AVRO Canada
AVRO Canada C-102 Jetliner
AVRO Canada CF-100 Canuck
AVRO Canada CF-105 Arrow
Other Avro Canada Aircraft
Avro and Orenda Collectibles
AvroLand's Free Downloads
Avro Related Events
Master Links Page
Other Avro Projects
The people behind the aircraft and engines
The Places Page
AvroLand Site Info
The suppliers
The Wishlist Page

Dedicated to the people and projects of AVRO Canada & Orenda Engines Limited

The Avro Hangars

Page 5 of Mike's log


13 August 2004 4:58am (CDT)

The "Jaws of Death". Epilogue

Well, after much deliberate avoidance, the inevitable finally happened on August 7, 2004 at approximately 1400hrs when I was showing my friend and in this instance, my driver, Mr. Jason S. Eldridge the locations of some Avro heritage areas in Malton.

The "inevitable" came in the form of the drive that took us right past the former A. V. Roe Canada site. All that remains south of the railway tracks is one single solitary off-white painted building adjacent to Airport Road that still seems to be utilized as some type of storage facility. The rest of the Avro site has been reduced to several huge piles of red bricks, concrete and other assorted debris. Lying on the ground beside what was once the fence that divided the south parking lot from the manufacturing bays of Avro is the faded red and white smokestack from the steam generating plant and a peculiar looking pale green metal box that is about 10' x 10' x 20' long that I can only assume may too have come from the steam generating plant that was adjacent to Bay 1. For those of you who may not have been familiar with the Avro site, Bay 1 was the manufacturing area where the famous CF-105 Avro Arrow was born. It was also where the Avro Arrow met its demise in the hands of a thoughtless Canadian government in what has become known as the "greatest act of vandalism in Canadian history.

On that fateful cold winter day in 1959, with one foul swoop of a pen, John Diefenbaker, then Prime Minister of Canada, destroyed the Arrow, destroyed the dream, crushed the lives of 14,000 Avro and Orenda people, decimated the thriving town of Malton, Ontario and put another 31,000 employees who supplied parts to Avro out of work too. Many employees and their families simply walked away from their homes unable to pay the mortgages while others were quickly scooped up by American companies' desperate to acquire the brilliant engineers and trades people who were part of A. V. Roe Canada. Some employees however, like Jim Floyd returned to their homeland to work on the SST (Concorde) project with a government that wanted to see supersonic transport have a future in aviation, not destroy it.

At the beginning of 2004, we still had our memories of opportunities lost with the CF-105 Avro Arrow and before that, the Avro C-102 Jetliner as we could still visit the site where there were it all took place. Unfortunately however, that too became a distant memory when the GTAA and Boeing Toronto gave the destruction order (yes, another one), this time to Murray Demolition and A. V. Roe Canada came crashing down. All that remains from the "Jaws of Death" now is debris, dust and our memories.

Michael J. Deschamps, Freelance Writer.