Home » Canada Aerospace: Your Guide to Canada’s Amazing Air and Space Industry

Canada Aerospace: Your Guide to Canada’s Amazing Air and Space Industry

Canada’s aerospace industry is quite impressive. It is currently home to various air and space companies. This sector employs thousands of skilled professionals across the country. Likewise, it contributes about $13Billion to the Canadian GDP. This amount is much higher than the manufacturing average.

Air and space firms in Canada hold influential positions in the global aircraft trade. These companies offer impressive products and services at highly competitive prices. They supply parts, workforce, and services to various commercial airlines around the globe.

As a vital player in the economy, this sector is very diverse. Some companies are involved in the production of aircraft parts and components. Others are into design and engineering. Moreover, some companies also build aircraft, rockets, and spaceships.

Additionally, Canada also works with the US Space Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It has also launched satellites into space. Furthermore, it contributed components for the International Space Station.

The History of Canadian Aviation Sector

History of Canadian Aviation Sector

Canada’s aviation history started in 1840 with the first manned balloon flight in Saint John, New Brunswick. And in 1909, test flights of Bell’s Silver Dart started the country’s experimental aviation phase. It came in soon after the Wright Brothers’ virgin flight in 1903. The development of aircraft for warfare followed suit as the country joined the British Air Force during World War I.

Aircraft development served as a vital transportation mode after the war. War Airplanes flew for the exploration and development of Northern Canada. Likewise, pilots who served in the war happily lent their flying skills for this worthwhile activity.

Flying became an instrument for reaching far-flung communities in the North. They gathered information on the natural resources in the area. Aviation became as vital as the use of railways in exploring western regions of the country.

More so, small airlines started serving the region. Back then, Canada did not have a national transportation policy. Thus, it was only in 1937 that a National Carrier came in. It is the government-subsidized Trans Canada Airlines, which is now Air Canada.

More technological gains in aviation began during World War II. At this time, the Canadian aerospace industry became famous for aircraft manufacture. Airspace and facilities served as training grounds for a thousand Commonwealth crew. More so, the country also poured support for the thriving commercial industry.

Post-War Aviation in Canada

In the post-war era, air travel and science became more convenient for Canadians. With less government control and deregulation in aeronautics, more service providers came in. However, intermittent growths and failures marred the dynamic competition. It also affected the strong operating borders of the industry.

The modern Canadian Aerospace industry is formed by the nation’s ambition, economics, and technology. Further, national and international politics also impacted this growth. At present, this industry plays a vital part in the country’s economy. Airline passenger services, air freight, and mail services connect Canada to cities around the globe. They also provide air monitoring, rescue, and evacuation.

The Modern Aerospace Industry

Modern Aerospace Industry

Apart from the extensive flight industry, Canada also has a fantastic space sector. It is present in each region of the country. There are also notable production lines in Toronto and Montreal. Consequently, it employs more than 213,000 skilled professionals. They are involved in designing, building, and maintenance. This industry contributed $25B in the 2018 GDP.

Canadian Satellites and Space Technology

Canada has a modest science space and technology sector. Compared to Russia, America, and Europe, the country’s aerospace is very humble. However, its capabilities are on par with the best in the world.

In the 1930s, scientists from the University of Saskatchewan did ground-based research projects on the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The Defense Research Board conducted further research in the 1950s. They used high-altitude balloons for this research. It led to projects using sounding rockets developed by the Canadian Armament Research and Development Establishment.

Canada’s Present Aerospace Market and the Top Performing Companies

Moving forward, space, and aviation industries in Canada mostly serve commercial clients. A smaller but notable segment comes from military sales. The US is also the leading client for Canadian made or developed components. Some exported items include titanium alloys, nickel-based superalloys, and telescopes.

In 2019, the US purchased around $6.5 Billion of civilian and military products from Canada. The close coordination between these two is reflected in their great trade and partnership. For instance, many American firms run subsidiaries in Canada. More so, they benefit significantly from the cheaper currency exchange and government incentives.

Top Aerospace Companies in Canada

Canada’s growing air and space industry attracts companies to set their main production lines in this country. Some of the most popular firms that made Canada their home base include:


Airbus is a global firm with a central corporate office in Canada. It plays a vital role in the country’s aviation and aerospace market. After 35 years, the company continues to grow steadily. At present, they have nine locations in seven cities in the country. They also strengthened ties with Canada by acquiring a significant share in the Bombardier C Series Jetliners.

The company is a pioneer in science innovation. It has set up its primary assembly line in Quebec. Additionally, it has 48 research and technology projects with the National Research Council. It also works with Canadian Universities. As an employer, they also offer attractive initiatives for employees. They also have the Airbus Leadership Training as an incentive for their top-performing employees.


Boeing is a world-renowned aviation giant. In 2018, it made as much as $101 Billion in the aerospace market. Currently, more than 153,000 employees are working for this company around the globe. The Canada Operations Limited, which was founded in 1927, is also under The Boeing Company.

Presently, it has 13 locations around Canada. They provide products and equipment for commercial jets, defense, space technology, and security. All around the world, there are Boeing aircrafts servicing people from all walks of life.

Boeing has an influential culture for improvement and development. They are highly-recognized for their excellent corporate practices. For instance, they received recognition for a reputable Human Resources Department. Boeing is one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People in 2019.

MDA Corporation

MDA Corporation is another reputable firm in the air and space industry. They are known to develop advanced surveillance products and intelligence solutions. More so, they also manufacture satellite antennas and defense components. They even designed and made space robotic arms. For instance, they created Canadarm on the space shuttle Orbiter and the Canadarm-2 on the International Space Station.

Over the years, MDA has successfully exported its Canada-made solutions. They also provide a well-balanced working environment, competitive compensation, and benefits to its employees. Joining this company is an excellent opportunity for new aeronautics engineers.

Bombardier Inc.

Bombardier Inc. is a famous maker of planes and trains. Its main corporate office is in Montreal. As an industry leader, they made a $10.6B contribution to the country’s GDP. Moreover, it is one of Canada’s top research and development investors from 2013 to 2016. It has spent billions to ensure that the aircraft and public transportation evolve with cutting edge advancements.

It also has an aerospace section that produces modern business and regional aircraft. The company modifies planes for exclusive contracts. And they also provide engineering and services with maintenance, training, or technical support. In 2019, the company was one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. Presently, they employ more than 26,900 people around the globe.

Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace is a renowned pioneer in global aerospace systems. They made intelligent aviation products for the military and defense enterprise. It has proven its commitment to the industry by continuously funding research expansion.

They also develop advanced communication systems and avionics. Their Ottawa facility focuses on designing wireless networking technology. Aeronautical engineers will find this company to be an attractive employer. It showcases a strong presence in Montreal and provides engineering services to Bombardier.

KF Aerospace

KF Aerospace aims to provide aviation services for commercial, corporate and military clients. Additionally, they specialize in aircraft modification services and maintenance. KF Aerospace also provides training for military aircrew and cargo operators. They even customize programs for clients who lease various types of aircraft.

The company has a 1,000, highly-skilled workforce. They are involved in maintenance and modifications for more or less 150 aircraft yearly. Recently, KF announced plans of a $30M expansion at the Hamilton, Ontario facility. It will open more opportunities for aeronautical engineers looking for employment.

CAE Inc.

CAE Inc is a manufacturing company that provides simulation technologies and training for its clients. They offer services and products for civil aviation, security, defense, and the healthcare industry. They are one of the longest-running global training system integrators. The company employs more than 4,500 Canadians. They received recognition as a Top Employer in Canada in 2018.

CMC Electronics

This company started operations in 1903, with its main office is in Montreal, Quebec. Presently, CMC is a strong player in the manufacture of modern communications and electronic systems. It is part of the Esterline Corp. with facilities in Ottawa and Illinois, US. They are renowned for their unique cockpit system integration and aviation solutions.

CMC’s simulation products also provide high-tech benefits to their clients. Military and commercial flight training and simulation exercises use CMC creations. As an employer, CMC has a lot to offer. Jobseekers will find competitive compensation packages from the company. Other offers include health care and lifestyle benefits.

These are just a few of the hundreds of air and space companies in Canada. The industry is booming as it addresses the global demand for sophisticated aerospace products and components. These companies also provide excellent opportunities for young professionals.

Aerospace Museums in Canada to Explore

Aerospace Museums in Canada to Explore

There are museums dedicated to this industry in almost every region in Canada. If you want to know more about the history of aviation, space, and satellite technology, you can visit any of these museums. Each one keeps a collection of aircraft. Some sections showcase the unique craftsmanship of Canadian aerospace engineers over time. Thus, here are some of the places you should visit.

Aerospace Museums in Canada to Explore

There are museums dedicated to this industry in almost every region in Canada. If you want to know more about the history of aviation, space, and satellite technology, you can visit any of these museums. Each one keeps a collection of aircraft. Some sections showcase the unique craftsmanship of Canadian aerospace engineers over time. Thus, here are some of the places you should visit.

The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa Canada

This museum is home to more than 130 aircraft from all over the world. The museum highlights the nose section of the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. Presently, it is one of the few last parts of the Canadian-built fighter jets and its flight simulator. They also offer short flights on the 1930 Waco UPF-7 for visitors during summer. They also feature original aircraft instead of reproduced versions. In this museum, you can see Professor Junker’s first all-metal aircraft made in 1917. There is also the HS2L Flying boat, and the Havilland Canada Beaver model.

As Canada’s contribution to aviation and aerospace technology grew, the museum also expanded its collection. It began to include space artifacts. It gives reference to Canadian achievements in the industry. More so, it showcases the most extensive aviation collection in the country. It is one of the most outstanding Aviation and Space Museums in the world. You can visit this museum at 11 Aviation Parkway, Ottawa.

Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Alberta Aviation Museum

The Alberta Aviation Museum uses the last double-long, double-wide hangar built in the World War II Era. You can find traces of flying biplanes, bush planes, bombers, and jet planes in this museum. For instance, it highlights the growth of the aviation community in Edmonton’s Blatchford Field. It also keeps the aviation heritage alive by sharing stories and educational programs. They also have new opportunities for families to explore when visiting the museum.  Know more about Edmonton’s colorful aviation history at the Alberta Aviation Museum.

It is at 11410 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, Alberta. It opens Tuesdays – Friday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm or Saturday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame Museum was founded in 1973. It pays tribute to the people and organizations that pioneered flight in Canada. More so, it showcases the contributions of more than 200 flying elites. It is available through memorabilia, documents, and biographical panels. It also displays vintage aircraft collections from the Reynolds-Alberta Museum. You may visit Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin Regional Airport, Alberta.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

British Columbia Aviation Museum

This museum has a display that spreads to over two hangars, a restoration workshop, a classroom, and a gift shop. You can find historical civilian and military artifacts at this museum. They have uniforms, medals, and aircraft models that are acquired and restored over time.  In September 2018, the museum acquired an Avro Lancaster FM 104.

This plane model was one of the last surviving 17 Lancasters in the world. It used to be in Toronto, but the BC Aviation Museum was able to restore it into an airworthy status. The aircraft also boost a post-War-search-and-rescue-configuration and finish. You can visit the British Columbia Aviation Museum at the 1910 Norseman Road, Victoria International Airport, Sidney, British Columbia.

Opening Hours: Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The Canadian Museum of Flight

They were first known as the Canadian Museum of Flight Association in 1998. Now, the Canadian Museum of Flight is a museum located in Langley Regional Airport, Langley, British Columbia, Canada. It houses more than 25 civilian and military aircraft, jets, piston-engine aircraft, helicopters, and gliders.

The museum restored six of their displays to their flying status. You will also find an aviation art gallery and artifacts.  The museum also has a space for the last type of Handley Page Hampden.

This aircraft used to patrol the coast of British Columbia during World War II. However, it crashed offshore in 1942. After its recovery in 1985, it has undergone a 20-year restoration period. But because it was stored outdoors, heavy snowfall in 2008 broke its left-wing spars, which led it to separate from the fuselage. A replica wing was built in 2012. It is now open for viewing once again at the Langley Regional Airport, Langley City, British Columbia.

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park

Canada’s Air Force Heritage Museum and Air Park are in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was established in 1975, and the park had its dedication in 1999. This museum has aircraft and artifacts that tell the history of the Canadian Air Force. Here, you will find a display of 14 aircraft, including the only Challenger on exhibit.

The Garden of Memories pays tribute to the Canadian Air Search and Rescue. It also honors the people trained under the British Commonwealth Air Training. You may also explore the Billy Bishop Building at the 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters. It has rare artifacts from the Battle of Britain and Victoria Crosses. You may visit the site at the Air Force Way, North Off Ness Avenue, Sharp Blvd. Trenton, Ontario.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday during the summer from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm 

The Canadian Air and Space Museum

It is easy to mistake this for the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum; however, this one is different. It is formerly the Toronto Aerospace Museum and keeps artifacts, exhibits, and documents that foretold a century of Canadian heritage and achievements in aviation. Its first location is in a hangar that keeps the Havilland Canada Aircraft Manufacturing building, but they were evicted in September 2011 by the Crown Corporation.

The museum transferred to Downsview Park, but later it was appropriated by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the CFB Toronto. The collection moved to a warehouse space run by the Greater Toronto Airports until 2018.  During its time, the museum was run by volunteers who aim to educate visitors on the Canadian Aerospace Industry and Technology.

It is registered as a non-profit organization and operates as the Canadian Air and Space Museum. It opened once again at the Edenvale Airport, Edenvale, Ontario, in 2019 as the Canadian Air and Space Conservatory.

National Air Force Museum of Canada

This museum is formerly the Royal Canada Air Force Memorial Museum. It is dedicated to preserving the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). It opened in April 1984 at the CFB Trenton, Ontario. On its 60th anniversary, the museum boasts an extensive collection of RCAF aircraft and artifacts.

The National Air Force Museum is a permanent archive that collects, preserves, and showcases the RCAF memorabilia. They also keep documents, photographs, and paintings. It pays tribute to the men and women who served the nation in the RCAF and preceding organizations.

Wrap Up

Canada’s aerospace industry is flourishing. It continues to strengthen partnerships with world-leaders in space and aviation. The country is encouraging young minds to explore the science of flying and aerospace dynamics. Museums dedicated to aviation and aerospace is an excellent venue to know more about this industry. These museums hold colorful histories, stories, and artifacts relevant to the country’s aviation and space development. There are aerospace museums in each region of Canada. You will be amazed at their extensive collection.

Moreover, opportunities to join these prestigious sectors are widely open. Canada works with top-notch aerospace and engineering firms such as Boeing, Airbus, and Bombardier to provide career opportunities for young professionals. All hopeful aeronautics engineers can fulfill their dreams of building aircraft or spaceships, flying. They can also pursue space exploration and beyond.

The country’s aerospace industry employs thousands, and it accounts for a vital trade with foreign markets. It is a diverse sector that produces airplanes, satellites, rockets, telescopes, and components. And although very modest, Canada excels in its aviation and aerospace efforts.

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