“Don’t Toss Canadian History to the Curb”: Augimeri

“Don’t Toss Canadian History to the Curb”: Augimeri

9.20.2011 | News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 20, 2011

Toronto- Today, the federally-owned and operated Downsview Park evicted the Canadian Air & Space Museum; a charity and tenant on the federal parkland. News of the eviction came as a shock to the local community.

“I am deeply disappointed at the news of Downsview Park’s callous eviction of the Canadian Air & Space Museum which holds some of the best examples of Canadian ingenuity and aerospace history,” said Toronto City Councillor and local representative, Maria Augimeri. “It shows that the Federal Government is so fixated on the bottom line it’s even willing to throw the Avro Arrow to the curb for collection” she criticized.
The museum contained a life-sized replica of the Canadian-designed Avro Arrow. News of the eviction was swift as the idea of orphaning the replica of a fighter jet regarded as the pinnacle of Cold War Aerospace ingenuity seemed like a callous way to deal with ‘back-rent’.

“The Federal Government should be stepping up and asking how they can help preserve the rich Canadian history that exists in this museum, not asking how they can get a better deal on the land,” Augimeri said.
The community of Downsview is not unfamiliar with clashes involving the federally-owned and operated Downsview Park. Against strong local resistance, the Federal government departed from promised plans to keep the Park as green space and is now seeking development of the open park land into condominium buildings and commercial districts.

“At the request of my community I’ve been demanding that the Federal government hold to its promise to keep the park as green space, and they come back at us with development plans,” said Augimeri. It’s no surprise that with the same carelessness, they toss to the curb a museum that represents the amazing history of Downsview and Canada. It just blows my mind,” she added.

For many years, the Canadian Air & Space Museum was considered a jewel in the heart of the community of Downsview. Downsview blossomed out of the wealth that the aerospace industry brought to the area. The entire local economy was once directly or indirectly linked to Canada’s endeavours in aerospace.

Many of the aircraft that trained Canadian Airmen, such as the Moth and the Chipmunk have their origins in Downsview. Canada’s first Satellite, the Alouette I was first assembled and tested in the building the Canadian Air and Space Museum occupies today.

“The Canadian Air & Space Museum has been a wonderful community partner and friend for over a decade and I am distressed at the prospect that our community will no longer be blessed with its presence,” said Augimeri.


For more information: Councillor_Augimeri@toronto.ca or 416-392-4021. Follow on www.twitter.com/MariaAugimeri