BOMARC Missile Heritage Site Plaque

Site P15:
BOMARC Missile Heritage Site Plaque
Location:
Lee Park (Veteran's Fields)
Evaluation Score:
N/A

Throughout the Cold War, North Bay’s position as an important NORAD military base led to both pride and fear within the city’s citizens. While happy about the addition of many jobs and great prosperity, the people of North Bay were also worried about the city’s positioning if war ever actively broke out between the United States and the Soviet Union. The presence of BOMARC missiles in the city is an illustration of this tension.

From 1961 to 1972 28 BOMARC missiles were stationed at a site just north of Highway 11. Despite extensive controversy about accepting nuclear armed warheads, a change in federal government from Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservatives to Pearson’s Liberals resulted in the arming of the warheads at the end of 1963. With the introduction of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 1960s, the BOMARC missiles became effectively obsolete and were subsequently removed from North Bay and the other Canadian site, La Macaza, Québec.

From 1979 to 2009, a BOMARC missile was mounted on a pedestal in Lee Park (Veteran’s Fields) to serve as a reminder of this important and controversial period in North Bay’s history. The missile was removed to the National Air Force Museum in Ohio in 2009 to prevent further deterioration from age and the elements.