Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden
In 1916, the government of Canada acquired Sandy Plains to train the Canadian Expeditionary Force for overseas duty. This new facility could accommodate 30,000 personnel. The first Air Force Station in Canada came soon after in 1917. Its mission was to train pilots for the Royal Naval Air Service and the
Royal Flying Corps Canada. In 1924 Borden became the largest Air Station in Canada. During the 1930’s Borden was made a permanent Army Training Base. Signals, Armour, Infantry, Service Corps, Medical Dental, Provost, Intelligence, and Nuclear Biological and Chemical Schools were all established in the years that followed. In 1940, the Royal Canadian Air Force established what is now the Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Dundurn – Detachment Angus. It also continued to train WWII pilots and aircrews.
In 1966 Borden became an integrated training Base incorporating nine Canadian Schools. In 1970, the Armour and Infantry schools moved to Gagetown and the Language Training School was formed at Borden. In 1995, Canadian Forces Recruiting, Education and Training System (CFRETS) was moved from Trenton to Borden. This move was made to centralize headquarter staff functions. In 1997 the Commander Training Schools (CTS) was formed, consolidating the Deputy Chief of Staff Occupational Training staff and the CFB Borden staff. In 1999, CTS reorganized and became the Canadian Forces Support Training Group (CFSTG). Currently, CFB Borden trains 15,000 (on average) military personnel annually. CFB Borden employs approximately 3,250 military members and approximately 1,500 civilians.
CFB Borden contributes significantly to the region's economy. Annual salaries for military and civilian DND employees working on the base total approximately $142 million. The annual cost of operating and maintaining the base is $49 million. Of that $49 million, $6 million goes to utilities and $5 million is a direct Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) contribution to local governments.
The Base Borden Military Museum is one of Canada’s largest Military Museums which holds a significant collection of WWI, WWII, and post-war armoured vehicles, trucks, and aircraft. The Museum tells the story of Camp Borden and the various Schools, Corps, and Branches that have their heritage vested at Base Borden. The Museum complex consists of several buildings and a memorial park. For more information, please call 705-423-3531. The Canadian Forces Day and Air Show is held every two years at CFB Borden.
Peace Keepers Park
In 2004, the Corporation of the Township of Essa designated land bordered by Mill Street, Brentwood Road and Commerce Road, as Peacekeepers Park. It is a gathering place to honour peace-keepers: past, present, and future. The Central Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP), along with the support of The Friends of Peacekeepers Park, have helped make this community park project possible. In 2011, the Central Ontario Chapter of the AVUNP unveiled and dedicated a new sign identifying the Park as well as a memorial wall and gate. The memorial wall bears the names of all Canadians killed on United Nations and other peacekeeping missions, and also in Afghanistan, from 1951 to present. To make a donation to the further the development of Peacekeepers Park contact can be made with Fern Taillefer (416-393-2082) or Scott Mullen (705-424-5818). Visit the Park to relax under the stand of pines and see the retired United Nations “Ferret” personnel carrier which was donated by Canadian Forces Base Borden. Each year the Township of Essa invites everyone to the Park on August 9th to observe “Peacekeepers Day” – a nationally recognized day of remembrance since 2008. For more information on Peacekeepers Day visit www.cavunp.org.