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  • Plaque Celebrating Aviation History in Mount Dennis

    Saturday, July 15 - 10:45 am

    Hearst Circle and "The Wishbone" (Opposite Harding Park in Mount Dennis)

    Reception to follow at The Atrium, 12 Division Police Station, 200 Trethewey Drive, North York

    This event is a joint function of Heritage Toronto, CAHS (Toronto Chapter & National) and 400 Squadron Historical Society.  The plaque is honouring the airfield that hosted 1st flight over Toronto in 1910, the startup location of DeHavilland Aircraft in Canada in 1928 at this airfield and in 1932 the first operational base of the RCAF 400 "City of Toronto" Squadron as 10 Sqn and later 110 Sqn.

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    Background on the William G. Trethewey Property

    By Dr. Robert Galway

    This property was purchased by William Trethewey following his sale of two Silver mining properties that he discovered in Cobalt, Ontario on 1904. He and his brother Joseph O. Trethewey made millions in this transaction. William Trethewey came to Toronto and purchased 600 acres in Weston, near present day Jane St. & Lawrence Ave. in 1907 The Royal Automobile Club of Canada and the OML of which Trethewey was a member, asked for permission to use a portion of the property for an exhibition Air Meet. This took place July 9-16th, 1920 following closely on the heels of the initial Air Meet held in Pointe Claire, PQ.

    During the Toronto meet, French Aviator Jacques de Lesseps completed the first flight over the city of Toronto as he had done two weeks previously in Montreal. The Toronto flight occurred on July 13, 1910. This is the basis for recognizing Jacques de Lesseps on the Heritage Toronto Plaque that will be unveiled this summer on July 15, 2017.

    However, this is not the sole reason for recognizing the contribution that this plot of farmland made to Canadian aviation history.

    Following the Air Meet of 1910, the property became the center of early aviation activity in Toronto. Indeed, it became known as de Lesseps Field. In 1928 de Havilland UK decided establish a manufacturing center in Canada. They were persuaded to do so because of the success they had met in selling the DH60 Moth to the Ontario Provincial Air Service. In their search for a suitable property, they were put in touch with Frank Trethewey who had inherited the property on his father’s demise in 1926. Trethewey leased a parcel of the land to de Havilland and with the incorporation of de Havilland
    Canada was appointed to the DHC Board.

    Consequently, the Trethewey property became the first manufacturing site of de Havilland. In fact the first building used to assemble the DH60 series was the Trethewey Canning Shed made famous by the sketch completed by famous aviation artist, Robert Bradford.

    Frank Trethewey was given the opportunity to purchase DH aircraft at a significant “favored” price. He and his brother were RNAS veteran pilots. In the 1930's he was Chairman of de Havilland Canada.

    The establishment of de Havilland Aircraft on this property in 1928 is the second reason to grant historic recognition to this property.

    Frank Trethewey not only over time purchased three aircraft from DHC but went one step further and joined the RCAF. This led to the establishment of the RCAF Squadron 10/ 110 on Trethewey Field. Frank Trethewey was one of the first four flying officers appointed to the Squadron. In 1940 he was appointed commanding officer of Base Trenton.

    The squadron was formed in October 1932 as 10 (Army Cooperation) Squadron and began flying in 1934 at the Trethewey Farm airfield (aka de Lesseps Field) in Toronto. In April, 1935, the City of Toronto adopted the squadron which then became officially known as “10 (City of Toronto) Squadron”. In 1937, the squadron was re-designated “110 (City of
    Toronto) Squadron”.

    The squadron flew five basic types of aircraft, all biplanes, from Trethewey until late 1939 when it deployed to Rockcliffe. During the Trethewey era, the squadron was involved in recruitment and flight training. At Rockcliffe, the squadron underwent conversion to the Canadian-built Westland Lysander until mid-February 1940. The squadron then deployed to the UK as the first RCAF squadron to enter the Second World War.

    In the UK, the squadron was initially equipped with the Lysander III and was involved in the Army Co-op and photo reconnaissance role. The squadron was active in the Dunkirk evacuation (27 May - 3 June 1940) but not directly involved in the Battle of Britain (10 July - 31 Oct. 1940). In mid-1941, the squadron was re-designated “400 Squadron”.

    Today, the Squadron is located at Camp Borden and is the main maintenance centre for maintenance of the RCAF's Tactical Helicopter Squadrons.

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  • My Snowbirds Flight - Aide-Memoire

2011 Convention a Huge Success!

Written by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail .

dmc tom newsThe 2011 Convention, which was held in Edmonton, Alberta from 22-26 June, brought together over 100 speakers and attendees from across Canada to explore the aviation history of Edmonton, Alberta and the North.


Click the "Continue Reading" link to for a few more photos to see what you missed, or to reminisce over if you were lucky enough to be there!

Here's what people are saying about the convention:


I was so impressed with the lectures: all  were well researched and displayed to keep the audience entertained. I also gained a lot of information just talking to people at the breaks. I was just amazed at the knowledge in the room at question period. I would say that this was one of the best conferences I have attended in a long time and wished that it could have been longer.

Thanks for a GOOD and informative time.

Jack McCuaig

 (Photo: Bill Zuk)


There was a full house for each talk, lots of good camaraderie during breaks, and everyone got to know each other a little better! The adjacent events (408 Squadron reunion, AirFest, etc.) added, I’m sure, to the enjoyment and “best bang for the buck” for attendees coming from a long distance and paying airfare, hotel, etc.

Shirlee Matheson (at the mic in photo below)

(Photo: John Chalmers)

I should have written you sooner to tell you how much we enjoyed the Convention. We are still talking about it!  We were amazed at the amount of history and knowledge that was there. After a talk, someone stands up and says “I took that picture” or “I saw that plane crash” – fascinating. My only disappointment is not winning one of the many door prizes. Every time, I thought – THAT’S the one I want to win. Didn’t. Oh well!

Jack and Ivy Twells (all dressed up for the swing dance in the picture below!)

(Photo: D. Metcalfe-Chenail)

Doing the tours of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame was very enjoyable. I found it both interesting and enlightening that those who chose to come into the archives / collection area had to be pried out. Justin cracked a gentle whip but some still wanted to stay and continue our conversations. I can only hope to attend next year!


(Photo: John Chalmers)

Special events such as the trip to Wetaskiwin, the bush pilot dinner and Airfest following contributed to the success and positive mood of the conference.


(Photo: John Chalmers)


Very good value for money! Having the option to attend the football game was a fine idea. The chemistry of the CAHSers staying for the AirFest and staffing the display table was terrific ... there was a remarkable spirit and energy, the likes of which I've rarely seen.


(Photo: Richard Goette)

It was a new experience for us and the whole thing was great. We learned lots of new things, and people were friendly.


(Photo: Gary Williams)

The whole program was excellent, the manner in which it was presented and the punctuality with which it was tendered was without peer. The best conference I have ever attended.


(Photo: Richard Goette)


 A big thanks to our partners, sponsors and everyone who came out to make this such a fantastic convention!