The aerospace manufacturing industry holds an important place in Canada’s modern history. The fledgeling industry’s triumphs, along with its struggles to get off the ground, illustrate the tension between Canadians, their government, and their colonial ties abroad in the 20th century. But despite some early difficulties, Canadian aerospace manufacturing now sits as the 5th largest aerospace industry in the world and the 3rd for civil air and engine production.
Manufacturing accounts for 70% of the aerospace industry’s total GDP in Canada. It includes civil and national defence activities, as well as the space industry. The country ranks highly in the production of civil aeroplanes, helicopters, and flight simulators. Large aerospace manufacturers, like Pratt & Whitney, have their base of operations in Canada.
The heart of the aerospace industry in Canada has always been Quebec. It remains so to this day. Quebec has played a historic role in the industry since its inception in the early 1900s, with support from academic and technical institutions and attractive tax incentives to keep firms in the province. It’s been said that one can build an entire aircraft from parts sourced within 30 miles of Montreal.