Historic Sites of Manitoba: Victoria Beach Air Base / Victoria Beach Yacht Club (RM of Victoria Beach)

As Victoria Beach was located on the northernmost end of a railway line on a big lake, it was an ideal setting for establishing one of Canada’s first air bases.

The Air Board of Canada (1919-1923) morphed into the Royal Canadian Air Force, and some of the first planes were the Canadian-made Vickers Vedettes (“flying boats”) used for surveying, forest inventory, and fire patrols. In May 1921, 18 men arrived at the new townsite to begin building the base on what is now the sports field. Soon about 60 personnel worked here from May to October, including squadron leaders, pilots, photographers, and support persons. In 1926, the base was moved to Lac du Bonnet.

With the RCAF’s departure, this plot of land became today’s sports field and the lake front eventually became home to the yacht club, which started in 1964 with only a few sailors and a little shed for a clubhouse. Four years later an old caboose was bought for $125 from the Transcona CNR yards and hauled to the lake to serve as a bigger clubhouse. The yacht club today is very popular and offers lessons, holds regattas, and offers storage space.

Sports field at the former air base site

Sports field at the former air base site (May 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.69850, W96.55908
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lac du Bonnet Airport Monument (Lac du Bonnet)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Early Aviation History Plaque (Lac du Bonnet)


“History Hunt 100: Clues to 100 Years of History throughout Victoria Beach,” Rural Municipality of Victoria Beach, 2019.

This page was prepared by Rose Kuzina.

Page revised: 21 December 2021

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