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Abandoned Bases

Please note: Major cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver and Victoria had numerous small establishments that contained anywhere from single buildings, some leased, to multi-building establishments outside of the main bases for a variety of functions such as administrative, residential, supply, communications or coastal defence.  I would like to profile all of them here eventually, but for now I am mainly concentrating on major establishments.

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Canadian Forces Base Calgary (Harvey Barracks): Originally established as Sarcee Camp in 1910 as a militia training camp. The government leased a parcel of land form the Sarcee Indian Reservation near the future site of Currie Barracks for the camp and training area. The 50th battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was raised and trained …

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Canadian Forces Station Ladner: (Vancouver Wireless Station) (Royal Canadian Air Force Station Boundary Bay) Originally opened on 10 April 1941 under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan as Royal Canadian Air Force Station Boundary Bay, the home of No. 18 Elementary Flying Training School. A Relief Landing Field was constructed near Langley. No. 18 EFTS …

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Fort Osborne Barracks: Originally established as a wooden fort on what is now the west lawn of the Provincial Legislature in Winnipeg in 1873, the barracks was later named after Colonel William Osborne Smith, the first commander of the Military District No. 10 in Winnipeg. In 1917, the former campus of Manitoba Agricultural College was converted …

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Royal Canadian Air Force Station Moncton: Originally established at the Moncton Airport in 1940, under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, as RCAF Station Lakeburn. The station featured 40 buildings including a 40 bed hospital, 5 double-sized hangars, barracks, mess halls and recreation facilities. No. 8 Service Flying Training School (No. 8 SFTS) opened at …

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Royal Canadian Air Force Station Torbay: Established by the RCAF on 15 December 1941 as the home of No. 11 Bomber Reconnaissance (BR) Squadron. No. 5 Coastal Artillery Co-operation Flight was established at the station in April 1942, disbanding in 1945. Other units occupying RCAF Station Torbay at various times during WW II were No. …

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Canadian Forces Station Inuvik: Opened on 12 March 1961 as Naval Radio Station Inuvik, replacing the former NRS Aklavik. Located 123 miles north of the Arctic Circle, NRS Inuvik served as a communications research station, part of Canada’s National Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) organization.  Initially a tender of HMCS Gloucester near Ottawa, the station also served …

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Royal Canadian Air Force Station Debert: Opened in April 1941, RCAF Station Debert was the home to the Royal Air Force’s No. 31 Operational Training Unit (opened on 3 June 1941), a Communications Storage Facility and the Royal Canadian Navy’s No. 31 Naval Air Gunners School. A Relief Landing Field was also constructed near the …

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Canadian NORAD Region Forward Operating Location Inuvik: Originally opened as Naval Radio Station Frobisher Bay in 1953 as a High Frequency Direction Finding Station, replacing the former NRS Fort Chimo, one of Canada’s National Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) organization. The airfield at the station had existed since 1944, when it was build by American engineers and …

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Canadian Forces Base Toronto – Avenue Road Detachment: Originally opened in 1939 as the RCAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, a military laboratory, on the grounds of the Eglington Hunt Club. The Institute’s purpose was to conduct secret research on the psychological effects of combat flying. It was here that Dr. Wilbur Franks, under the direction …

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No. 9 Service Flying Training School: See No. 9 Service Flying Training School in “Closed bases that still have a military presence“. No. 10 Bombing & Gunnery School: Opened in 1940, the aerodrome near Mount Pleasant was originally a Relief Landing Field for No. 9 SFTS at Summerside. As with all RLFs, the aerodrome had …

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Canadian Forces Base Montreal – Lasalle Detachment: (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Hochelaga) Originally established as a Naval Supply Depot, it was constructed between 1951 and 1953 at 2555 Dollard Street in Lasalle.  The depot was officially commissioned on 1 October 1955 as HMCS Hochelaga. The depot took over functions previously handled by small depots in …

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Royal Canadian Air Force Station Saskatoon: In 1940, the Federal Government took over the Saskatoon Municipal Airport for use as an RCAF training facility. On 16 September 1940, No. 4 Service Flying Training School officially opened as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, with Relief Landing Fields at Osler and Vanscoy. The airport …

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Canadian Forces Station Whitehorse: Originally opened by the Department of Transport, the airfield was taken over to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 as part of the Northwest Staging Route. Designated as RCAF Station Whitehorse, the station had detachments at Teslin, Aishihik, and Snag and in 1946, at Watson Lake. After World War II, …

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BERMUDA   Canadian Forces Station Bermuda: Opened 3 July 1963 on the former site of a World War II Royal Navy Radio Station, Naval Radio Station Bermuda served as a radio station in Canada’s National Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) organization. The establishment of the station was a logical progression, as the Royal Canadian Navy had been …

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  1. Tom W

    I found the information on your website eally informative. I find the history of these old closed down bases interesting, especially the ones you can visit today. I wish they wouldn’t totally tear them down. There is the CFS Carp Richardson Detachment which is a hardened 2 story bunker underground but it has been capped off with a large piece of cement. It would be nice if these parts of our history were kept alive so people like myself could enjoy them. I visited the Foymount Pinetree Line former Radar site and it’s been degraded so much, they even removed the old school, and a few more buildings. The Barracks are still standing (barely) and are owned by some East Indian couple who have put hundreds of Jesus stickers, and even installed a 10ft tall Crucifix in the parking lot directly in front of the barrack building closest to main road into the base. I’m sure in another 5 years it will be bulldozed. The only former base that still seems to be around in my area is the Diefenbunker. Anyways I’ll leave it there. Thanks for this website and for preserving some of our history online. Cheers! And I almost forgot to thank you for your service to our country during your military career! Thank you sir you’re a hero!

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site and for the good words.


  2. Jo

    Great job on educating people on these closed/downsized bases! Thank you for your service as well! I just wanted to know why you selected these bases and the one in Bermuda but make no mention of the bases in Germany (Baden and Lahr)? As a kid from a military family i spend a good part of my childhood in Baden Germany, when that base closed it broke my heart! It would be nice to see a bit more information on those bases abroad as well as the ones right here in our country! Just my opinion!

    Thank you for everything!

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. You can find Baden and Lahr on the same page as Bermuda (in the Abandoned Military Bases, Outside Canada folder).

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the web site.


  3. Robert (Bob) McLeod

    Hello Bruce; I found your web site today while doing some history research. It is very good and informative. You did an excellent job and a great deal of work went into this project. BRAVOZULO
    I see on your personal history that you were in Windsor at one trime,were you with HMCS HUNTER? I was the RSS chief clerk there for several years in the 90s. Where you there then?

    All the best and keep up the good work.

    F.Robert McLeod,MWO (Ret)

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site and for the good words. I was with HUNTER from 1988-1991. I understand that HUNTER is in the process of moving into new quarters. I’m hoping to attend the official opening.



  4. Brad


    Minor correction on an Ontario base, it’s Rathbun, not Rathburn. We get that all the time. Very informative read, I especially liked the part about Camp X.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Brad,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site and for the correction. I made the change.


  5. Curtis

    The airforce has a forward air base at rankin inlet nunavuts airport with a 5 bay hanger/office and seperate baracks. Has never been use by the rcaf as such and only occupied by rangers, cadets and reserves for exercise.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Curtis,

      Thanks stopping by my web site. I haven’t gotten around to including many of the FOL bases, as there are many, but thanks for the information. You say that the site is used by rangers, cadets and reserves. Are they local units or are they from outside the area? Are any permanently posted to the airport?




  6. Judy

    Hello. I worked at CFB Esquimalt, in Victoria, B.C. The Admiral, at the time, was interested in finding out about the old bases in the surrounding area. I did information gathering for Albert Head, Mary Hill and for bunkers built in the late 1800’s by British forces that still exist on the Esquimalt base site.
    If you are interested in the information, please let me know.
    Judy MacDermot

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Judy,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. I would be interested in any information that you have.


  7. Frank Fudge

    Hi What about CFS Holberg on Vancouver Island, BC It was originall named 53rd Radar and Maintenance Sqn, I believe. I served ther for two years in the 70’s

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. You can find Holberg in the Pinetree Line section of the web site. Do you have any photos of Holberg that you would be willing to share? I will give you full credit for the photos.



    2. Jason White

      In the summer of 1977, I worked for the Parks Branch in Strathcona Park. We had a detachment at Cape Scott Provincial Park, on the very northern tip of the island. One of the guys was injured, and the nearest medical facility was at Holberg, so that’s where we took him. They fixed him right up, and we were treated like kings!

  8. Ian MacPhersn

    Seems to be something wrong when I try to open a page it shows a huge page of code.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Ian,

      There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong on my end. Are you coming through a link or going directly to my web site? I’ve found that happens sometimes when I go through a link too.


      1. Ian MacPherson

        Thanks for your reply, its working now.
        Cheers Ian

  9. John Johnson

    Hello Bruce – Due to proximity to my home, I’ve spent quite a bit of time at the No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School near Fingal, ON with my gps. I’ve walked the runways and determined the orientation of them. I’ve taken the aerial photographs and created overlays of the property on Google Earth. Having done that, I can transfer the map back to my handheld gps. Then when I walk around the site, my gps shows me what building I am standing beside or within. I find that it adds to the experience and realism of what was there during wartime. I have found your photos and information to be very interesting. I am impressed by the scale of these sites and by the short timeframe between development and decommissioning. My brother-in-law’s father was stationed there for a time.

    All the best,


    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the good words and for stopping by my web site.


  10. Candace Spencer

    I am working on a project for The Historical Airforce Association’s Museum CH2A in Windsor, and am looking for maps which show the locations of RCAF Stations during WW2. If you could help, please email me


    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Candace, I do have a map somewhere that shows the WWII RCAF Stations, but I can’t seem to find it. I believe it was from the book “Wings For Victory” by Spencer Dunmore. I’ll let you know when I find it the map.


  11. Candace Spencer

    Thank you very much.

  12. Milt

    Was there a military base in rush lake Saskatchewan.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Milt,

      It’s likely you are talking about the former RCAF relief field used during WWII. There is an abandoned airfield near St Aldwyn, which I see from Google Maps, is close to Rush Lake. It’s north of Swift Current, a little east of Highway 4. Is this the one you are talking about?


  13. Jennifer

    I acquired an original photograph from the soldiers in farnham Quebec. The original photo has been hanging on my wall for quite some time now I’d like to donate it to a museum of you should know any information that could be helpful in my quest I’d really appreciate it. Thank you kindly


    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Jennifer,

      Do you know the regiment of the soldiers in the photo? If so, that regiment may appreciate having the photo. The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa may also be interested in it. If you can’t find a home for it, I would consider taking it off your hands.

      Let me know,


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