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Long-closed airport in King Township disappears from the landscape

August 2021

The King City Airport was a small, private, general aviation airport once served King Township, just north of Toronto, Ontario. Dating back to the 1950s, it was on the east side of Highway 400, along the King-Vaughan Town Line.

Although it closed over four decades ago, the subsequent owner, K.J. Beamish Construction, retained the hangar and control tower for their use. All that had been missing for all those years were the airplanes.

King City was a busy airport, with facilities that included a hangar, control tower, and a single, 1000 foot paved runway, providing a base of operations for private citizens and commercial flight operations.

Seneca College ran their introductory ground school flying courses at the airport, and Adele Fogle, president of Neiltown Air Ltd., ran her flying school at the King City Airport from 1982, until relocating to the Maple Airport in 1984.

One very notorious claim to fame for the King City Airport occurred in 1985.

On 7 March 1985, a Cessna 206 Skywagon crashed in a field near the airport. Abandoned by the pilot, the plane was found the next day by police responding to its emergency transmitter. The weather the previous day had been foggy, suggesting that the pilot had tried to land a King City.

The subsequent investigation into the crash eventually led to the dismantling of hashish smuggling ring and the arrest of 23 people.

The King City Airport closed in 1986.

K.J. Beamish Construction bought the airport land, using the old hangar and control tower for storage and office space. A large production building and their primary office space were built on either side of the hangar.

CRH Canada bought out Beamish in 2017, assuming control of its operations and property, including the former King City Airport property, which was turned over to its subsidiary, Dufferin Aggregates.

Today, very little remains of the airport. The hangar and the control tower were demolished in early 2021. Although the runway can still be distinguished from the air, it doesn’t look much like a runway from the ground. All markings were removed long ago.

Sources: https://beamishconstruction.com/company, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_City_Airport, http://www.king.ca/Pages/default.aspx, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King,_Ontario, http://kingsentinel.com, https://www.yorkregion.com/king-on, http://www.trha.ca/trha/history/stations-2/king-city-station, http://kingsentinel.com, https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-TSPA_0000211F&R=DC-TSPA_0000211F&searchPageType=vrlhttps://www.dufferinaggregates.com/2017/05/24/kjbeamish, various Toronto Star articles from 1984-1988.

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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