a pivotal role in the second World War's European theatre. While the base has since been decommissioned and is being redeveloped into an urban park, innovation in the aerospace industry continues on the site with Bombardier's aerospace wing, while with an Aerospace Campus for Centennial College will soon train Canada's future aerospace innovators. 

Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, Centennial College, MJMA, TorontoDownsview Park Aerospace Campus, image courtesy of MJMA

Work on the $72 million MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Stantec-designed Downsview Park Aerospace Campus (DPAC) officially got underway back in November 2016 with a ground breaking ceremony attended by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and federal Hon. Minister of Science Kristy Duncan. In the months since, work on the site has intensified. The bulk of windows have been removed from the previous complex, while the main hangar has been partially stripped down to its steel superstructure—some of which appears to have been replaced since the start of construction.

Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, Centennial College, MJMA, TorontoConstruction at the Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, image by Forum contributor salsa

Referencing the gridlike arrangement of windows seen on the old hangar's exterior, DPAC's new hangar—large enough to accommodate modern commercial jet aircraft—will feature a clear glazed exterior, filling the space with natural light.

Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, Centennial College, MJMA, TorontoDownsview Park Aerospace Campus, image courtesy of MJMA

The extensive rehabilitation of the former de Havilland facility is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2018. Upon opening, enrolment in the new facility is expected to grow to more than 900, triple the number of students currently enrolled in the aerospace program at Centennial's School of Transportation.

Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, Centennial College, MJMA, TorontoConstruction at the Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, image by Forum contributor salsa

The completed facility will offer approximately 138,000 square feet of instruction space, including classrooms, laboratory space, workshops, hanger space, offices, a library and food services. Students will have the advantage of being situated within walking distance of the new Downsview Park TTC subway station, set to open later this year.

Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, Centennial College, MJMA, TorontoConstruction at the Downsview Park Aerospace Campus, image by Forum contributor salsa

Additional information can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.