In 1937 the Port Authority of Toronto deemed Malton the most suitable local an airport. The Authority purchased severl lands on the south-west corner of Derry and Airport Roads for construction of the Airport. Malton was no longer just a small farming town, but a Town on the verge of playing a huge role in the age of aviation in Canada.
In 1939, The National Steel Car Company of Montreal opened an aircraft factory in Malton. The first aircraft produced there was the Lysander. This factory brought hundreds of employees to Malton. The factory was taken over by the federal government in 1942 and renamed the Victory Aircraft Company, which, at its peak, employed 9,700 workers. The Lancaster Bomber was one of the craft to be built at the factory.
With the increasing need for housing near the airport and factory, new houses needed to be built in Malton. Training centres opened to provide Military flight training for the entire Commonwealth further added to this need. The solution was the purchase land on the North-East Corner of Airport and Derry Roads. The primary street in that area was named Victory Crescent.
At the end of World War 2, the Victory Aircraft Company was sold to the A. V. Roe Company. A. V. Roe manufactured the C-102 ‘Jetliner’, Nort America’s first jet passenger plane in 1949 and CF100 (Canuk) fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force. However, A. V. Roe is most known for the manufacture of the CF105 Arrow fighter jet.
The CF105 Arrow fighter jet, known as the Avro Arrow, was the most advaced fighter in the world, however, in 1959 Prime Mininster John Diefenbaker ordered everything related to the Arrow be destroyed as the jet was ‘obsolete and too expensive.’ The day the Avro Arrow was terminated (February 20, 1959) is often refered to as ‘Black Friday.’ 15,000 workers at A. V. Roe were immediately fired and A. V. Roe was eventually sold to McDonnell-Douglas, an American company. Most employees headed to the United States due to a lack of technical jobs in Canada, mostly working for NASA. This marked one of the first instances of ‘brain drain’ in Canada
Malton Airport was demolished after the construction of a new Terminal in 1964, Terminal 2 opened in 1972, Malton Airport is renamed Lester B. Pearson International Airport in 1984, and Terminal 3 opens in 1991. Terminal 1 was demolished in 2004, the same year a new Terminal 1 opened.