North Bay, ON – Sept. 7, 2022 – A new interpretive Heritage Site Plaque detailing the history of both the North Bay Jack Garland Airport and Canadian Forces Base North Bay was unveiled today.
“Throughout their history, the airport and CFB North Bay have played a vital role in shaping North Bay. This plaque will serve as a reminder of the important part both places have had in the history of the community,” said Heritage Committee Chair Peter Handley.
Part of the Municipal Heritage Committee’s Historic Site Recognition Project, the plaque describes the early origins of aviation infrastructure in North Bay, beginning with the establishment of a commercial seaplane station on Trout Lake in 1923, followed by the construction of a Trans Canada Airline airport in 1938.
The plaque also chronicles how an auxiliary training base established in North Bay in 1942 by the Royal Air Force Ferry Command evolved into an air-defense, all-weather, fighter base that housed some 2,200 military and civilian employees during its peak. This includes the opening in 1962 of the underground SAGE complex and its role as part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
“22 Wing/CFB North Bay has enjoyed a great relationship with the airport and the City of North Bay since construction of RCAF Station North Bay began in 1951. For over 70 years, we have seen many changes from being a fighter base, to construction and use of the SAGE underground complex, and now even including a space surveillance mission,” said Colonel Richard Jolette, Commander 22 Wing/Canadian Forces North Bay and the Canadian Air Defence Sector. “What hasn’t changed is the strong support from the City of North Bay, and a dedicated partnership with the airport.”
Established in 1996, the Municipal Heritage Committee’s Historic Site Recognition Project recognizes properties that have architectural and/or historical characteristics and promotes local heritage.