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George Brien sends us this information - Dorval 1952 revisited

tmb dorval airport 1950These are some of my memories of 65 years ago and early airline history. My first view of YUL would be like the picture of the domestic terminal taken around 1950.

My twin brother and I had flown up from YSJ for our first job in Aviation Radio, working for Transport Canada at the busiest airport in Canada at that time.

The radio room was on the 2nd floor of the building, with 4 operators on duty per shift. Most employees used public transit, which was provided free for airport personnel. Just east of this building were 6 wartime hangers. One served as the International Terminal for the Trans-Atlantic carriers (ie TCA/BOAC/KLM) and also the location of the "Dorval Inn". I actually stayed there one night in 1956.

ARCAN/NORTEL providing communications in phone and Morse code for Atlantic flights were also located in one of the hangars (where I worked in March 1953).

The late Don McVicar was writing a history of YUL but passed away before the last chapter was completed. To my knowledge the book was never published. From the picture you can note that only a few cars could be seen parked along the road.

tmb dorval waiting roomAirlines flying out of this terminal included TCA, CPA, Northeast Airlines and Colonial. The picture from an old postcard shows the interior waiting room of the lobby. 

Airside was to the left through one door only. Across the lobby, you can just make out the TCA check-in counter with 2 agents. TCA operations, radio etc. were right behind this area CPA, NEA, and Colonial had even smaller check-in booths on the other side of the lobby. The terminal did have a small restaurant called the "Tea Room", run by "Railway News" (now CARA)


This from a blog posted regarding June 20th, 1961 "via Larry Milberry/CANAV Books".

tmb cf tgrMy first visit to The Lakehead was on September 3, 1961. This was a stopover on my TCA flight to Winnipeg. For this I had saved my pennies for a year — the 1-way fare set me back $50, a fair fortune for a high school kid. I took the morning flight (TCA flight 59 Viscount CF-TGR 07:55 to 10:00) first to Fort William, where I got off to spend a few hours before boarding the evening leg (TCA flight 53 Viscount CF-THX 21:45 to 23:25) to Winnipeg.

This was a very big deal for a 17 year-old high school kid chasing his hobby across the country. I don't recall where I took this photo of 'TGR with my Minolta Autocord '21/4' twin lens camera - this is not at Fort William. Maybe Ottawa? Sold in 1964. TGR ended service  in France, it was scrapped at Paris-0rly 10 years later.

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