Canadian Wings


Aviation affects every part of our lives, by providing transportation of mail, goods and people. It started in Canada one hundred years ago, when on February 23, 1909, J.A.D. McCurdy, a member of the Aerial Experiment Association (A.E.A.), rose from the ice in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, aboard the Silver Dart, achieving the first controlled powered flight in Canada. Discover even more of the rich aeronautical heritage established in this country since this first historic flight.

An Overview

This new exhibition, Canadian Wings: A Remarkable Century of Flight was launched by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada on February 23 2009. In her opening remarks, Her Excellency spoke eloquently about both the event in Baddeck one hundred years ago and the enormous impact of aviation on the development of Canada.

The exhibition features new galleries which have been added to complement the finest aviation collection in Canada. They have been designed to give an appreciation of the significance of aviation for Canadians through the past one hundred years. Interactive displays, interpretive materials as well as small artefacts and models will now contribute to an enriched visitor experience.

The Galleries

Getting Into the Air: 1902-1918 is a tribute to the earliest days of aviation and examines the “Wonderful World of Flying Machines”, “Understanding Flight”, and the impressive aviation innovations developed during the course of the First World War.

Tying the Country Together: 1919-1938 explores how powered flight connected Canada and Canadians in entirely new ways. Visitors will undoubtedly take pride in the truly Canadian concept of bush flying and this period of ‘firsts’ which included ground breaking flights that inspired the imagination and cemented aviation in our collective consciousness.

Industry and War: 1939-1945 demonstrates the Second World War’s role as a catalyst for growth in all segments of aviation. During this relatively short period of time, a rapid pace of innovation and change took place that included the emergence of a Canadian aircraft manufacturing industry and the establishment of the impressive British Commonwealth Air Training Plan which trained over 130 000 airmen for service overseas.

Shrinking the World: 1946 to Present illustrates a period of growth in commercial aviation that is represented by aircraft such as the Douglas DC-3 and the Bombardier Challenger. The emergence of the airline industry has served Canadians in the remote North as well as urban areas, and has brought new Canadians from around the world to their new homes in this country.

Opening hours of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Regular schedule: Wednesday to Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays except statutory and school holidays.
Closed Christmas Day. Open New Year’s Day.
Aviation and Rockcliffe Parkways.