Toronto Island Airport 1940-1943
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Research by Clarence Simonsen
After spending four years in the Canadian [Army Military Police] Provost Corps, I completed the entrance exam for the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force in August 1965, being sworn-in on 6 October 65, and graduated from the [Metropolitan Toronto] police college in March 1966. After four months of walking the beat in #14 Division [Little Italy, which was another country to this western born guy] I was posted to #23 Division in Etobicoke. After just five weeks, I was detailed to a part-time posting at a special police station which only operated in the Canadian National Exhibition grounds during the month of August, closing on 2 September each year. Born and raised in Western Canada, I had no idea of what to expect or the long Toronto history involved. First opened in September 1879 as the Industrial Exhibition, the name was changed in 1912, “Canadian National Exhibition” and a new police station was constructed in the grounds. That is where this rookie police officer arrived, and what an eye-opening experience, as the 1960’s and 70’s was the golden age for the grandstand shows where world class entertainers performed. Each day you were assigned a different beat in the C.N.E. grounds, and the most hated was standing seven long hours [boring, boring] guarding the Royal Bank of Canada. Out of four weeks each rookie cop got the boring bank duty twice; however I also received the beat on the Toronto Island Airport twice, pilots, aircraft, and the last week of August air show. During my police college training, all recruits received a course on the important historical parts of Toronto, which included Ward’s Island and the creation of the Toronto Island Airport, but nothing was said about the training of Norwegian pilots during WWII.