Friday, February 23, 2007

AVRO Mansion…and the "One" That Got Away.

WHEN A.V. ROE Canada Limited started to unravel as a company it had already become the 3rd largest company in Canada within only a few short years.

AVRO was not only building the famed Avro Arrow, and those FLYING SAUCERS (the Avrocars), but it had also set its’ sights on a venture into space!

Even more importantly, and even more secretly than the Arrow and Iroquois projects, AVRO Canada had embarked on another large-scale goal known to only a select few. AVRO Canada was already midstride in building a large, “vertically integrated” empire of enterprise!

This was the goal, not only according to famed aviation author Peter Zuuring, Avro and Arrow expert, but according to others as well.

It was here, on this 11-acre parcel of land, high above the streets of Toronto, where details of the “empire” could be discussed with an absolute guarantee of privacy.

Here…far away from the Government of Canada, the RCAF, the “moles” inside the Avro plants, and all others who just didn’t understand INDUSTRY, plans for this collossal empire were being forged, and then routinely executed. Expansion through acquisition.

Viscount Montgomery, “Monty” (formerly commander of the Eighth British Army in North Africa during WW II), was entertained by AVRO Canada and enjoyed a private dinner with other notables here, back in the heyday of both Avro and the mansion.

Ironically enough, this English style palace is only two stone throws…maybe three…from the elementary school I had attended from kindergarten to Grade six! I even stumbled upon this “mystery mansion” when I was riding around the area on my Duomatic bike one day.

In Avro’s last days…there had been many, mysterious midnight runs from the Avro Malton facility to Ottawa.

But there was only one such “run” to this refuge. And it was here, at that very last stronghold of AVRO Canada…where very likely the “one that got away” ended up. Brought here, under a shroud of secrecy, during a very well-planned, and well-executed “midnight run”.

I once met a white and wispy haired old man, so long ago now – at an aviation trade show convention. He had overheard me talking about the Avro Arrow to a woman who had recently completed a labour of love: a highly detailed, rectangular quilt of the Arrow in level flight.

He interrupted our talk and grabbed me by the arm (rather forcefully I might add), turned me about, and said, “It’s at the house!”


“It’s at the house!!”


“It’s at the house!!!” “It’s at the house!!!”

“W H A T!!!…HOUSE?”


He immediately produced a pen, and clumsily pulled out a white dinner napkin from his jacket pocket, and wrote down: “TECARBIRSR”.

He pronounced it, “Te-car-bir-s(a)r.”

“The Arrow…is there!”

And then he walked off.

Poof! Gone.

I never did forget the old man, and that strange afternoon encounter…or his, “Te-car-bir-s(a)r."

I actually committed it, the “riddle”, to memory.

Now, that was in the late eighties.

And now, 25 years later, I present to you: TECARBIRSR.

It is the house pictured above. I uncovered it again, through recent Arrow research, and had actually, casually, taken some pictures of the Tudor-style, stone house some months ago.

I FINALLY just solved the riddle…when I chanced upon the name of the house in my research material.

So…was the Arrow “that got away” ever here?

Is it still here…perhaps buried, even entombed, somewhere on the palatial grounds?

Was it moved from here, and if so, when? And…to where?

Many questions folks…and absolutely no answers ~

(If you do know…drop me a line)

(I won’t tell you where the house is, or what it once was called, but you’ll know it with certainty, should you find it, by the Four Watchers just above the main door! And if you do find it, as I did, perhaps you better not pry too deeply because there are very likely MORE THAN the Four Watchers, still watching…)

©2006 - 2007 Paul Cardin
©1997 Maclean's
©1980 The Arrow
©1975 CBC There Never Was An Arrow


Anne said...

Fascinating. Look forward to an update on this mystery.

Anonymous said...

I too found this house. Located close to my work. Thought I would take a stroll on by. The majority of the property is covered by apartments now. The only bit of the land left is a heavily wooded ravine running right behind the house. I took a stroll through the revine, but could not see anything. If it is there, it is well hidden.

Anonymous said...

Its underground, behind the house.