Avro Arrow Canada Orenda Engines Factory

avro arrow magellan aerospace building

Exploring the Former Avro Arrow Canada and Orenda Engines Factory

This large vacant industrial building was the final piece of Canadian history with direct ties to the AVRO Arrow, Canada’s first supersonic aircraft, still believed to have been years ahead of its time.

The original Avro Arrow plant was located at the corner of Airport Road and Derry Road in Mississauga, Ontario on land that is now a part of Pearson International Airport.

If I am correct in my history (which I may not be) Alliott Verdon Roe was a British aircraft pioneer and manufacturer who founded A.V. Roe and Company British aircraft manufacturer.

In 1944 it was determined that it was of “utmost importance to Canada” the establishment of a Canadian aircraft industry, and UK-based A.V. Roe had also established in 1944 a company searching for post-war opportunities.

In 1945, the UK-based Hawker Siddeley Group purchased Victory Aircraft from the Canadian government, creating A.V. Roe Canada Ltd. as the wholly owned Canadian branch of its aircraft manufacturing subsidiary, UK-based A.V. Roe and Company.

Avro Canada began operations in the former Victory plant. Avro Aircraft (Canada) turned to the repair and servicing of a number of Second World War-era aircraft.

Around the same time a company called Turbo Research Ltd., was established to conduct research and cold-weather testing of jet engines for the RCAF during the Second World War.

A.V. Roe Canada Ltd. was restructured in 1954 as a holding company with two aviation subsidiaries: Avro Aircraft Ltd. and Turbo Research LTD (Renamed to Orenda Engines Ltd)., which began operating under these names on 1 January 1955.

Each company’s facilities were located across from each other in a complex at the perimeter of Malton Airport. The total labour force of both aviation companies reached 15,000 in 1958.

This building in the photos below was the Orenda Engines Factory, they produced a number of military jet engines from the 1950s through the 1970s, and were Canada’s primary engine supplier and repair company.

As a part of the massive Avro Arrow project the Orenda Engines Factory developed the PS.13 Iroquois engine to power the CF-105 Avro Arrow supersonic interceptor.

On February 20th, 1959 in a devastating blow to the present and future of Canadian aviation, Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker terminated the highly advanced Avro arrow project and the five completed Arrows were dismantled

The Iroquois program was cancelled, along with the Arrow.
Orenda Engines continued building jet engines, under licence, for the RCAF from Avro and Canadair Aircraft Ltd in the 1960s. In 1962, Orenda was transferred to Hawker Siddeley Canada and continued as a major repair and overhaul business.

Magellan Aerospace was formed in the 1980s, primarily from the assets of the Canadian operations of Fleet Aerospace. Over the next few years Magellan aggressively expanded by purchasing a number of Canadian aerospace companies, including Orenda, which they renamed as Orenda Aerospace, then Magellan Repair, Overhaul & Industrial.

Magellan Aerospace operated out of this historic building until 2018 when they built a brand new state of the art facility on the same land, as the old original 80 year old Avro Canada/Orenda building is obsolete and the land likely highly contaminated.

The original Avro/Orenda factory that sat on the 33 acres of land for over 80 years is now gone and demolished, eliminating any last connections to the history of Avro Canada and it also signals another step in the imminent overhaul of the Toronto airport region landscape.

Inside the Avro Canada Orenda Engines Factory

1 thought on “Avro Arrow Canada Orenda Engines Factory”

  1. Jerrie Legree

    Thank you…this was very cool!
    My Dad worked here during the testing of the Avro Arrow. He was a stationary engineer…looking after the boilers for heating purposes. He was not here long tho. He moved onto American Motors in Brampton. My aunt also worked for Orenda in the offices in Malton.
    Have you ever heard of the legendary tunnels that ran under these buildings? Employees who knew about these tunnels were not to talk about them. Google
    The Secret Tunnels of Orenda. Quite a story. It is a chapter of the article Canadian Aerospace.

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