WELL, THERE YOU have it. Roads. Right into the northern perimeter of the accident site.
However, things are much better this time. The former crash arena has been culled and the topsoil entombed in the park and memorial area of the development. The July 5th, 1970 crash that started in Toronto with the very hard landing of an Air Canada DC-8, and the loss of its' Number 4 engine…ended here, in Brampton, only three minutes later. All 109 passengers and crew lost their lives 42 years ago, today.
Unlike, every other visit to the 621 field in the past…I have not been able to find a single Air Canada Flight 621 crash fragment. No DC-8 pieces. No passenger artifacts.
And certainly no bone fragments in situ, praise God!
The profile of the field has changed. Entirely. Not just roads but the elevation…all to make way for the eventual Flight 621 Memorial Park and cemetery. And, the surrounding houses.
I took the old way in. Everybody had a good laugh about that.
"Paul, you could have taken the road in", says Diarmuid Horgan, of Candevcon Developments who is overseeing the field's transition process.
Old habits are hard to break. For the longest time, the way I entered…was the only way into the crash site.
I am quite happy with the outstanding progress that has been made in the field to date. Much thanks to Diarmuid and the existing landowners. The full unveiling of the Flight 621 Memorial Park and Cemetery should be next year, around July 5, 2013 provided the City of Brampton clears all the development permits in a timely manner (hint, hint).
And only two weeks ago I was there for a very special event. To help out, in a very small way, with the filming of a movie that will involve a segment about Flight 621!
I can't say a whole lot about the film to be released in January of 2013, except that it will be a docu-drama involving Lucie Raymond (who tragically lost her father in that horrific Air Canada crash), as well as other people who have to cope with personal loss. The film is being directed by multiple-award winning French-Canadian director, Carole Laganière, of the National Film Board of Canada.
From the left: Barbara Winckler (crash eyewitness), Lucie Raymond (daughter of Martial Raymond), and director, Carole Laganière (NFB Canada).
Born in Montreal, Carole Laganière studied film in Brussels (INSAS, 1983-87). She stayed on in Belgium to make her first short, Jour de congé, which won a number of prizes on the festival circuit. Back in Quebec, she directed Aline, which won the Bayard d'Or for the best feature film at the 1992 Festival de Namur.
Following several successful forays into docudrama (Histoires de musées, 1996-97, Des mots voyageurs, 1999), Laganière directed La fiancée de la vie (The Fiancée of Life), which won the Gold Award for Best Canadian Documentary at the 2002 Toronto Hot Docs Festival. She returned the next year with Un toit, un violon, la lune (The Moon and the Violin), which won the Gold Award again, this time in the short to mid-length category. She then directed Vues de l'Est (East End Kids), a documentary about children in Montreal's Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, followed by Country (2005), a documentary about the world of country and western festivals, co-produced at the NFB. May 2011 saw the release of her documentary L'Est pour toujours (East End Forever), a follow-up that examines the lives of the same children, now teenagers. Carole is named cinéaste en résidence at the NFB in Spring 2011.