Canada may be 142 years old, but it's only been flying for a century.

The Canada Aviation Museum celebrated Canada Day by throwing the doors open on one of the world's best aviation collections.

The free day of activity at the museum started with a citizenship ceremony for 100 people presided over by Gov.-Gen. Michaëlle Jean, to mark Canada's centennial of powered flight.


Aircraft from the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and Vintage Wings of Canada were flown in for the day during static displays outside the museum.

Canada Aviation Museum spokesperson Marie-Jose Cadieux said they were expecting upwards of 6,000 visitors to the museum.

"This is our biggest day of the year," she said. "We have a lot of family activities going on."

The main aerial attraction was an appearance by the Snowbirds Demonstration Team.

However, their brief appearance left many of the spectators hoping for more.

"I thought they were going to do more loops and stunts," said Eric Dumouchel, who came from Aylmer to see the Snowbirds. "Inside (the museum) is a lot of fun, but for it only to last five minutes is disappointing."

Ottawa resident Paul Devey and his family came out to the aviation museum so his kids could see the planes and visit their granddad, who is volunteering with the restoration work on a 1948 Northstar aircraft.

"It's impressive to see the airplanes, and see Canada's aviation heritage," he said. "The kids are excited, but they wanted to see more jets, louder and lower."

For visitors like Alanna McDonell and Paula McClintock who weren't expecting a flypast, the snowbirds were an added bonus.

This is the second year that McClintock spent Canada Day at the aviation museum.

"It's not quite as busy as downtown," said McClintock, who came with a group of children. "I wouldn't feel comfortable bringing my kids downtown so this is the perfect venue. They get to run around and they learn something too."

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