Superheros and Forest Fires: Canadian Bushplane Museum's Journey to the Centre of the Forest

Located on the waterfront in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, the Bushplane is a national museum that is geared for a whole family experience. The museum caters to both young and old age demographics with amazing exhibits geared to all ages. The CBHC attracts guests from around the region in Canada and the United States, and abroad. We welcome many tour buses through the year with school groups as well as touring buses from across Canada and the United States.


We continue to grow with addition of a new state of the art theatre, Wildfires! A fire fighting Adventure in 3-D as well as a woman's pilot exhibit, a revamped Dr.Roberta Bondar Display and the Lewis Hong Chow exhibit; Engineering a Successful Life. The Bushplane was honoured in 2102 when Trip Advisor recognized the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre for earning exceptional traveler ratings. The certificate of Excellence honours businesses that consistently earn top ratings from Trip Advisor travelers. The award which is given only to the most exceptional performers is a significant achievement.

Kids have fun while learning in our Children's Flight Centre! So you want to be a pilot? Learn how with the flight simulator, arcade-style gaming consoles and interactive displays. Experience a real airplane cockpit for flights of imagination The Flight Centre is the home of our Education Program for Grade 6 students. Panels take students through all branches of the curriculum, with interactive and hands-on exhibits along the way. Learn hands-on about the principles of flight then take a quick trip up the Fire Tower to report forest fires over a Ranger Radio!

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In the mid-1990s, a Fox Moth Project was started. The intention was to build a DeHavilland DH83 Fox Moth, a 1932 British designed biplane, from start to finish, with the final goal being to register and fly the replica aircraft. A small but very dedicated group of skilled volunteers continue to work on the Fox Moth today, and guests are encouraged to visit them in the Restoration Area, where (unlike most other Museums) they are able to watch the restoration in progress, and ask the crew questions.

In 2014 we will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a top attraction in Sault Ste. Marie and will see the completion and first flight of the Fox Moth. Our motto, "Where Adventure Takes Off!", will continue to be our goal to have all visitors enjoy a wonderful experience at the Bushplane.

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At the end of every summer season, the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre celebrates the accomplishments of the past year by offering the residents of Sault Ste. Marie an exciting, jam-packed weekend full of family fun. Held in the historic Ontario Provincial Air Service hangar, the Bushplane Days fall Festival showcases a number of special exhibits in an effort to promote the aviation industry in Northern Ontario, and to pay homage to the important role the North played in developing the industry.

Bushplane days cannot be characterized under one category of events, but combines several features into a great weekend: part air show, part exhibition and part amusement park. As the Bushplane Museum's longest running and most successful annual event, Bushplane Days has seen many changes over the years. What once started as a promotional tool to generate more visitors during the summer months, it has now evolved into a celebration of our Northern Ontario heritage, specifically related to aviation, bush flying and forestry. The attendance over the years has grown from 500 to more than 3200 in the past year as well as from a 1 day event to 3 days for this year's 19th Annual Festival with a special Friday night kick off.

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One of the highlights to the festival is the waterbombing demonstration provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The excitement builds as the visitors hear the roar of the CL-415 as it sweeps along the St Mary's River picking up as much as 6000 liters of water and does a fly- by releasing it, to show the efforts put in to saving our forests, from the many fires started by Mother Nature and man.

Inside the building, the sounds of music echo throughout the hangar with local entertainers and artists performing. Children's laughter can be heard as they take a ride on a model train, try their hand at the carnival games and face painting, enjoy balloons and bouncing inflatables, learn how to fly a model airplane and is entertained by the Science North Caravan.


Smokey Bear makes an appearance each year to remind everyone the importance of putting out your camp or bon fire and in 2012 with the help of Eagle Feather Aviation we introduced Chopper, the Bushplane Beaver. Chopper's name was incorporated with our famous Beaver float plane and Eagle Feather's Helicopter Service. Flights have been offered to our visitors or the years with plane rides or helicopter rides.
A very special character has been known thrill the children in the past years with the likes of Marvel's Spiderman, Captain America and Iron Man to name a few. What character will be next? Be sure to stay close to as we get ready to unveil the surprise guest!

What is a festival without some good food and each year we have the barbeque grill going with all the children's favourite foods, hot Pizza from the oven and everyone enjoys the smell of fresh hot popcorn and candy floss.

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The Bushplane Days Festival is all about families so we keep it affordable with our special admission rates. Our 19th Annual Bushplane Days festival runs from September 20-22, 2013.

Visit for more information on things to see and do in Sault Ste. Marie!

About Edie Suriano

Edie is the Marketing & Promotions Coordinator for the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre

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