Montreal aviation museum houses rich trove of city’s history in the sky

With a thunderstorm watch in effect across Greater Montreal, François Mourad was looking for a way to stay out of the rain and beat the relentless heat with his kids.

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The DDO native decided to head to the Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre (CAHC) in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

“We needed a good way to pass the time, this looked perfect,” he said.

The museum has been operating for eight years and includes work of both restorations and paintings of aviation-related artifacts.

READ MORE: Paint or demolish? Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue ponders iconic water tower

It operates through fundraising and volunteer work as a community oriented, non-profit organization.

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    Running the museum is expensive  – electricity alone costs $12,000 annually, but organizers recently enjoyed a push in clients when the City of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue included it as a stop for free tourist shuttle buses.

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    Donations go to operating expenses, restoring vintage aircrafts for display, educating the public about Canada’s aviation heritage and maintaining the historic building.

    Artifacts inside the museum include the first plane to fly over Montreal, a bomber from the Second World War built in Longueuil and numerous other models.

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    It is a one-of-a-kind centre in Quebec, combining civil and military aircrafts, artifacts and memorabilia.

    The museum is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Organizers suggest a voluntary donation to get in:

    Adults: $8

    Children, 6 to 12 years: $4

    Children under the age of 6:  free