About the Book
The Early Airfields of Toronto: In 1965 two stalwart members of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) launched a project to gather information about Toronto’s earliest airfields. Fred Hotson and Don Long were both working at de Havilland Canada at the time. Fred Hotson as test pilot and Don Long on the aeronautical design team. Invaluable assistance came from the hand of George Fuller, now of Montreal. This resulted in the publication by C. D. Long of: “Toronto Airports-Before Malton” in the CAHS Journal 1965, No. 4 (Winter), page 93. When this project, with the same aim as the original, was first undertaken in 2014, Fred Hotson’s file which contained remarks by both Fuller and Long was turned over to the author by Larry Milberry of CANAV Publications. These notes serve to inform this presentation. It is my pleasure one-half a century later, to be able to add to their original historical bequest! Although the original list of the earliest airports of Toronto prior to the site selection for Malton airport in 1937was comprehensive, there were notable exceptions. In particular, the aviation training that took place on the campus of the University of Toronto bears honorable mention. Other centers of aviation activity that justify inclusion include those that would not be considered formal aviation centres. This not only includes the CNE grounds but what has been termed “unofficial” fields. The delivery of Santa Claus to the Eaton Christmas Parade by Roy Maxwell in 1919, when he landed a JN4 “Jenny” on Berwick Ave. at Duplex Ave. that November, comes to mind. The list also includes the name of the Imperial flying Club of Scarboro which has a claim to being the airfield with the shortest existence in the history of Canadian aviation; all of one weekend! This book, a pictorial essay on the Early Airfields of Toronto, in the main owes its very existence to the rich imagery available at the Archives of the City of Toronto and at the Library and Archives of Canada.