Oshawa Executive Airport’s South Field now a heritage conservation district

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Oshawa has designated its first Heritage Conservation District at the Oshawa Executive Airport and marked completion of renovations to the historic Canteen Building.

The City-owned South Field at the Oshawa Executive Airport has been recognized by as a Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act. The designation will assist in the protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage values of the district through the adoption of policies and guidelines for conservation, protection and enhancement of the area’s special character.

“In addition to being structures of historical significance, these buildings symbolize our city’s resilience and strength during our most challenging moments in time,” said Mayor Dan Carter. “This designation honours those who bravely answered the call to duty for their country and their tremendous commitment to service.”

The South Field Heritage Conservation District includes the former Canteen and Stores Buildings, the No. 10 Building (home to the No. 420 Wing) and Airmen’s Park which operated as part of the No. 20 Elementary Flight Training School (E.F.T.S.) during World War II. The Canteen Building served as the canteen for the No. 20 E.F.T.S. from 1941 to 1947, after which it was converted into a classroom and office space for the Ontario Regiment.

The $300,000 restoration to the Canteen Building was completed in September, including restoration of the existing windows, siding, doors, roof and interior floor, and the rebuilding of the radio wing.

Highlights of the South Field Heritage Conservation District area include:

  • The three buildings which display construction methods and materials representative of construction during the Second World War;
  • Several plaques, mementos and activities – including the Canadair Mark V Sabre Jet in Airmen’s Park – which have direct associations to Canada’s military and aeronautical history, in particular Canada’s contribution to the war effort through the training of Allied forces at the No. 20 E.T.F.S.

“The South Field Heritage Conservation District opens a window into Oshawa’s rich history during the Second World War when the Oshawa Executive Airport and surrounding lands served as a key training ground for Allied pilots,” said Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri.

“Through this designation, we pay tribute to our military past by preserving this area for future generations to come.”

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