Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F) Communications Site
near Manotick, Ontario, Canada during WW 2
Century Road and Third Line Road, North Gower Township
July 29, 2009:
To whom it may concern:
I am seeking information on a particular R.C.A.F Communications Site. In 1956 my father was
posted to R.C.A.F station Rockcliffe, Ottawa Ontario. My father was an electronics
technictian with the R.C.A.F. He belonged to a Communications Squadron located at Rockcliffe
Station. I believe he primarly worked on ( Recievers and Transmitters ).
My inquiry concerns a small ( off station site ) located near Manotick, Ontario. This
Communications Site was approximately 20 miles from R.C.A.F Rockcliffe, just outside the
small village of Manotick. The exact location of this Communication Site is at the
intersection of (Century Road) and (3rd Line Road), North Gower Township. The main enterance being on 3rd line
Road. The site occupied approximately 20 acres (guesstimate). I once visited this site with
my father in the mid 1950's. I can still in my minds eye see a brick building on a hill and
the men at the site had a german shepard dog named King.
On July 3, 2009 some 50 years later I revisited the location. All that remains is the
( Military Fence with Gate ) still standing although rusted surrounding the entire property.
There is one small building just inside the gate which is now being used by a civilian
company. This small building appears to have been where some of the electronic equipment the
Site used was installed, the roof has several large vents indicating that there were large
cooling fans in operation at one time. There are no traces of any other buildings on the
property. I only came across one small square concrete block with four metal protrusions.
This concrete block was once the mounting base for an antenna tower at the site.
I am seeking information on when this site closed and if possible to obtain a photograph of
the site during it's operational days. I am enclosing a photograph taken about 1956 at
Manotick showing three personne. The corporal on the right is my father, the other two
gentlemen to his left I do not know. I do thank you now for any and all time spent seeking
informtion on my behalf.
Sincerely: Mr. Carey Craig
Dear: Mr. Lewis
Thank you for your Reply to my inquiry on the old R.C.A.F Comm Site. By all means YES! do
run what you would like on your website include the picture if you will, ( www.bytown.net.).
I would very much be interested in any replies that you may recieve and in that regard I
shall follow the web site closely.
The following may be of interest to you in this matter. I live in Nova Scotia just 12 miles
outside Halifax. Approximately 10 miles further away from me is the community of " Mount
Uniake ". The R.C.A.F operated large reciever and transmitter sites in this community. The
two stations were seperated by about 5 miles. The " Reciever Site" closed in 1968 and the
" Transmitter site closed about 1978.
I mention this because my father worked at both this Comm Sites just as he had at the
Manotick Site. By the way, my father appears in the photograph on the far right in a
corporals uniform, you may note the " AG FLYING WING " on his uniform as he trained as an
Air Craft Gunner during WWII under the British Commonwealth Training Program.
As noted in my inquiry, I visited the Manotick Comm Site on July 2, 2009 for the first time
in 50 years since my last visit. There is indeed very little of the site left. There is only
one building standing and it is just inside the entrance gate located on 3rd line road. The
original fence is still up and intact also. I am rather suprized of the good condition it
appears to be in considering the length of time the Comm Site has been closed. This building
is familiar to me, it is identical to a building still standing on the Mount Uniake transmitter
site. One can tell the former use of this building by looking on the roof, you will note
several large ventilator shafts. This indicates that very likely this was the location of the
Transmitting Electronic Equipment which required much ventilation to keep from over heating!.
However, there must have been other buildings on the property at one time. Likely, there was
a small barracks building for staff, also a building for doing repair work and an office of
some type. This Comm Site was manned 24hrs a day when in operation.
The Site is now being leased by a man whom is operating a " Paint Ball shooting" business on
the property. I spoke briefly with this gentleman ( whom just happened to be from Nova Scotia )
originally. He told me he leases the property from the owner whom aquired it apparently from
the DND when it was sold off as surplus land.
I am not sure at this time but I may have another photograph taken at Manotick somewhere. I
must have a good look around. I would be so glad if any one had a decent photograph of what
the Comm Site looked like when it was in operation that I might aquire.
I can still recall the time I was out there in the mid 1950's and there was a building on a
hill and the staff had a Geman Shepard dog named " King". I have tried everything I know to
find information out on the internet without much luck on this matter. Of course time is
moving on and the staff and men that I would have met the time I visited out there would now
be in there upper 80's and into their 90's in age. So I wish you good luck in this quest and
as I previously stated I will follow your web site with interest. Take Care!
Sincerely: Mr. Carey Craig (email@example.com)
August 22, 2011:
My name is Kevin West i lived just down the road from this station and remmeber it quite well.
I remember when the staion was running in 1967 or was going to be shut down as i would hear at night the big diesel
powered generators running.I went once after it closed and walked through the buliding. The basement was flooded and i
could not go down there. Last time i was out that way just the security fence was standing. I was always interested in
the purpose and thought it was a early detection station.I know they had powerful transformers as my dad knew a
man in the airforce station at rockcliffe who had gone to this station for whatever reason and told us of the equipment,
but not much details.I have looked on the internet for a long time and never saw any mention of this station.
Do you have any other pictures you can send me of it?
March 19, 2012:
I served as Ops Officer at 704 Comm Sqn headquartered at Rockcliffe. My tenure was from Summer of 1970 until the summer of 1973.
As indicated in the subject line, the site you refer to was operating as an HF SSB Radio teletype transmitter site. The teletype
signals originated from the manual torn-tape relay centre in the Comm Sqn HQ building located in the "back 40" (all gone now) and
went via CN/CP comm lines I believe at 60 baud. The associated receiver site for the circuits was located in Navan to the east of Ottawa.
Before the Liberals combined the 3 services, 704 was known as RCAF 4CU. I was a young Lieutenant aged 24 in 1970 and was promoted
Captain before leaving in 1973. I can recall the name of one fellow that might be able to shed more light on things. I found an
email address for him on a Whitehorse website so I just sent him an email. I'm 66 now so if he's still around he'll really be
getting on in years. If hear anything back, I'll get back to you.
Try this for a bit more info.
Good morning, Mr. Shacklock:
Thanks very much for your informative and detailed e-mail regarding the RCAF Transmitter Site near Manotick, Ontario.
Is it OK with you if I add your e-mail to our web page at www.bytown.net/rcafbuildingww2.htm ? Please let me know.
I drove past this building last fall and my impression was that there is now a private (High-tech?) business occupying the building.
There were a half dozen vehicles parked in front of the building. I’ll take a drive over that way this week and get a picture
of the building and the site as it is today and will send you all a copy by e-mail.
I’ll also add your link to the article in the newsletter “Groundwave” from 1966 to the web page.
Thanks again for this!
... Al Lewis
Sure, add my email address.
I'm afraid I must have only visited the site a few times because I don't have any real recollection of what it looked like.
Talk of closing the radio sites took place during my time at 704 but I'm unable to recall when they were shut down but it
must have been in the 70s.
I'd be interested to see any pix you might have - I certainly don't have any from that era myself.
BTW, the newsletter from the OARC (Ottawa Amateur Radio Club) is call the Groundwave. As a ham operator myself, I was a member
of the OARC from 1978 to 1985 and member of the OVMRC, Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club over the same time period. In re-reading
that article, I note the reference to microwave. As a reliable technology I imagine that it was in service while I was at 704 but
I'm unable to recall the routing of the microwave link. There certainly was no microwave facility in the 704 Comm Sqn building
at Rockcliffe so the link must have gone somewhere else and then extended to Rockcliffe by "land lines". It's possible that one
or some of the multiple SSB radios in Manotick served other military users in the Ottawa area but I have no recollection of that.
All the best.
May 8, 2012:
New e-mail address for Mr. Carey Craig is firstname.lastname@example.org
(incorporated in the list below ... Al)
August 14, 2015:
We've corresponded before and I wanted to give you a note that appeared in the Ottawa Amateur Radio club's
bulletin for April 1966.
I am attempting to find local hams that may have attended that visit to the Manotick site.
I found it quite interesting.
Ralph Cameron, Ottawa On.
Names for search engine: George Hudson, Hal Walsh
E-mail Mr. Carey Craig, Kevin West, Mike Shacklock, Ralph Cameron and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada, area -- the Ottawa area during WW1 and WW2