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Toronto’s Downsview Hangars Face Immediate Demolition by Department of National Defence

Ottawa – January 4, 2010 - Demolition is scheduled to resume today on the historic Downsview Hangars (Buildings 55 and 58) at former CFB Downsview air base in Toronto, Ontario. Constructed in 1943, these structures were designated as heritage buildings by the federal government in 1992 for the role they played in Canadian aircraft production during the Second World War. The hangars are owned by the Department of National Defence (DND).

There is strong private sector interest in developing these buildings. Mr. Paul Oberman, President and CEO of Woodcliffe Corporation has been working tirelessly to find a solution that could both meet the needs of DND and save the historic Downsview hangars, including a land exchange negotiated with Mr. Tony Genco, CEO of Parc Downsview Park. On December 24th, DND offered a short stay of demolition. Now, DND has taken the position that they are not interested in considering any proposals and are not responding to inquiries.

While some demolition has already been done on the hangars, their potential for redevelopment remains intact. DND still has the opportunity to allow the private sector to recycle and adapt these buildings rather than sending them to landfill.

HCF calls on Defence Minister Peter MacKay to delay demolition and allow interested parties to finalize their adaptive reuse and land exchange proposal.

For further information: Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications,, Cell: 613-797-7206 or Chris Wiebe, Officer, Heritage Policy & Government Relations, 613-237-1066 ex 227.