The Canadian Air and Space Museum (CASM) is looking to raise $500,000 to find temporary storage for two aircraft and more than 40 freight containers of artifacts.
A location needs to be found immediately to unload the 44 containers before winter weather arrives, said Ian McDougall, volunteer chair of CASM.
A temporary hangar also needs to be constructed to store the museum’s full-scale replica of the Avro Arrow and the Second World War Avro Lancaster bomber, the aircraft that used to sit atop a pole in front of Ontario Place.
The two aircraft have remained at CASM’s old location inside Downsview Park since the museum’s closure in September 2011, but it’s now time to find a new site, McDougall said.
“Downsview Park has been very accommodating,” he said. “After the fuss (of the closure) died down they couldn’t have been more helpful. We owe thanks to them. It’s their space and they rightfully want their space. Downsview Park said they would pay for the move, but there is no where to move to. The museum doesn’t have money.”
Ten businesses were served eviction notices by Downsview Park in September 2011, indicating space must be vacated by March 31 of this year to make way for a four-pad hockey rink, set to open in September 2013.
CASM is eyeing a potential new home on the south side of Lester B. Pearson International Airport, McDougall said, adding plans to construct a new museum on the empty field would be some time down the road.
“We’re looking for a temporary home and we need to do it as quickly as possible,” he said. “We’re talking about more than simply a museum. It reflects a hugely significant part of the industrial and military history in the area.”
CASM, formerly the Toronto Aerospace Museum, was housed in the original 1929 home of the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. and also the original home of Canada’s leading space technology company best known as SPAR, according to the museum’s website. It also housed several artifacts and planes, including a replica Avro Arrow.
To donate to the fundraiser visit www.indiegogo.com/casmuseum or mail cheques made out to Canadian Air and Space Museum to Canadian Air and Space Museum, 65 Carl Hall Rd., Box 1, Toronto, ON, M3K 2E1.