If ghosts could talk

I have an unexplained fascination with a local abandoned airforce base, located just south of Picton.   It draws me in and haunts me with its stillness; with its unspoken past.  It is eerie and creepy.  When I got out of the car to take a few photos I felt a chill run up my spine.   If ghosts could talk.

The barracks and runways were built in a rush during the summer of 1940.  The British desperately needed to train thousands of flyers quickly.  They turned to Canada for help.  Hence the RAF Bombing and Gunnery School was built.  It housed close to 1000 officers and airmen during its peak war years, running continuous courses. 

Even after the end of WWII it continued as a training centre for the RCAF, well into the 1950’s.  .

In the 1960s the old aerodrome became known as Camp Picton and was converted from training into an operational base.  In 1966 it was renamed the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Picton.  Sadly that closed in 1969 as part of an overall military down-sizing.

After CFB Picton closed, much of the base housing was sold to the Government of Ontario – Ministry of Health.  At its peak it was home to approximately 450 individuals with intellectual disabilities and employed as many staff.  This facility closed its doors in September 1999 when deinstitutionalization become the norm.

I understand it has been used several times as a movie set.

Today most of the buildings appear abandoned.  A gliders club uses the runways, but, the barracks and hangars still  stand; silently waiting… continuing to hold their 70-year-old secrets.

About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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10 Responses to If ghosts could talk

  1. I’ve never been there – it does look eerie, doesn’t it. We’re the air force guys called Hasty P’s too?

    • Hi Heidi
      I believe the Hasty P’s were Canadian military stationed mostly in Italy. These were mostly British officers and here to learn about bombs and guns on airplanes. (don’t quote me though)

  2. I can see why you find it interesting – oh the stories it could tell (and has if it has been featured in movies)

  3. I think they used the base to film the movie Dieppe (1993) a TV movie by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

  4. Donna & John says:

    Great story – I can imagine the stories that could be told. I love ghost towns/stories and have 2 books by Ron Brown – Ghost Towns of Ontario.

  5. I believe Ron Brown had a comment or two about Camp Picton. It might be mentioned in one of your books. eerie stuff. All I’m saying is I wouldn’t want to spend a night alone there.

  6. MixerUpper says:

    That’s fascinating. You’re right – places that have seen so much activity and are now still are a bit eerie. Ellis Island is like that, although now it is busy again with lots of tourists. Still, in a place like that, you can almost hear the whispers of the past.

  7. Rev. Marilyn says:

    Reading this reminded me of my dad. I wish he were alive to read your blog. He would have enjoyed it, almost as much as I do. Keep writing, my dear friend.

  8. Pingback: West Lake goes Zombie | westlakemusings

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