Expedition Launched to Recover Mississauga's Avro Arrow

The Avro Arrow was one of the great inventions of Canadian aviation history. Not only was the sleek jet interceptor the first prototype of its kind, it had the potential to propel Canada to the forefront of military aviation, establishing this country as an industry leader. The Arrow had a special relationship to Mississauga, as it was developed in Malton during the 1950s. The program was cancelled under then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1959, which resulted in more than 30,000 employees losing their jobs.

The little reminders of Malton’s history of being on that technological forefront today is the old CF100 monument (that could be removed) and the old entrance gate (removed since at least 2016) you pass on Airport Road as it intersects with the railway overpass. Even the Malton Business Improvement Area (BIA) uses a picture of an airplane incorporated into its logo as a nod to that past, and Malton’s vicinity to Pearson International. The Avro Arrow itself has been lost in the winds of history.

However, recently there has been renewed interest in the Avro Arrow. An announcement was made that, after 60 years, there will be a mission to find and bring the model planes to a home at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa and the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario. This expedition will be led by John Burzynski, the president and CEO of Osisko Mining.

Burzynski said the idea has been a work in progress for the last year and a half and his group has recently acquired all the necessary permits to conduct the search and possible recovery. The mission will begin this week, a collaborative effort by several private companies in assistance with the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Military Institute.

Burzynski also stated, “As professional explorers in the mining business, we initiated this program about a year ago with the idea of bringing back a piece of lost Canadian history to the Canadian public. As individuals, as a company, as a group, and with our partners and our project participants in this search effort, we all have the same goal in mind: to find and return these beautiful pieces of Canadian technology to the public eye, during this anniversary year of our incredible country. Like Avro, our own corporate group was built on dreams, and this project is a proud reminder of what we as Canadians have done, what we Canadians do, and what we Canadians can do.”

You can read Osisko’s full statement to the press here.

Some of you may be skeptical that they would actually find parts of the missing Arrow. But if you need some reassurance that the expedition could actually succeed, CBC reports that this crew has been using equipment that assisted in the successful Franklin Expedition in 2016, a ship that was lost in the icy Arctic waters during the 19th century that many had said could never been found again.

Since at the time of the Avro Arrow’s destruction and disposal no media were allowed access to any of those activities, there are several theories hypothesized as to where the location of the remains actually are. But hopefully, this expedition will succeed in finding some, if not all, of the long lost Avro Arrow, an iconic relic of Mississauga and Canadian history.

Hopefully the expedition team can find the Avro Arrow before the end of this year, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Photo courtesy of the Canadian Encyclopedia

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