supported by Warren Trusses and spanned without support the width of a single hangar. Construction materials depended on what was locally available, or at least readily available. Hangars were constructed of brick or Douglas fir.

Building 51 CFB Trenton is known as Hangar 3. It is a large, rectangular hangar with metal siding. It has a flat roof and both regular and large size doors and windows symmetrically arranged on the facades.


The Trenton Memorial Gates

schools. Some are still around fulfilling their original purpose – aircraft hangars still being used as hangars. Others are museums such as the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum which has four World War Ii buildings, three original to the site and another spitting-image replica of a Motor Transport Building. Still others have active buildings still in use by the Royal Canadian Air Force. Many stations have some acknowledgement, usually by local organizations and individuals, of place and purpose with a monument, plaque or cairn.

This is the case for Canadian Forces Base Trenton (Ontario) which has had its World War II place and purpose acknowledged with a functioning monument - the Trenton Gates. Trenton’s preserved buildings have been paid homage for their pre-World War II, WW II and slightly past WWII heritages. Those buildings are in use today and registered with the Canadian Government as historic sites. We look at the Trenton Gates and Trenton’s National Historic hangars.

To commemorate our country’s great contribution to victory in World War II, through the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and to highlight the smooth collaboration of the Commonwealth countries involved with the `Plan,’ Canada was presented with an impressive set of gates constructed at  RCAF Station Trenton.  Dignitaries from Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia 

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette – 042 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Schools 

Trenton Memorial Gates / Canada Historic Sites

The Mountain View Hangars

came to Trenton on September 30 1949 to bestow this great honor on Canada. The wrought iron gates were dubbed ``The Gates of Freedom.’’ The crests of the four BCATP countries are mounted on each of the four gates.

In return, the RCAF presented silver plaques to attendees from the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, New Zealand Air Force and United States Air Force.

CFB Trenton - Hangar No. 5

Many of the former British Commonwealth Air Training Plan stations have totally disappeared, a handful survive only as long abandoned runways in farmer’s fields.  Perhaps the most extreme example of a  station missing-in-action is No. 38 (Royal Air Force) Service Flying Training School at Estevan Saskatchewan. It was totally wiped from the face of the earth by the open-pit coal mining efforts of the Saskatchewan Power Corporation.

Some stations exist with one, two or three buildings repurposed as machinery sheds, Legion Halls or 

Building 49 is known as Hangar 5, It was built in 1935 and is part of a hangar line located at CFB Trenton. It is a large, rectangular workshop hangar with an exterior clad in a smooth, stucco finish. The building has a flat roof, a stepped roofline on its west elevation and a central parapet on its front. The building has regular and large doors as well as both regular and large size multi-pane windows.

Four British Commonwealth Air Training Plan hangars are located at Mountain View Ontario,

formerly No. 6 Bombing & Gunnery School, and are designated as National Historic Sites. They are now a part of CFB Trenton.

The Mountain View hangars are virtually identical and were built in 1940. Each are a large and  rectangular brick buildings with a flat roof and sheds (lean-tos) on both sides of their central, two-storey hangar space. The buildings feature large, rectangular, fixed, multi-pane windows on all sides, and two large sliding aircraft doors with multi-pane 

 Trenton’s National Historic Hangars
During World War II, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan constructed over 7000 hangars at schools across Canada. All were similar in materials used and design with three characteristics which varied according to the needs for each hangar.

These building varied in size from single to double to double-double hangars of which a single hangar was approximately 80 x 100 feet in size. The second variable was the size and configuration of lean-to structures (sheds) which may have been attached to one or two sides of the hangar. The `lean-to’s’ were approximately 20 feet wide by the length of the hangar with windows and doors in many configurations. While the hangars were primarily used to store aircraft or facilitate aircraft and motor transport repair, the `lean-to’s’ were heated and served many purposes including the provision of administrative space, parts storage, classrooms and mechanical rooms for the hangars. A third variable was the inclusion of a parapet on the corner of some hangars. Most often these parapets were the location of the schools control tower. The hangar’s wide flat roofs were 

windows that run the entire length of the third wall. The hangars are located directly adjacent to the air base tarmac, and together form on site, a demarcation line between the aircraft landing strips and the auxiliary buildings. These building are designated as Hangar 77, Hangar 78, Hangar 80 and Hangar 81. 

Trenton Gates - http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/article-template-standard.page?doc=trenton-gates-commemorate-air-training-plan/itpjxijz

Canada’s Historic Places – Parks Canada - http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/results-resultats.aspx?m=2&Keyword=canadian%20forces%20base%20trenton

http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=1

CFB Trenton - Hangar No. 3


Princess Elizabeth dedicated the gates in October 1951. The gates were rededicated in 2009 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the day the gates were gifted to Canada.


The gates are located in front of Trenton’s headquarters building and parade square.