Gander - Report On The Municipal Plan 1957
This document was published in 1957 which relates to the reason why a new town was needed and the planning that took place.
As a prelude we would like to start by quoting a section of the report that will enlighten the reader to understand why a new town was needed.
1.3 The Problems of Gander Airport
Gander at the end of the war was primarily a military base. Housing, social services, commerce, and industry were subordinated to the main business of winning the war. As the airport grew in its civilian importance from 1945 onward, employees were housed haphazardly in the old Service barracks. Shops and other facilities had to be accommodated in those buildings that could be adapted.
By the end of 1950, there were well over 3,000 people living on the Airport. Many of the old converted Service quarters were very dilapidated, and too close to the runways. Some families were living in one room. Schooling and shopping facilities were well away from residences. Maintenance was high, and building replacements were obviously in need. Airport operation were hampered.
Faced with an insistent demand for a further 200 houses, the Department od Transport had to decide whether to replace and extend those on the airport, or to build elsewhere.
As an added factor, the Department of National Defense had intimated previously that in the event of a major war it would be necessary to move most of the civilians off the airport. As there was no nearby communities of sufficent size to house the people removed, an impossible situation would result.
Thus in mid 1950, the decision was made that airport personnel should be moved to a complete new town, independent of the airport, but within a reasonable commuting distance. The independence was to be complete - the town should be self-governing, not a "company town".
This report will show the planning that went into the town of Gander as we know today.
Republished from www.gandercanada.com