Description of Historic Place
Hangar 81 is a large and imposing rectangular, brick building with a flat roof and sheds on both sides of the central, two-storey hangar space. The building features large, rectangular, fixed, multi-pane windows on all sides, and two large sliding aircraft doors with multi-pane windows that run the entire length of the west wall. Hangar 81 is located directly south of the air base tarmac, and along with the four other hangars, forms part of the site that is the demarcation line between the aircraft landing strips and the auxiliary buildings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Hangar 81 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Hangar 81 is associated with the national historic theme of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) for World War II. The hangar is a very good example of air force wartime training in Canada, initially foreseen as Canada’s greatest wartime contribution of World War II. The establishment of the air station, of which the hangar is the most important part, had a positive economic impact on the surrounding area of Prince Edward County, which saw an increase in employment and in the provision of basic goods and services.
Hangar 81 is a good example of the industrial aesthetic used in military hangars. The hangar is rectangular in shape with a flat roof, two large sliding doors, and large window blocks, which run the entire length of the wall thus allowing a great deal of light into the interior. A simple, functional form with distinctive massing consisting of a high central section and flanking lower workshop areas, fair proportion and an imposing scale are also characteristics of the hangar. The hangar incorporates competent materials on the exterior such as speed tile and interior trusses made of Douglas Fir and steel split-ring connectors to increase the functionality of the hangar.
Hangar 81 reinforces the air force training setting and taken as part of a group, it reinforces the military character of the station. The relationship of the hangars and the flying field is still relatively intact.
Sources: Judith Dufresne, Hangars 77, 78, 79, 80, 81 and 82, 8 Wing Trenton, Mountain View, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 01-070; Hangar No.5, 8 Wing Trenton, Mountain View, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 01-070.
The character-defining elements of the Hangar 81 should be respected.
Its role as an illustration of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) as exhibited in:
- its conformity to typical World War II military hangar design.
The functional industrial aesthetic used in military hangars as manifested in:
- its distinctive massing as expressed by its high central space and lower workshop areas;
- its imposing scale;
- the large window blocks that allow a great of light into the interior;
- the Warren trusses and split-ring connectors which increase the building’s functionality;
- the functional sliding hangar doors assembled in panels.
The manner in which it reinforces the air force training setting as evidenced in:
- its surviving site relationships with the adjacent airfield;
- its relationship with the four remaining hangars;
- its imposing scale at the training field which is visible to those passing on Highway 62.