Hamilton’s Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum undergoing near-$1.7 million modernization project

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The initiative will help bring the site into the modern era and preserve the museum for generations to come. The project is covered in large part by a $1 million donation from retired Ancaster residents Michael and Carol Desnoyers. Photo credit: Facebook/Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum


Hamilton’s Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, located at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in Mount Hope, is undergoing a $1.67 million modernization project.

The project, called “Making Freedom Fly”, will offer museum visitors a more digital and interactive experience.

There are four new attractions that are a part of the project.

The first new attraction will see the construction of an interactive dome equipped with some of the latest projection technology. The dome will have six large circular screens that will tell the stories of Canadians involved in aviation operations as part of World War II.

Hamilton International Airport opened in 1940 as a Royal Canadian Airforce Base to train pilots for deployment in World War II. 

The second new attraction involves the creation of metahuman holograms of six veterans who were chosen by a museum committee. The technology is so advanced that visitors will reportedly be able to have a conversation with the digital holograms of the veterans. 

Details from the veterans’ lives will be taken from old interviews and films that are part of the museum’s records.

Third, the museum will include a high-definition interactive cinema that will play select 90-second clips of the museum’s film collection.

And the fourth new attraction will be an augmented reality experience where users can “scan” an aircraft with their device in order to see inside.

All four features are expected to be complete by March 2024. Parallel World Labs Inc. is the company in charge of the project.

Museum members are hoping that the initiative preserves the museum well into the future, allowing them to connect with youth and those that have minimal connections to World War II.

The $1.67 million price tag is covered in large part by a $1 million donation from retired Ancaster residents Michael and Carol Desnoyers who used to run an electronic, engineering, and manufacturing company in Burlington.

Heritage Canada contributed $548,000 to the project and the remaining $130,000 will be from funds raised by the museum.

Founded in 1972, the museum celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022. It began primarily as a club for World War II veterans who were interested in restoring airplanes. In March 1973, they became a charitable organization and were able to accept donations of aircraft and artifacts.

Today, the museum boasts 48 aircraft, nearly 4,000 members, and 300 active volunteers.


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