A Second World War Lancaster bomber currently in storage in southern Ontario could soon be undergoing restoration in Victoria, B.C. over the wishes of a Toronto group that wants to see it remain in the GTA. City of Toronto staff are recommending Lancaster FM104, which is owned by the city, be donated to the B.C. Aviation Museum at Victoria International Airport for restoration and display. The donation “should assure the aircraft’s long-term preservation and yield substantial public benefits through a novel approach to restoring and interpreting the Lancaster,” the staff report says. It also says the current storage is costing taxpayers $25,000 and there is no budget to restore the aircraft. A local group that wants to see the aircraft, which was built in Malton, displayed in Toronto is protesting the move.
Dan Grant, who heads up the group, is adamant the aircraft remain in Toronto. “I just cannot see that airplane being anywhere else,” he told the Toronto Star. The aircraft was built in 1944 and remained in service with the RCAF until 1964 as a long-range patrol and search and rescue aircraft. It was on display at Toronto’s Coronation Park and later moved to the Toronto Aerospace Museum at Downsview Park. The museum closed in 2011 after eviction by the Crown corporation that administers the land.