Spider at Borden

polly

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Have a scholarly/research interest in the old detention barracks at Camp Borden known as the SPIDER. Any and all information - documents, pictures, anecdotes, stories, memories, even at second hand gratefully received.

Particular interest in interior arrangements of the building -- cells, corridors, offices etcetc. thanks in advance. thanks, polly

 

Rifleman62

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Is that the building that had a CF-100 fenced of behind it? The CF-100 had a story behind it. Used for experiments?

Stayed in that building in 1965. They quartered Militia pers there. It was a maze without the hay bails.
 

pbi

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It stood by the Alliston gate, not far from where the MP station. I remember it being used as Militia quarters for a little while, but in the early 70's the MTC started using other barracks. I believe it got its "spider" name from the way the cell wings radiated out from the centre portion of  the building. IIRC, after it stopped being used by MTC, CFNBCS took it over for some purposes, as Rifleman suggests.
 

FJAG

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Rifleman62 said:
Stayed in that building in 1965. They quartered Militia pers there. It was a maze without the hay bails.

Ditto. I think it was around '66 and if memory serves me correctly it was still pretty much as it was when they held prisoners there except for the fact that all the bars/doors were left open 24/7  ;)

:cheers:
 

exspy

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It was definitely being used as militia quarters up to 1969.  The fenced off CF-100 in the back was still there, too.  And, according to what we were told at the time, the aircraft was radioactive.

The Spider was originally the base detention barracks.  The building was designed with five (or maybe six) wings coming off of a large central common area.  Each wing had a large barred gate at the top.  Past the gate was a central hallway running the length of the wing with rooms on either side.  First there was a combination open shower and lavatory room with a concrete floor.  It was on one side (the left comes to mind) with a storeroom opposite.  Then there were cells down each side and finally a large classroom at the end.  The classroom had a door leading outside in line with the hallway.

Each of the cells had two doorways, but the doors were gone.  There were still bars on the windows, however.  Each cell contained either 3 or 4 double bunks.  It must have been heated (because I stayed there during the winter months) but I don't recall how.

The entire building was made of wood, and would have gone up like a torch if it had ever caught fire during my time.

In all the times I was there, it was never used for anything other than visiting militia quarters.  There were no military personnel permanently assigned there, and no offices were in use.  Most of the doors were gone.  The entire building was empty less the militiamen, the bunks and the 6 foot tables in the classrooms.  It was a long march to the men's mess and and an even longer walk to the cinema.

But the Spider (and Dennison Armouries) is where I began to learn to soldier, so I remember it with some nostalgia.  It was probably a lot smaller than I remember it.

Cheers,
Dan.
 

Jim1348

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Is that the building that had a CF-100 fenced of behind it? The CF-100 had a story behind it. Used for experiments?

Stayed in that building in 1965. They quartered Militia pers there. It was a maze without the hay bails.
Yes, I was a young militia man in 1964-65 with the 48th Highlanders out of Toronto. We stayed there one winter for a series of range practices.
 
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