Edgar is located about 20 kilometres north west of Barrie, Ontario.
On May 29th, 1951 a joint Canadian (RCAF) and American (USAF) project took place. It's purpose was to mount a defense against possible Soviet air threats against North America. It was estimated that by 1954, the USSR would have the capability to send long range bombers. The project would see the construction of a series of radar bases all along the country to provide advanced warning of incoming aircraft.
CFB Edgar (site C-4 or callsign "Cupid") was built as a radar station for the Department of National Defense (DND) in November of 1950. It was completed on September 1952 under the command of HC Vinnicombe.
It consisted of three "Armco" huts, sixty-five married quarters, a school, heating plant, sewage disposal plant, fire hall, pump house, mess hall, barracks and homes for the service men and women.
Facilities included a 10 bed Sick Quarters which provided medical and dental services; also a recreation building which housed a gymnasium, swimming pool, club room, general store, barber shop and post office.
Protestant church services were held on the base in the school until 1953 when the recreational base was completed.
Three movies were shown per week. The admission for two movies was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for a child. The third movie was free as it was either educational or medical in nature.
A library with 200 books was available as was a skating rink for the hockey team.
Edgar operated as both an Early Warning (EW) and a manual Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) unit. All aircraft would be manually plotted onto a large plotting board. Initially the hardware would allow for an 80 mile radius. Later upgrades would allow for a 200 mile radius up to 40,000 feet altitude. The manual system was upgraded during the 1960's with an automated system in October of 1961.
As of 30 November, 1952, 154 officers, airmen and airwomen were at Edgar. By December of 1961 the size of the base had grown to 184 military personnel and 89 civilians.
Edgar closed on March 20, 1964 as it fell redundant when other bases were upgraded. That November the station was sold to the Province of Ontario for $218,225. It is used as a training facility for handicapped adults.
The majority of the buildings at this site have already been demolished. However there still are at least 5 structures still standing, along with a sewer system you can climb down into. There is a gatehouse right by the entrance, a church straight ahead once you enter through the gates, a pump house/storage building if you follow the road going right at the entrance, a pump room at the very top of the hill built half into the terrain, and best of all a small complex of three building surrounded fenced in with barbed wire if you take an immediate left at the entrance. There isn't much interesting about the first four structures, other than some machinery in the pump houses and a basement in the one at the top of the hill. The church is empty except one pew in the larger room to the right and an excess of satanic graffiti. The most interesting place by is the complex of three buildings. There are a few ways to get to it, the first two involve cutting through the woods for a small distance until you get to the open field/meadow where the complex is. You can either walk left through the woods for about 200 steps or you can walk down the first road going left when you hop the gate until you reach the telephone poles. Just turn left and follow the telephone wires through the trees and down the hill for about 50 steps until you reach the clearing. The last way is to follow the road going left until you take a final left onto a dead end street. At the end of the street there is a dirt atv trail that leads to the clearing from the opposite direction of the other two ways. I haven't been this way as it takes longer so i don't know if its safe or not. If you walk around the perimeter of the barbed wire fence you'll eventually find a section cut and peeled back big enough for a normal sized person to fit through. I honestly don't know what the buildings were used for, there are concrete channels that snake through the complex that look like water was supposed to run through them, as well as several deep pits that are now partially filled with water, I don't know how deep these go. There is one building with a basement that contain more pumps and machinery. The steps down to the basement are littered with old circular weather charts. There is another building that has a big pit that takes up most of the interior. Most of the insulation that was on the ceiling has fallen into the pit so i don't know whats on the bottom. Finally there is a smaller building with no basement. If anyone knows what this complex is all about I'd love to hear it. Also, there's likely no real need to worry but be wary of coyotes, I've gone by myself a few times and only seen one once, but you can't be too careful so I'd suggest bringing a friend along.