For those fascinated by history and airplanes there's a lot to catch the eye at the
Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum located at the John C Munro Hamilton International Airport in Hamilton. The museum is housed in a two football field-sized hangar that sits at the edge of the airport.
64 year old, David Roher, Chief Executive Officer of the museum (He's also a retired military pilot) told me, ""the hangar was opened in 1996 and has 110,000 square feet filled with restored aircraft, many flown on a regular basis. The museum is in my blood now. It's my watch now and I realize how lucky I am.""
The star of the exhibition is the 1944 Avro Lancaster Bomber built in Toronto. There were about 7,200 Lancasters built during the war, and it's one of only two remaining that still fly (the other is in England). Last year, it flew to England to join up with the other Lancaster to take place in the
74th anniversary of
Battle of Britain ceremony which took place on September 15th.
When you visit, you will see dedicated volunteers working on restoring several World War Two and Cold War aircrafts. The museum has about 1,900 volunteers with an average of 300 of them spending three days a week at the museum performing various tasks.
You can test your skills at interactive displays or climb into the cockpit of a real jetfighter, the CF-100. There are also four simulators that you can climb into and hear actual transmissions from the Hamilton International Airport.
Before I left, I spent time in the Aviation Gift Shop. There's lots of memorabilia with a variety of books, model airplane kits, and DVD's. The aviation themed clothing is unique and reasonably priced.
Parking is free and the museum is fully accessible to a wheelchair user. Adults 18-64-$12.00, seniors and students $11.00, youth 6-12 years $8.00. The Museum is open every day from 9 am until 5 pm.
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton
Canada AM - Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
George Bailey contributes to Sun Media's 43 paid-circulation newspapers across Canada as well as numerous magazines. George has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, Canada AM, The Discovery Channel, and Live with Regis and Cathy Lee. He has published five books on Niagara Falls.