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Victory Village – a neighbourhood with a historic connection to Canada’s aviation industry

October 2019

Victory Village is a residential neighbourhood in Mississauga, Ontario, with a historic connection to Canada’s aviation industry.

Situated in the former Village of Malton, next to Toronto Pearson International Airport, the neighbourhood had its beginnings during World War II, when Canada played a vital role in aircraft production for the war effort.

In late 1942, the Canadian government expropriated farm land from Fred Codlin in order to build 200 houses for workers for the nearby Victory Aircraft production plant at the Malton Airport, a massive complex of several large buildings and hangar-like structures over a 113 acre property that had been taken over from National Steel Car.

All the homes were built to a standard government design, a design that would be used in the post-war years for housing on military bases across Canada, colloquially known as Permanent Married Quarters (PMQs). The centre of the “village” was the community centre, named Victory Community Hall.

The Malton Airport had also served as the home of No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School, a pilot training school formed under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan 1940 – 1942.

Victory Aircraft Limited was formed in November 1942 by “Minister of Everything” C.D. Howe, the federal Minister of Munitions and Supply. After taking over the National Steel Car plant in Malton, Victory Aircraft was tasked with manufacturing aircraft for the war, including the Avro Lancaster and Lincoln heavy bombers, the Avro Anson, a twin-engine bomber/trainer and the Avro Lancastrian and York, both four-engine transport aircraft.

J.P. Bickell, one of Howe’s “Dollar-a-year” men was appointed as president and chairman of the board.

After the war, Victory Aircraft was dissolved and its assets, including their production plant, were taken over by the Hawker Siddeley Group, a British company involved in aviation production. Hawker Siddeley then formed A.V. Roe Canada Limited, a subsidiary of their A.V. Roe Limited company in the UK, at the former Victory plant.

Operating as Avro Canada Limited, it was at A.V. Roe Canada’s Malton plant that the Avro Jetliner, the CF-100 “Canuck” and the legendary CF-105 “Avro Arrow” all-weather jet interceptors were developed and produced.

Today, the A.V. Roe plant is gone, the last buildings demolished in 2005, as is A.V.Roe Canada itself, which was dissolved in 1962 by Hawker Siddeley in the wake of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow.

The Malton plant was transferred to another Canadian aviation company and Hawker Siddeley subsidiary, deHavilland Canada, in 1962, but was later taken over by Boeing.

The only remnant of the once vast A.V. Roe empire is Magellan Aerospace, who took over A.V. Roe subsidiary Orenda Engines, located on Derry Road.

The homes that make up Victory Village are one of the few reminders of the Canada’s once important aircraft production area, and is currently listed on the City’s Heritage Register.

Street names in the “village'” make reference to the area’s wartime past, such as Victory Crescent, McNaughton Avenue (reference to General Andrew McNaughton), Churchill Ave (reference to Sir Winston Churchill), Lancaster Avenue, Merritt Avenue and Anson Avenue (to the west of Victory Village).

A CF-100 Canuck, mounted on a pedestal in Paul Coffey Park on Derry Road, just east of the former A.V. Roe property, also serves as a monument to the area’s past glory. Some could also say it serves as a monument to a failed dream: the dominance of Avro Canada in the aviation industry.

https://www.insauga.com/the-avro-arrow-built-and-died-in-mississauga, https://heritagemississauga.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malton,_Mississauga#Victory_Village, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Canada, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada

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.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/victory-village-a-neighbourhood-with-a-historic-connection-to-canadas-aviation-industry/

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