An Ontario airport announced it is planning on shutting down as its landowner explores redeveloping the grounds north of Toronto.
Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport informed staff and tenants in a letter on Wednesday that the privately-owned travel hub in Markham, Ont., is scheduled to cease operations on Nov. 30.
Since 2010, the airport has been operating under a land lease with commercial real estate company Cadillac Fairview, president of Million Air Toronto and Torontoair Ltd. Derek Smith wrote, which has owned and operated Buttonville since 1963.
Buttonville Airport began in 1953 as a grass airstrip and became an official airport in 1962. It currently services corporate and other small passenger flights, and is home to over 300 flying clubs, according to the City of Markham.
“(It) has now reached its natural expiry, and they may look to redevelop the airport site at some time in the future,” Smith said.
Rumours of the airport closing have circulated for decades
In 2009, the airport was on the brink of closure after losing a $1.5 million annual contract.
Then, when Cadillac Fairview purchased the land, it had originally intended to redevelop the 170-acres to create the equivalent of a new town. But the airport remained.
“Cadillac Fairview has always envisioned plans for redevelopment,” Janine Ramparas with Cadillac Fairview said in a statement on Thursday. “The natural expiry of the airport lease is a part of this process and we look forward to providing further details when available.”
Concluding his letter, Smith said it’s been a pleasure to develop the airport into one of Canada’s largest privately-owned airports for decades.
“I wish you all the best and thank you for your contributions on this epic journey.”