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Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangars

69 Church Street, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/02/25

Waterfront view; City of Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangar, 2005
Looking south-east from corner of Bay and Pim Streets; City of Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangar, 2005
View from outside of original hangar looking at logo painted above roll-up hangar doors; City of Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangar, 2005

Other Name(s)

Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangars
Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre
Bushplane Museum

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1924/01/01 to 1947/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/06/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangars, built in 1924-25 and in 1947, are prominently located on the north shore of the St. Mary's River between Pim and Church Streets in Sault Ste. Marie. The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre is currently located in the former hangers.

The Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangars have been recognized for their heritage value by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, By-law 2002-38.

Heritage Value

The Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangars are of heritage value because of their association with significant provincial government initiatives and departments and as an example of innovative engineering technology and hangar design.

The hangars are associated with the development of the Ontario Provincial Air Service, headquartered at the Sault Ste. Marie hangars from 1924 to 1991, and the Ontario Department of Lands and Forest. These organizations established innovative techniques in forest fire detection and prevention, aerial forest survey, planting and forest management. This pioneering work was not only important locally but earned Sault Ste. Marie an international reputation in forest management.

The design of the hangars was a departure from World War I hangar construction and has served as a prototype for subsequent hangars. This design also represents advances in the design of large specialized industrial structures. The interior of the hangars were designed to provide large unencumbered spaces that permitted the manoeuvring of aircraft taken from the water for storage and maintenance.

Sources: Sault Ste. Marie Designation By-law 2003-38; Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangars Designation Report; Heritage Assessment of the Former Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Complex, Ontario Realty Corporation, October, 2000 (David Cumming).

Character-Defining Elements

Key character defining elements of the hangar complex that reflect its use by the Ontario Provincial Air Service include:
-the close proximity and orientation of the hangars towards the St. Mary's river
-the Ontario Provincial Air Service logo painted above the roll-up hangar doors

Key character defining elements of the 1924-25 hangar that reflect the innovative engineering technology and design of the hangars include:
- the original riveted steel roof trusses and supporting columns
- the original roll-up hangar doors with retractable columns
- the interior clay tiles
- the original landscaping, including a sandstone retaining wall
- the pillar with an ornamental light fixture

Key character defining elements of the 1947 hangar that reflect the innovative engineering technology and design of the hangars include:
- the original steel trusses and supporting column
- the four sliding doors
- the large multi-paned windows contained in two stories between piers, which provided lighting for the interior

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Ontario

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date

2002/02/25

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
People and the Environment
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Science

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum

Historic

Transport-Air
Air Transport Facility

Architect / Designer

Ontario Provincial Air Service

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Community Services Department, Recreation and Culture Division, City of Sault Ste. Marie

Cross-Reference to Collection

Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre; Sault Ste. Marie Museum; Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Archives

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

HPON05-0530

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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