Deal reached to restore historic ‘Terminal A’ at Billy Bishop Airport

WATCH ABOVE: A new deal has been reached to restore and re-open the ‘Terminal A’ building at Billy Bishop Airport. Mark McAllister reports.

TORONTO – The Toronto Port Authority has struck a deal with a group of private investors to restore and re-open the historic Terminal A building at Billy Bishop Airport.

The project will see the building moved slightly east on the existing airport property towards Hanlan’s Point, and the terminal restored as a restaurant and public event space.

Geoffrey Wilson, President and CEO of Toronto Port Authority, said he was pleased to give the building a new lease on life.

May 24, 1957: Aerial view of the Island Airport and Terminal Building, and established “Island Tower” equipped with a radio. Toronto Port Authority

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“We wanted to save the building and began looking for ideas and opportunities to put the building back into service, ideally as a public building for the waterfront community,” he said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to have now reached an agreement in principle to restore the building and create a space that can be enjoyed by private aviators, boaters and the general public alike.”

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A group of television personalities that include Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe will be involved with designing the event space, while celebrity chef Lynn Crawford of Top Chef Canada  fame and Lora Kirk of Iron Chef America will develop the venue’s food service and event management.

July 1, 1964: American Airways U.S. Mail Plane-Vintage Ford Tri-motor warms up its engines in front of the Island Airport Terminal Building (Terminal A). Toronto Port Authority

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said the agreement is important towards restoring a key part of Toronto’s aviation heritage.

“We all know Toronto has a rich architectural history. The buildings and structures of our city tells a story, a successful story of Toronto, and in this particular case Toronto’s aviation heritage through this restoration,” Kelly told reporters.

“Today the airport more than ever serves as a vital transportation hub in Toronto. Not only does Billy Bishop provide a convenient entry point to the city it is also an important part of our diverse economy.”

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Built in 1939, Terminal A was Billy Bishop Airport’s original terminal and prior to the new terminal that opened in 2010, Terminal A was the central hub for passengers, baggage handling, and air traffic control.

*With files from Mark McAllister

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