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Abandoned property once played a role in the development of the Avro Arrow

April 2019

Outside the Village of Nobel, just north of Parry Sound, Ontario, past some rusting fencing, in the middle of two fields separated by Nobel Road, lies the ruins of the Orenda Engines Test Facility.

Orenda Engines was a subsidiary of A.V. Roe Canada, the aerospace giant who designed and built Canada’s infamous jet-fighter, the CF-105 Avro Arrow. The Nobel test facility was where Orenda conducted tests on the Iroquois Engine, the Canadian designed and built engine that was meant to power the supersonic jet-fighter.  Had Arrow 206 flown, it would have been powered by the Iroquois.

The test facility opened in 1946, taking over the facilities used by Defence Industries for ammunition production during World War II and British Cordite before that.

The facility was also used as the test facility for the Chinook helicopter.

At its height, 125 employees worked at the facility, spread out over the 13 acre property.

The Orenda Test Facility was shut down in 1959, when the Avro Arrow program was shut down and the site abandoned.

All that remains of this once important test facility are building foundations and the foundations for the test beds, slowly being consumed by vegetation.

Sources: http://angelsoftheunderground.ca/buildings/orenda/index.html

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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