Centennial College has formally opened its Downsview Campus Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at the former site of de Havilland Canada’s pioneering facilities in the heart of Toronto. Although students have been attending classes and pulling wrenches at the facility since January, the official opening happened April 27. “The four-acre campus is the new home of Centennial’s aerospace technology programs located on the historic site of de Havilland of Canada, an indelible part of Canada’s aviation heritage,” the college said in a news release. “The $72-million project repurposes the de Havilland building with selective demolition and new construction to create 12,700 square metres of instruction space, including classrooms, labs and workshops, two aircraft hangars, offices, a library and food service under one roof.”
The facility allows Centennial College to triple enrolment in its various aerospace programs to 900 students to help fill the huge demand for aircraft technicians and other skilled aerospace workers. Bombardier, the former owner of Downsview, donated a CRJ200 to the college for instructional purposes. It’s the first step toward creating an aerospace hub on the hallowed ground. The $72 million project got $25.8 million from the Ontario government and $18.4 million from the federal government.