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QUÉBEC

No. 52 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre / S-6 Canadian Junior Leaders School:

Opened on 9 October 1940 in Lac Megantic as No. 52 Non-permanent Active Militia Training Centre.  The camp was re-named a month later No. 52 CA (R) TC  a month later.

The camp became a recruit training camp for reserve and active service soldiers in March 1941, changing its name to No. 52 CA (B) TC.

In November1941, the camp became the Army’s only Junior Leaders School. Students came from practically every unit in Canada to the school.  Prior to that, each unit trained their own junior leaders, but it was decided to consolidate training at one central school.  By the time the school closed in December 1943, the school had trained 1566 men.

It’s unknown what was done with the camp after the closure of the school.  Eighteen of the buildings were sold to the Canadian Legion, but the others remained in military hands.  Today, two of  the remaining huts are used by “B” Company of the Regiment de la Chaudiere.  The buildings can be found at 5899 Rue Dube.

Source Material: “Abandoned Military Installations in Canada Vol II: Quebec” by Paul Ozorak.


Saint-Hubert Garrison – 5 Area Support Group:

Originally opened in 1927 as the Saint-Hubert Airport, it served as Montreal’s primary airport before Dorval International opened.

The airport was taken over by the RCAF on 1 September 1941 as the home of No. 13 Service Flying Training School under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. A Relief Landing Field was constructed near Farnham. No. 13 SFTS re-located to North Battleford, Saskatchewan in February 1944 and the station was re-designated RCAF Station Saint-Hubert.

RCAF Station Saint-Hubert remained open after World War II as part of the post-war RCAF. Numerous wartime squadrons were re-formed at Saint-Hubert, making it a very busy air station. However, RCAF Detachment Farnham was not included in this post-war growth and it was simply abandoned. Nothing remains of the Detachment today.

401 Squadron, a former wartime squadron, was re-activated as an auxiliary fighter squadron on 15 Arpril 1946.

RCAF No 1. Air Defence Group moved to Saint-Hubert from Ottawa in 1949  and became Air Defence Command on 1 June 1951.  This is where information from all the radar stations across Canada would be sent for analysis and action.

The squadron later departed for 1 Wing in Marville, France to become part of No. 1 Air Division Europe. 441 Fighter Squadron re-formed on 1 March 1951 departing for 1 Wing in North Luffenham on 13 February 1952.

427 Fighter Squadron re-formed on 1 August 1952, departing for 3 Wing Zweibracken a year later. 444 Fighter Squadron, originally from RCAF Station Rivers re-formed on 1 March 1953, departing for 4 Wing Baden on 27 August 1953. 438 Squadron re-formed in April 1946, adding the title City of Montreal Squadron in 1950. 416 All-Weather Fighter Squadron re-located to Saint-Hubert from 2 Wing Grostenquin 1 February 1957, moving again 4 years later to RCAF Station Bagotville.

429 (Tactical Transport) Squadron formed at RCAF Station Saint-Hubert on 21 June 1967. Equipped with Buffalo aircraft, the squadrons roles included operational ground and aircrew training, transport, airborne support for the army and search and rescue (SAR) duties. A detachment of 429 Squadron was posted to RCAF Station Namao to support the army. No. 1 Transport Helicopter Platoon, a unit of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, moved to RCAF Station Saint-Hubert from RCAF Station Rivers in 1966. In 1968, No. 1 THP was renamed 450 (Heavy Transport) Helicopter Squadron moved to RCAF Station Uplands.

As a result of the Unification, the Station was re-named CFB Saint-Hubert. In later years, Saint-Hubert would become the home of Mobile Command Headquarters and 10 Tactical Air Group (10 TAG).

In the early to mid 1960s, a reorganization and consolidation occurred within the Canadian Military. Several Army, Navy and RCAF bases were either downsized, merged or closed. As a result, the base was downgraded to a detachment of CFB Montreal on 1 September 1969.

438 Squadron City of Montreal Squadron and 401 City of Westmount Squadron both  converted to a tactical helicopter squadrons in the early 1980s.

429 (Tactical Transport) Squadron relocated to CFB Trenton in 1990.

The introduction of the Wing concept at Air Force establishments resulted in the base being designated 1 Wing in 1993, although this would be short-lived as I Wing later re-located to CFB Kingston. 450 Squadron, now a Tactical Helicopter Squadron, returned to Saint-Hubert from CFB Ottawa South (Uplands) in August 1994. The squadron disbanded on 25 June 1996, as did 401 Squadron.

In the mid 1990s, another of many consolidations occurred within the Canadian Military. Several bases were either downsized, merged or closed. A result, Detachment Saint-Hubert closed in 1995.

A small section of the former base next to the airfield was severed off and still functions as a military establishment. Designated as a part of No. 5 Area Support Group, the facility is now known as Saint-Hubert Garrison.

The remaining BCATP hangars and the “Arch” hanger at St Hubert Garrison were used to house 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (a combined Reserve-Regular Force Squadron), 51 Service Battalion and 2 cadet units, 643 Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron and 2623 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.

The rest of the former CF Detachment Saint-Hubert was sold off and is now an Industrial Park including a film production studio, which spent nearly $30-million converting a hangar into a sound stage and building related facilities on 22 acres of the property.

The Saint-Hubert Garrison also serves as a Basic Military Qualification training centre, with basic training courses conducted by 34 Service Battalion.

The airfield reverted back to a civilian airport, the Saint-Hubert Airport.  The RCAF no longer uses the airfield; just a small helipad next to the 438 Squadron hangar for their use.

In January, a new armoury was built at Saint-Hubert Garrison to replace one of the old hangars, which will be demolished.  The new building will feature administrative spaces, training rooms, an advanced weapons simulator, vehicle and equipment storage areas, common mess facilities, and a fitness centre.  Some of the other buildings will be renovated.
The new and renovated facilities will be used by Le Régiment de Maisonneuve, 34 Service Battalion, 41 Military Police Platoon, and the 34 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters in the greater Montreal region.

Source Material: “The Garrison” newspaper from March 1995, pamphlet printed by Studio High Techniques of Toronto (1998), information provided by Captain S. Latraverse, Staff Officer, Area Support Unit Montreal (2000), “Sentinel” Magazine from March 1968, June 1968 and February-March 1971, pgs. 1-10, the 429 Squadron web page – http://www.secant.co.uk/bullseye98/429sqn.htm, History of the 400 Series Squadrons – http://www.airforce.dnd.ca/airforce/eng/history_400s/rcafsqns.htm, “Wings For Victory” by Spencer Dunmore, the 450 Squadron web page – www.totavia.com/terry/cyow/uplands/450sqn.htm, the Globe & Mail from Tuesday, March 18, 2003 – Page B10, Montreal’s Saint-Hubert Airport Enthusiast’s Page – http://www.fortunecity.co.uk/shangrila/cannes/66/st-hubert.html, https://www.canada.ca/…/news/…/government-completes-new-armoury-at-saint-hubert & the personal recollections of the author (2003).

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/abandoned-canadian-military-bases/closed-bases-with-military-presence/quebec/

8 comments

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  1. Kathy Obad

    Is there an archivist that collects old photos from the early days. I had a teacher who recently passed away and she had many class photos. Do you know who might be interested?
    Kathy Obad

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. Any one of the many military museums across Canada might be interested, you could check with them or you could contact the National Archives in Ottawa to see if they are interested.

      It’s great that you are looking to preserve these photos so they are not lost to time.

      Bruce

  2. Mark Lesiak SC, CD

    Why is there no mention of 401 (Ram) City of Westmount squadron? I was a member of 401 from 1968 to 1984, based at St. Hubert. Along with 438 sqdn, 401 flew the CSR-123 DeHavilland Otter for most of that time.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for stopping by my web site. I must have missed 401 Sqn. I will add it to the St. Hubert entry. Thanks for pointing it out.

      Bruce

  3. Antoine Desrosiers

    Hello,
    A relative of my spouse have been released in 1944 at No 4 District Depot. I have found nothing about in on your Web site but I found information else where. http://marigot.ca/mobile/Petite-histoire-illustree-de-Longueuil/1920-1947/le-plein-emploi-a-longueuil-par-l-industrie-de-guerre.html

    http://monde.ccdmd.qc.ca/ressource/?id=32055

  4. Phil Dupuis

    Growing up in Saint-Hubert from 1958 on wards, I had the opportunity on almost a daily basis to see CF-101s and -104s flying overhead. It was great. We even had an air show.!!! In 1970 just after the October Crisis, I worked on the base for 4 months as part of some program that escapes memory. I remember conducting a survey of appliances in every PMQ and another job focused on shoveling snow near the base commander’s home. Think he was a 3 star. On bad winter days, we played ball hockey in one of the hangers. It was an experience I shall never forget. Thanks for the memory recall.

    1. Bruce Forsyth

      Hi Phil,

      I glad this site brought back memories for you. If you have any photos that you wanted to share, please send them to bruce@militarybruce.com.

      Thanks, Bruce

  5. Richard Turcotte

    Hello Bruce,
    Thanks so much for the work you put into preserving Canada’s military history.
    My family and I lived in the PMQs for a few years in early 2000 and by a strange coincidence our house was directly across from a PMQ my wife lived in in the early 70’s as a young kid. Back then the street names were all related to trees (Maple, Birch, etc) while now they are mostly named for French military figures.
    Anyways, I’ve been searching for a map of the PMQ area that shows the original “tree” named streets. Would you know where such a map could be found?
    PS: would love to get my hands on Paul Ozorak’s books. Took one out from the library and wrote to Paul at the address indicated in the book but he must have closed the PO Box. Any idea how to contact him?
    Thanks for your help.

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