Abandoned aircraft hangar©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
CFB Picton was established by the British as a air training base and bombing school in 1940. At its height, it contained numerous hangars, 2500 foot runways, five bombing ranges and was home to almost 1000 officers and airmen.
Since Camp Picton was located only a five minute drive from the village of Picton, it offered very few amenities and services. A post office operated from 1942-44. At the end of the war, the British departed and the facility was turned over to Canadian authorities.
The RCAF (later Canadian Armed Forces) continued to use the base throughout the 50s and 60s. During the 1950s, they added a large housing complex about a kilometre east of the camp that included 250 homes, a grocery store, public school and two chapels. Recreational facilities within the camp were also expanded to include badminton, basketball, volleyball, boxing, floor hockey and archery.
The camp was used for a variety of military purposes until 1969, when it was shut down and closed as part of overall military downsizing. The facilities were sold to a private operator, who leased the different buildings to an assortment of manufacturers.
Today Camp Picton looks pretty much as it did when it was built 70 years ago. A number of the buildings are still in use while others, mainly the housing facilities, sit vacant. The camp is still used regularly by the RCAF Cadets for training purposes.