Canadians jokingly refer to Toronto as 'the centre of the universe' but if there was an epicenter to Canadian aviation that title would certainly go to the greater Toronto area.

In 1996, the Toronto Aviation Museum, now the Canadian Air & Space Museum, began occupying a small portion of de Havilland Canada's wartime plant. From what was then a forgotten space, crammed to the rafters with junk, volunteers have created a respectable museum with a decent collection of Canadian aircraft.

Being in the heart of Canada's aircraft manufacturing heartland the museum has the unique opportunity to focus on those aircraft built in and around Toronto - from de Havilland Moths to Lancasters and bush planes, even the ill-fated Avro Arrow - and they've already collected a fair number, The collection includes a mix of military and civilian airplanes; a flyable Tiger Moth whose owner wanted to see it back home, a Lancaster bomber that spent years skewered on a pylon near the shores of Lake Ontario. They've even built a full-scale metal replica of the Avro Arrow.

For a museum that's only 15 years old, the Canadian Air & Space Museum and its volunteers have done very well.

No Canadian aviation museum is complete without a DH.82 Tiger Moth. Inside the very plant the CASM now occupies, de Havilland built 1548 Tiger and Menasco Moths. (Trevor McTavish)

A replica of the Silver Dart casts its shadow over a Fleet 80 Canuck. In 1909 the Silver Dart became the first airplane to fly in Canada, while the Canuck, built in Fort Erie, Ontario became the first Canadian-designed light airplane of the post-war period. (Trevor McTavish)

Opposite the AEA's home-built Silver Dart is another, an Easy Rider made famous when its owner, Bill Lishman, used it to lead 18 Canadian Geese on their migration to Virginia. In 1996 Walt Disney Pictures used Lishman's story as inspiration for the movie "Fly Away Home." Also on display in the hall are a Canadair-built CT-133, a Beech CT-134 Musketeer and a Bell CH-136 Kiowa. (Trevor McTavish)

After the program's cancellation on February 20th, 1959, the beautiful Avro Arrow became legend; with sleek lines and a sexy appeal similar to the Mosquito. It should come as no surprise that here, just a short drive down the 401 Highway from the Arrow's birth place, the CASM was able to construct a full-size replica. (Trevor McTavish)

Sharing space along side the Arrow replica is Lancaster FM104. 422 Lancaster Mk.Xs were built by Victory Aircraft Ltd. in Malton (now Lester B. Pearson Airport). (Trevor McTavish)

After decades of neglect in a Toronto park, the volunteers restoring Lancaster FM104 face the daunting battle against the ravages of corrosion. (Trevor McTavish)

The CASM collection includes an impressive assortment of artifacts and models, including a step-by-step display of a Mosquito being built. (Trevor McTavish)