top of page

The de Havilland Beaver

Call it Downsview’s greatest gift to the world of aviation.

Many successful aircraft were developed at de Havilland’s Downsview plant over the course of its fifty-year run - the Mosquito, the Tiger Moth, the Chipmunk, the Buffalo, the Twin Otter to name but a few – but arguably none had the magnitude of impact of the DHC-2 Beaver. The Royal Canadian Mint honoured the de Havilland Beaver twice, by placing its image on coins in 1999 and 2008. And it was named one of the top ten Canadian engineering accomplishments of the twentieth century by the Canadian Engineering Centennial Board.

Ads for the de Havilland Beaver from 1955 and 1957

Like all aircraft companies at the end of the Second World War, de Havilland was looking for a way to transition from wartime to peacetime production. At the top of the company’s priority list was developing a new Canadian bush plane. The fact that the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests had already shown interest in purchasing 25 planes suitable for use in the rugged terrain of northern Ontario was just the incentive the company needed.