Completed in July, 1952, as 209 RCAF Radio Station, this radar station made up part of the Pinetree Line, a string of radar stations used to defend against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Shortly afterwards, it was renamed RCAF Falconbridge. It was manned by the 33 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. It became part of the SAGE defense network in 1963.
In April, 1975, CFB North Bay opened the Air Weapons Control and Countermeasures School at this station. Radar operations were shut down on December 31, 1985 as a result of the North American Air Defense Modernization program. The station was disbanded in August, 1986 and sold the following year for $140,000.
During its operation, there were a few interesting items noted in the history of CFS Falconbridge located on the Pinetreeline.org site as follows:
29 Dec 54 - At 1055Z Mr. Murdock of the Sudbury Met Office reported a flying saucer had been seen by Mr. Frank Seymour, 73 Samuel Street., Sudbury, phone OS 3-4236.This man claimed to have seen an object traveling East to West over downtown Sudbury at 0927Z. No further information could be obtained from the Met Office. The Duty Controller phoned OS 3-4236 and was told that no one by that name lived there. This information was passed to Sector by telephone who advised us that it was not necessary to send a signal nor make a report. Later, at 1125Z, Sudbury Met Officer reported another call made by a man who claimed he had seen an unidentified flying object while driving on the Copper Cliff highway. This man wouldn’t leave his name nor could any more information be obtained.
8 Jan 55 - At 0140Z North Bay GObC called with the following info: "A Mr. Hunt reporter for the North Bay Nugget has sighted an unknown flying object near Cobalt, Ontario. It was reported at 0130Z and had been seen at that time hovering for 25 to 30 minutes. Black Ball 109 (CF-100 from 3 OTU) was scrambled and the area searched but reported seeing nothing but the lights of Cobalt and Haileybury.
19 Jul 55 - GObC North Bay report an unknown flying object sighting in KE5913. Check revealed no weather balloons in that area. Report passed to ADC.
19 Jan 56 - Flying object report received from GObC and passed to Sector.
27 Jan 56 - Flying object report passed to sector.
Another UFO incident is noted by the North Bay Nugget, and documented to some degree by the Canadian Armed horses in November of 1975.
The operations centre, towers, etc. were all demolished in the summer of 2007. The other buildings making up the domestic site continue to serve various functions such as low-rental housing, etc. while still other buildings remain vacant and rotting.
Having grown up around the Pinetree Line radar stations, they've always held a certain fascination for me. Very soon after moving to Sudbury, I happened to be going down Radar Road and saw a group of buildings I instantly recognized by their style (or lack of it), colour scheme and layout. I would quickly discover this was the former CFS Falconbridge.
Spending time at CFS Barrington, in Nova Scotia, I remembered seeing a list of other sites in the chain, and thinking that Falconbridge was an interesting name. It stuck in my memory and I was now, many years later, happy to have finally laid eyes on the place for myself. Later, I would finally have opportunity to visit, first circling the various buildings of the domestic site below before making my assent up the hill to the operations site.
The operations site was somewhat different than some of the others I'd already seen, but also similar to some I would find out about later. Since then, I was fortunate enough to capture these photos before the eventual demolition of the operations site, and "hardening" of the domestic site. The current owner wants no one around, and is quite zealous in that goal.