The City of Oshawa is pleased to announce the South Field Heritage Conservation District at the Oshawa Executive Airport and the completion of renovations to the historic Canteen Building.
The City-owned South Field at the Oshawa Executive Airport has been recognized by City Council as a Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act. This is the City’s first Heritage Conservation District. The heritage district designation will assist in the protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage values of the district through the adoption of a Heritage Conservation District Plan, containing policies and guidelines for conservation, protection and enhancement of the area’s special character.
The South Field Heritage Conservation District includes the former Canteen and Stores Buildings, the No. 10 Building (home to the No. 420 Wing) and Airmen’s Park.
The former Canteen and Stores Buildings and the No. 10 Building all operated as part of the No. 20 Elementary Flight Training School (E.F.T.S.) during World War II. The Canteen Building served as the canteen for the No. 20 E.F.T.S. from 1941 to 1947, after which it was converted into a classroom and office space for the Ontario Regiment.
The $300,000 restoration to the Canteen Building was completed in September 2021. The project included restoration of the existing windows, siding, doors, roof and interior floor, and the rebuilding of the radio wing.
Highlights of the South Field Heritage Conservation District area include:
- The three buildings which display construction methods and materials representative of construction during the Second World War;
- Several plaques, mementos and activities – including the Canadair Mark V Sabre Jet in Airmen’s Park – which have direct associations to Canada’s military and aeronautical history, in particular Canada’s contribution to the war effort through the training of Allied forces at the No. 20 E.T.F.S.; and,
- An important contextual display of the Oshawa Executive Airport’s illustrious history and a historical snapshot of a different period in Oshawa’s history.
Heritage Oshawa, a City Advisory Committee, nominates candidate properties for heritage designation for Council’s consideration. Heritage Oshawa advises Council on matters relating to the conservation, education and promotion of Oshawa’s cultural heritage resources. For more information, visit the Heritage Oshawa webpage or Committees of Council webpage.
“It is with great pride that we celebrate the designation of the South Field Heritage Conservation District, a first for Oshawa,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “In addition to being structures of historical significance, these buildings symbolize our city’s resilience and strength during our most challenging moments in time. This designation honours those who bravely answered the call to duty for their country and their tremendous commitment to service.”
“The South Field Heritage Conservation District opens a window into Oshawa’s rich history during the Second World War when the Oshawa Executive Airport and surrounding lands served as a key training ground for Allied pilots,” said Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, Ward 2 Regional and City Councillor. “Through this designation, we pay tribute to our military past by preserving this area for future generations to come.”
“I am so proud that our City is recognizing and celebrating the contribution of so many Canadian citizens and their allies who served during WWII by the collective efforts of so many to designate our first Heritage Conservation District. This part of history today honours all who volunteered ‘for the duration of the hostilities’ and came from all over for aeronautical training,” said Councillor Jane Hurst, Ward 2 City Councillor and Council Representative, Heritage Oshawa. “I am quite sure that if the walls could talk in their Canteen we would each learn a lot and I trust they would be honoured knowing that their story will continue educating today’s residents and visitors.”
“Heritage Oshawa is very pleased that our many efforts over the years of supporting heritage designation for the South Field of the Oshawa Executive Airport has culminated in the designation of a Heritage Conservation District,” said Diane Stephen, Chair, Heritage Oshawa. “We want to acknowledge the excellent work by Oshawa Planning Staff in preparing both the District Study and District Plan, and thank City Council for this important recognition, as well as for their support of the restoration of the former Canteen Building.”