Hamilton museum offers help to Toronto’s historic Lancaster

Toronto’s historic Avro Lancaster bomber could receive some assistance from Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) in Hamilton, Ont., custodian and operator of North America’s last and only flying Lancaster.

Avro Lancaster bomber C-GVRA, from Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, flies over Toronto. CWHM Photo

The Toronto Lancaster has been in storage for many years and the City recently decided to find a new suitable home to display and restore the large aircraft.

The Toronto economic development committee is now recommending the Lancaster be given to a museum in British Columbia.

This recommendation is not sitting well with many Torontonians, who believe this recommendation was based primarily on financial justification that ignores the historical and social significance of this aircraft to the City of Toronto.

“This aircraft was manufactured in Toronto by Torontonians at a desperate time when [the Second World War] threatened the nation and democracy,” said CWHM in a statement.

“Few Canadian families from the 1940s were spared losses from this conflict. The City of Toronto Lancaster is a testimony to the determination of Torontonians to support the national interests of the time.”


David G. Rohrer, president and CEO (and current Lancaster pilot) of CWHM in Hamilton, Ont., believes the Lancaster should remain in the Toronto area to represent the 10,000 Toronto workers who built the 430 Lancasters.

“Now that the Toronto bid was rejected, we are now proposing to the City of Toronto to restore the Lancaster to running taxiable condition over a 10 year restoration process,” said Rohrer.

“After evaluation of the project, perhaps restoration back to flying condition could also be considered.”


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