Loch-Sloy Business Park was built in 1940 by the federal government as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). Seven hundred and one acres of land on the out skirts of Picton became the home of the Royal Air Force (RAF) where many young British, Canadian and American men trained as combat pilots. After World War II, the site was used as a storage and equipment maintenance centre for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Later the Royal Canadian School of Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) took over the site. The school provided training for anti-aircraft gunners, gunnery radar operators, technical assistants and artillery instructors. By the 1950’s the base was expanded. In the early sixties, the first battalion Canadian Guards, an infantry unit, settled to the Camp and became a respected addition to the community and in 1966 were granted the “Freedom of the City”, the highest honour a civilian community can give a military unit. Throughout its military history, the site also housed the AVRO Arrow test models.
In 1969 the Department of Defense pulled out of CFB Picton and shortly thereafter the aerodrome and the original BCATP buildings were purchased by the H.J. McFarland Company. The current company purchased Loch-Sloy Holdings Limited from the McFarland family in 1999. At that time, the site had been greatly vandalized and had very little activity occurring in the now industrial site. The owner of the company held a nostalgic appreciation for the former Camp Picton and wished to see the site restored.
Since 1999 a great deal of investment has been placed into the restoration of the devastated site. The former Camp Picton has now become utilized to a diverse group of entrepreneurs, artists and businesses. Also, the site hosts a variety of special events such as drag races, tractor pulls, slalom racing, motorcycle rallies, and plane fly-ins. As well, special forces training (RCMP, OPP and DND) and a summer air gliding program utilize the space. Forty-four of the original buildings remain (approximately 560,000 square feet of space) which include six hangars, a drill hall, barracks, a theatre, mess hall, old hospital, nurses’ residence and administration buildings. Also, three functional 2,600 foot runways remain intact. The current company works diligently to preserve this former World War II air training base. An historical note worth mentioning is that this former BCATP base is the last remaining site of its kind in North America, and possibly the world, with as many original buildings still intact. It is a Canadian historical treasure worth preserving.