Old wartime Ghosts at the old Camp Picton, Picton Ontario
343 County Rd 22, Prince Edward, ON K0K, Canada
A visit to the to of the cliff that overlooks the attractive lakeside town of Picton reveals more than just a stunning view of the town (Millennium Lookout)below. It also unveils an intact collection of abandoned air base buildings- hangars, barracks and officer’s apartments. Unlike most remaining World War II military buildings these are all covered with wood-shingle siding.
The base was established in 1938 and became an air-training facility in 1940, when most of the buildings were constructed. At it’s peak, the base housed forty-five officers and eight hundred rank and file. From the seven hangers, planes took off to practice on the nearby bombing ranges while gunnery practice took place south of the camp.
In late 1944, the gunnery and bombing training ended, and the camp was turned over to the RCAF, which opened up an equipment-maintenance facility.
At the beginning, relations with the population of Picton were rocky and complaints of drunkenness, rowdyism and venereal diseases flooded the commanders office.
After the war ended, the base became a training centre with new facilities which included a post office, skeet range, and theatre, as well sporting facilities for badminton, basketball, floor hockey, and archery.
In 1960, the base changed roles once again becoming and remaining an operational base until 1969, when all military operations there ceased, and the base with abandoned.
Now privately owned and known as Loch Sloy Industrial Park, the few buildings in the use house small industries and a fire department, while air cadets and a flying club use as a number of the hangars.
But the overall appearance remains that of a massive ghost town. Rows of wood-shingled barracks stand along weed-stewn roads playing fields lie overgrown, and the two-storey officer’s apartments look out on shrubby lawns. So authentic does the facility feel that in 1993, the CBC used it as a location in it’s made-for-TV movie Dieppe. The site, much of which is behind a chain-link fence, lies along Mountain Road on the south side of Picton.
To reach this ghostly sight, follow Church Street south from the centre of Picton.
Information Source: From Author Ron Brown and his book the “Top 150 most unusual things to see in Ontario”