CFB Rockcliffe

Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe (also CFB Rockcliffe) is a former Canadian Forces Base located in the eastern part of Ottawa, Ontario, now used for Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

It was formerly known as CFB Ottawa North.

CFB Rockcliffe
RCAF Station Ottawa, 1936
OperatorRoyal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
LocationRockcliffe Park, Ontario
Coordinates45°27′37″N 75°38′34″W / 45.46028°N 75.64278°WCoordinates: 45°27′37″N 75°38′34″W / 45.46028°N 75.64278°W

Rockcliffe Air Station

In 1918 the Royal Air Force sought a flying field in the Ottawa area for experimental mail flights. A field behind a military rifle range located on the banks of the Ottawa River in Rockcliffe Park, several kilometres downstream from Ottawa was converted to an airstrip and became known as the Rockcliffe Air Station.

After the Canadian Parliament's 1920 Air Regulations came into effect, the Rockcliffe Air Station was chosen as an ideal site for supporting both an air harbour and a flying field. The new air harbour, or airport, opened later in 1920 as the Ottawa Air Station, and was one of the six original airfields opened across Canada by the new Air Board. Major activities conducted by the Air Board at the Ottawa Air Station included military aerial photography for topographic mapping in Canada, air transportation, and aeronautical experimentation. The airport also served as a major centre for early aircraft testing.

RCAF Station Rockcliffe

In 1922 the civilian components of the Air Board began to consolidate into the Canadian Air Force, which became part of the newly established Department of National Defence the following year and was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1924. Thus the facility gained the second-longest association with the nation's air defence after RCAF Station Borden. After a few name changes, the facility took the name RCAF Station Ottawa in 1936. In 1940, this name would change again to RCAF Station Rockcliffe.

On March 12, 1930, Canadian World War I flying ace William George Barker crashed into the Ottawa River and died during an aerial demonstration over the field. In July 1931, Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh visited the airport during their northern surveying tour.

The airfield's runways were paved in 1939 in preparation for operations during World War II. RCAF Station Rockliffe participated in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and — as the nearest airport to the centre of the capital — was involved in many other kinds of testing, training, and transport operations, including the transport of mail to Europe using B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators. Immediately after the war, in September 1945, RCAF Station Rockcliffe was the site of the first jet aircraft demonstration in Canada.

In approximately 1942 the aerodrome was listed as RCAF Aerodrome - Rockcliffe, Ontario at 45°28′N 75°38′W / 45.467°N 75.633°W with a variation of 14 degrees west and elevation of 175 ft (53 m). Three runways were listed as follows: [1]

Runway Name Length Width Surface
9/27 4,000 ft (1,200 m) 150 ft (46 m) Hard surfaced
4/22 3,500 ft (1,100 m) 150 ft (46 m) Hard surfaced
15/33 2,980 ft (910 m) 150 ft (46 m) Hard surfaced

The plaque to Canada's Air Force for providing humanitarian aid to Poland at the end of World War II had been placed at CFB Rockcliffe from 1947 until 1994 when the base was shut down. In 2007, The Polish Embassy rededicated the plaque during a ceremony held at the Our Lady of the Airways Chapel at the entrance of CFB Uplands. [2]

In 1957, the military's main flight testing and development operations moved to RCAF Station Uplands (now located at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport). In 1964 the RCAF ceased flying operations at the base; however it saw continued use as an administrative and logistics base. The airfield passed back into civilian control and the Rockcliffe Flying Club began using the field.

After unification of all three branches into the Canadian Forces in 1968, RCAF Station Rockcliffe was redesignated Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe (CFB Rockcliffe). In 1972 it was renamed CFB Ottawa (North) as part of the amalgamation of DND property in the national capital region into CFB Ottawa. Rockcliffe saw continuous downgrades through the 1970s and 1980s, being reduced to largely providing housing for Canadian Forces personnel posted to the national capital region.

The military presence at Rockcliffe was terminated in 1994 following post-Cold War defence cuts and the base was decommissioned although Canadian Forces personnel continued to stay in housing on the former base property as it transitioned to ownership under the federal government's surplus lands development agency, the Canada Lands Company (CLC).

In 2006 CLC announced that the base was to be developed by private interests (excluding the Ottawa/Rockliffe Airport) with a comprehensive proposal for condominiums and complementary residential developments.

In 2007 a native land claim was launched by the Algonquins of Ontario, essentially halting any progress on the transfer or sale of the lands until the claim had been settled. Work on the cleanup and demolition of the former base continued however.

By 2009, the Canadian Forces had completely departed from Rockcliffe. Most RCAF buildings had been demolished by this time, although some of the abandoned military housing remains; mothballed for potential future use. As of October 13, 2009 the roads leading into CFB Rockcliffe were permanently closed off and access to the base is no longer be possible. After several decontamination and repair operations are completed, it is expected the property will be sold to private interests for future development as previously announced, although the topic remains uncertain and still causes much debate.

The airfield is currently operated as Rockcliffe Airport by the Rockcliffe Flying Club. The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is located on the old flight line with the airport also being used for delivering aircraft to the museum's collection.

On March 25, 2011, the native land claim which had been launched in 2007 was reported as being settled. The Algonquins would receive 10 million dollars in financial compensation and would have a say into future development plans for the former base. Although final approval is pending, this last major hurdle has essentially been removed and the land is expected to be transferred from DND to CLC within 2–3 years.

All air force buildings and houses have since been torn down. All that remains of RCAF Station Rockcliffe are the empty roadways.


  • Payne, Stephen R. "A History of the Rockliffe Airport Site: Home of the National Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Canada" Call Number 355.P.05.0
  1. ^ Staff writer (c. 1942). Pilots Handbook of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases Vol. 1. Royal Canadian Air Force. p. 155.
  2. ^ "Plaque to Canada's Air Force". National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials. Canadian Department of National Defence. 2008-04-16. Archived from the original on 2014-05-21. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
CFB Griesbach

CFB Griesbach (Griesbach Barracks) was a army base that was located in the north end of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The site was named after Major-General William Antrobus Griesbach (1878–1945), a veteran of the Second Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War. Griesbach was also an Edmonton alderman and mayor, and served as a Member of Parliament and a Senator.

CFB Ottawa

Canadian Forces Base Ottawa (also CFB Ottawa) was a Canadian Forces Base located in Ottawa, Ontario.

CFB Ottawa was formed in 1972 to consolidate several Department of National Defence properties in the national capital region for administrative purposes.

The two largest components of CFB Ottawa were the former CFB Uplands and CFB Rockcliffe, which were referred to as CFB Ottawa (South) and CFB Ottawa (North) respectively.Many residents of Ottawa continued to use the historic names of these geographically separate facilities. CFB Ottawa lost its status as a base during defence cutbacks in the mid-1990s.

CFB Uplands

Canadian Forces Base Uplands (also CFB Uplands) was a Canadian Forces Base located in Ottawa, Ontario. Most of the land which formed the base was transferred to the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport after the base was closed in the 1990s. Several military units continue to exist at the former base and the Canadian Forces continues to maintain military housing at the site. The former base is now known formally as "Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) - Uplands Site."

CFD Dundurn

Canadian Forces Detachment Dundurn (also CFD Dundurn) is a Canadian Forces facility located near the town of Dundurn, Saskatchewan and approximately 40 km south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

CFS Falconbridge

Canadian Forces Station Falconbridge (CFS Falconbridge) was a military radar station in the Canadian province of Ontario, active from 1952 to 1985.

The station was geographically located in Valley East, Ontario, although the nearest settlement — and the source of the station's name — was the community of Falconbridge in Nickel Centre. The site is now within the municipal boundaries of Greater Sudbury.

CFS Foymount

Canadian Forces Station Foymount (CFS Foymount) was a military radar station in Foymount, Ontario, Canada, (part of Bonnechere Valley).

RCAF Station Foymount was opened in 1952 as part of the Pinetree Line of NORAD radar stations. The radar itself was situated at the top of a 523-metre hill, one of the highest points in Eastern Ontario. The main lodger unit was No. 32 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, later renamed No. 32 Radar Squadron when the Semi Automatic Ground Environment system was implemented in 1961.In 1967, RCAF Station Foymount was renamed CFS Foymount with the unification of the Canadian Forces. A few years later, the base was declared redundant; radars at CFS Falconbridge and CFS Lac St. Denis were deemed sufficiently powerful to monitor Foymount's coverage area. The station was closed in 1974 and sold to private interests.

CFS Mill Cove

Canadian Forces Station Mill Cove (CFS Mill Cove) is a former Canadian Forces Station and currently a naval radio station located near Hubbards, Nova Scotia. Built in 1967, it is remotely operated by the Canadian Forces from CFB Halifax.

CFS Moosonee

Canadian Forces Station Moosonee (CFS Moosonee) was a military installation located in Moosonee, Ontario.

RCAF Station Moosonee was opened in 1962 as part of NORAD's Pinetree Line chain of radar stations. Moosonee was one of five stations built to close radar coverage gaps in the original Pinetree system. The base was originally operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force's 15 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, later redesignated 15 Radar Squadron.

In 1967, RCAF Station Moosonee was renamed CFS Moosonee with the unification of the Canadian Forces. The base was closed in 1975 as a cost-saving measure. Some buildings were used by the Town after the closure, including the base swimming pool and recreation centre.

CFS Val-d'Or

Canadian Forces Station Val d'Or (CFS Val d'Or) was a Canadian Forces Station in Val-d'Or, Quebec.

CFS Yorkton

Royal Canadian Air Force Station Yorkton (ADC ID: C-51) was a Long Range Radar (LRR) and Ground Air Transmitter Receiver (GATR) facility of the Pinetree Line. The site was SAGE compatible from day one. It was located near Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Construction was started in 1961 and the station was operational in 1963. Radar functions were operated by 46 Radar Squadron under the control of NORAD.

The site was renamed Canadian Forces Station or CFS Yorkton in 1967 upon the unification of the three branches of the Canadian military into the Canadian Armed Forces. CFS Yorkton was closed in 1986 as part of the deactivation of the Pinetree Line.

The White Spruce Youth Treatment Centre took over the site as a youth addiction facility until 1998 and now is the site of Orcadia Youth Residence as a youth custody facility. A lot of the original buildings remain in good condition.

Canada Dry One

Canada Dry was the nickname for two Canadian Forces bases in Doha, Qatar during the first Gulf War. The two bases, named Canada Dry One (10 km outside Doha) and Canada Dry Two, housed land and air elements (CF18 - Desert Cats).

Canada Dry is the name of a brand of ginger ale that originated in Canada.

Units stationed at the base included:

409 Nighthawks - CF-18 fighters

416 Lynxes - CF-18 fighters

439 Tigers - Tactical Fighter Squadron - CF-18 fighters

Mike Company, Third Battalion, The Royal Canadian RegimentA number of CF-18 fighters were stationed in the bases and flew sorties for the coalition.

Boeing CC-137 Husky tanker from 437 Transport Squadron also flew at the base to provide refueling for the CF-18 fighters.

Canadian Forces Northern Area Headquarters Whitehorse

Canadian Forces Northern Area Headquarters (CFNA HQ) Whitehorse is a detachment of the Canadian Forces, based approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of Whitehorse, Yukon.

Canada's military has operated in the area since the days of the famous volunteer Yukon Field Force, established by the Non-Permanent Active Militia in 1898, to help the North-West Mounted Police maintain law and order during the Gold Rush.

With the creation of the Alaska Highway through the region in 1942, Whitehorse developed into an important regional centre for communication and transportation. However, it was not until 1970 that the newly formed Canadian Forces established a permanent military presence in the area with the formation of the Northern Area Detachment at a base near Whitehorse, as well as another in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, CFNA HQ Yellowknife.

CFNA HQ Whitehorse is frequently used for cadet training in the summer months.

Canadian Forces base

A Canadian Forces Base or CFB (French: Base des Forces canadiennes, BFC) is a military installation of the Canadian Armed Forces. For a facility to qualify as a Canadian Forces base, it must station one or more major units (e.g., army regiments, navy ships, air force wings).

Minor installations are named Canadian Forces Station or CFS (French: Station des Forces canadiennes, SFC). A Canadian Forces station could host a single minor unit (e.g., an early warning radar station). Many of these facilities are now decommissioned for administrative purposes and function as detachments of a larger Canadian Forces base nearby.

Ceremonial Guard (Canada)

The Ceremonial Guard (CG) (French: Garde de cérémonie) is an ad hoc military unit in the Canadian Armed Forces that used to draw principally from the two Primary Reserve (militia) regiments of Foot Guards: the Governor General's Foot Guards (GGFG) from Ottawa (of which it is a sub-unit) and the Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG) from Montreal. However, since 2007 the Ceremonial Guard has been manned by a more pan–Canadian Forces approach: Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. Every summer, the Ceremonial Guard performs the Changing the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill and posts sentries at Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General of Canada, and the National War Memorial.

The CG originated from the Canadian Guards regiment, which served in ceremonial occasions for 20 years in the 1950s and 1960s. Beginning in the early 1970s, the CGG and the GGFG were added to the Public Duties Detachment (PDD) of the Canadian Guards, due to it being reduced to nil strength in 1970. The PDD, which had been based at CFB Rockcliffe until 1985, changed its name to the Ceremonial Guard in 1979, when the unit became mixed sex.As with any guard unit in the Canadian Forces, uniforms originate from the Queen's Guard and rank insignia worn on the uniforms generally follow the pattern currently in force. Members of the Ceremonial Guard each carry an unloaded Colt Canada C7 rifle.

Naval Radio Section Newport Corner

Naval Radio Section Newport Corner (NRS Newport Corner) is a Canadian Forces naval radio station located in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia. Founded in 1942, it is still in operation today but remotely controlled from CFB Halifax.

RCAF Station Flin Flon

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Flin Flon is located near the town of Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada.

The station operated underground seismic detectors and electro-magnetic wave detector direction finder equipment to support Canada's contribution to the Atomic Energy Detection System (AEDS).

Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward

Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward is a city ward in Ottawa, Ontario. Located in the city's east end, the ward covers the neighbourhoods of New Edinburgh, Manor Park, Rockcliffe Park, CFB Rockcliffe, Overbrook, Lindenlea, Viscount Alexander Park, Quarries, Cardinal Glen, Rockcliffe Mews, Forbes, Castle Heights and part of Carson Grove.

Prior to amalgamation, the area was part of Rideau Ward. The name "Rideau Ward" has been applied to this area since New Edinburgh was annexed by Ottawa in 1887. It was first contested in the 1888 municipal election. This recent incarnation of Rideau Ward was created in 1994 from Overbrook-Forbes Ward and part of By-Rideau Ward.

Rockcliffe Flying Club

The Rockcliffe Flying Club is a non-profit flying club based at Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Rockcliffe Yacht Club

The Rockcliffe Yacht Club is a non-profit Yacht club based on the south shore of the Ottawa River near the Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada north of the Canada Aviation Museum. It is a 100-member “private co-op” style club. The club originally was part of CFB Rockcliffe but changed to a private club in 1984. The club is centred on a concrete ramp originally used to launch RCAF sea planes. The ramp extends 50 feet (15 m) into the water as when the ramp was built, in the 1930s, the level of the Ottawa river was much lower. In 1964, a dam was put across the Ottawa River for the Carillon Generating Station which raised the water level by 9 feet (2.7 m). As a result, the Rockcliffe Yacht Club has one of the best launching ramps on the Ottawa river.

Canadian Forces bases and stations

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