November is Aviation History Month
For Aviation History Month, PortsToronto – owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport – reflects on more than 76 years of flight on Toronto’s waterfront. From the early beginnings of Toronto’s “air harbour” to the completion of Port George VI Island Airport (now Billy Bishop Airport) in 1939, Aviation History Month provides the opportunity to celebrate nearly a century of aviation milestones.
After the conclusion of World War I, celebrated war heroes and flying aces Billy Bishop and William Barker began Bishop-Barker Airways – Toronto’s first scheduled civil air service, located in the Toronto Harbour. In 1929, the city opened up its “air harbour,” which became the primary way of accessing downtown Toronto by air until the completion of Billy Bishop Airport ten years later.
It has been 76 years since the first commercial passenger flight landed at Billy Bishop Airport carrying American bandleader Tommy Dorsey and his swing band. Throughout its history, the airport has served as an important commercial aviation centre, a training ground for both the Royal Canadian and Royal Norwegian Air Forces during World War I, a hub for General Aviation and Medevac services, and as a key driver of Toronto’s economy. Take a moment to look back on the airport’s aviation milestones here.