Forgotten history: Avro Arrow replica sits in disrepair at Pearson airport

By Brandon Rowe

A piece of Canadian history is currently sitting neglected near a hangar at Pearson airport — far out of sight of the thousands of people who move through the hub on any given day.

The CF-105 Canadian fighter jet — also known as the Avro Arrow — was built in the late 1950s to target Soviet spy planes during the Cold War.

The production of the CF-105 was cancelled in February 1958, and all the planes were destroyed — a moment that became known as “Black Friday” in Canadian aviation industry.

There is only one full-sized replica of the Avro Arrow in existence. It was once proudly displayed at the Canadian Air and Space Museum at Downsview Park, but the replica was moved into storage at Pearson after the museum closed in 2012. It now sits in a state of total disrepair.

“What’s happening here now, it’s unspeakable what’s going on,” said Brian Munro, who helped build the replica with the help of close to 700 volunteers.

Munro and many of the volunteers are now calling on the City of Toronto to step in.

CityNews brought the issue to the attention of the mayor, and John Tory says he’s willing to explore options to restore and display the replica.

“The Avro Arrow has taken on almost mythical proportions in Canadian history, and I think the notion that you’d allow one of the last replicas to just collect dust is not acceptable,” he said.

“I can’t make any promises, but I can certainly tell you I’m going to find out who owns it, what the status of it is and see if there is some interest we can create in having it somewhere where it can be seen by people, because it is an important chapter — some people think a very sad one — but a very important chapter in Canadian history.”

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