Explore Behind-the-Scenes at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport during Doors Open Toronto

Toronto (May 21, 2023) – On Saturday, May 25 Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will once again open its doors as part of Doors Open Toronto 2024. Throughout the day, thousands of people are expected to visit Billy Bishop Airport as part of the annual city-wide event.
This year’s theme – Hidden Histories– is about telling the story of Toronto through its many pasts and voices. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, and this theme could not be better suited for the occasion. Since opening in 1939, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has served as an important commercial aviation centre connecting Toronto to the world; a training ground for both the Royal Canadian and Royal Norwegian Air Forces during World War II; a hub for General Aviation and life-saving emergency Medevac services; and as a key driver of Toronto’s economy. With 85 years of flight and history, what better location to learn and explore about the city’s hidden histories?
As part of Doors Open 2024, visitors will have a unique opportunity to explore the airport’s buildings and facilities, go behind-the-scenes of airport operations and learn more about its long and storied history operating on Toronto’s Waterfront.
Airport staff and partners will be onsite to answer questions and provide visitors with a unique glimpse of the airport, including:
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s award-winning underwater pedestrian tunnel, the island atrium and mainland pavilion, as well as a staging area to view the airport’s runway operations and aircraft up close;
  • Public artwork on display, including the granite sculpture Maanjidowin: The Gathering created in collaboration with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and Project T-Dot, the airport’s largest art installation;
  • The airport’s fire hall and maintenance facility, which will give kids of all ages the opportunity to explore the airport’s state-of-the-art safety vehicles;
  • Taking the scenic route aboard the cleaner, greener and quieter Marilyn Bell ferry, the first all-electric ferry in Canada;
  • Viewing of PortsToronto’s tugboat, the Iron Guppy, which is responsible for ice breaking in the Western Gap in the winter months and harbour clean-up in the summer;
  • Taking in the incredible views of Toronto’s harbour, along our dock wall seating area along the Western Gap;
  • A historical exhibit featuring memorabilia from WWI hero Billy Bishop including a full-size model of the Nieuport 17 aircraft flown by Bishop, a life-size bronze sculpture of Bishop’s first meeting with fellow flying ace William Barker, and an original First World War-era Curtiss JN-4 Canuck biplane propeller;
  • Airport partners and tenants, such as Air Canada, Porter Airlines, Nieuport Aviation, Ornge, and Heli Tours, among others, who will host displays and showcase the full range of services that the airport provides;
  • Take a peek behind the scenes at a working airport maintenance hangar with Porter Airlines, and get an up close and personal look at a De Havilland Dash 8-Q400 aircraft;
  • Dance along to musical performances and DJ sets;
  • A live broadcast by Indie88 with Street Team activations and giveaways; and,
  • Exciting activations to tie in with the theme “Hidden Histories”.
Learn more about our exhibitors and view a map of the event on our website.
About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)
Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 100 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important international gateway that will offer US Preclearance in 2025. The airport is a key driver to Toronto’s economy, generating more than $2.1 billion in total economic output and supporting 4,450 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport’s operations. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has served its community for 85 years from its iconic location on the Toronto waterfront, where it facilitates healthcare for Ontarians by providing a base for medevac services connected to local hospitals. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is committed to achieving its vision of cleaner, greener and quieter operations, and is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency, and customer service, having won a host of passenger-driven and environmental achievement awards. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto.
About Doors Open Toronto
Each May, Doors Open Toronto invites the public to explore the city’s most-loved buildings and sites, free of charge. The event provides rare access to buildings that are not usually open to the public and free access to sites that would usually charge an admission fee. Since its inception in 2000, it has attracted more than two million visits to nearly 700 unique locations and remains the largest event of its kind in Canada. Doors Open Toronto is dedicated to celebrating built heritage, architecture and design. It is produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the broader community.
Media Contact:
Jessica Pellerin
Senior Manager, Communications
Cell: (647) 298-0585
E-mail: jpellerin@portstoronto.com