Bombardier has confirmed that it is looking at selling its Toronto manufacturing and flight test facilities and that it won’t necessarily be selling it as an aviation concern. The company said in a statement issued earlier this week that the review of the Downsview site, where it currently builds business jets and Q400 airliners, is part of its five year turnaround plan undertaken when it was bailed out by the Quebec government in 2016. “Behind this review is the fact that Bombardier currently uses only about 10 per cent of a 375-acre site and bears the entire cost of operating a 7,000-foot runway,” the company said. Bombardier also has private use of that runway and uses it for flight tests and other operations.
Downsview, which has been in operation since it was built by de Havilland in 1939 and it was an RCAF base from 1968 to 1996. Bombardier became co-manager of the site with Crown corporation Parc Downsview Park in 1998. In its statement, Bombardier said the land is prime real estate in housing-short Toronto. “We understand that the property’s unique location, proximity to public transit, major highways, universities and shopping make it an ideal location for employment and other uses, and we will work with all stakeholders throughout our review process.”