Free Walking Tours 2017
By Lynn Philip Hodgson, author of Inside
Camp-X and Canadian Associate Editor of Eye Spy Magazine.
2017 Tour Schedule
Saturday, May 6 th, 2017 (as part of “Doors Open Whitby”)
The Tour will last approximately 1½ - 2 hours
** There will be a PowerPoint presentation on the history of Camp-X from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
at the Centennial Building in Whitby.
There will be an hour for questions following the talk.
Tour Times: 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, September 30th, 2017 (as part of "Doors Open Oshawa")
All tours last approximately 1½ - 2 hours
Tour Times: 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Please see, things you should know for the tour, at the bottom of this page!!
Camp-X, the top-secret World War II secret agent training school, strategically placed in Canada on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Imagine yourself inside this top-secret Camp “X”, in the Officers’ Mess on a Saturday evening, listening intently to the stories, drinking a beer or sipping a glass of wine with some of the bravest, most talented military fighters alive at the time, including the great William Fairbairn; such was life Inside Camp-X.
The Officers’ Mess at Camp-X 1943
During the 1970’s, I was a Vice President of and the Director of Research for the Camp-X Museum Society. I served as the Associate Editor of the ‘Journal of the Camp-X Society’, which was transcribed and assembled from over forty hours of taped interviews. These interviews were conducted in the late 70’s with many of the men and women who passed through Camp-X during the war years. It was with this and other related material that the true and authentic story of Camp-X could be brought to light.
The Monument dedicated to the men and women of Camp-X
Starting in 2004, visitors to Camp-X, through my walking tours, were able to recreate a nostalgic insight into the life and day-to-day activities at Camp. With the visual assistance of a map drawn in 1943 by Hamish Pelham Burn, who was the chief instructor in explosives and small arms weapons training, visitors can mentally cast themselves back to another time of desperation and the unknown outcome of this devastating war.
Map drawn in 1943 by Hamish Pelham Burn
Aerial photograph of Camp-X taken by Hamish in 1943
The walking tour starts at the monument located high on a grassy knoll, where the Hydra building lies buried. Time and Mother Nature have eroded the soil mysteriously exposing pieces of concrete of the transmitter building. You will receive a brochure which shows a handmade sketch of where the buildings were situated during WWII.
Lynn Philip Hodgson and other members of the July 23rd ‘05 tour
(Picture courtesy: Alan Paul Longfield)
Visitors are told of historical events such as top-secret meetings conducted in the Commanding Officer’s den with such dignitaries as J. Edgar Hoover of the F.B.I., Sir William Stephenson (Intrepid B.S.C), Wild Bill Donovan of the O.S.S. and Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series. They are shown craters that still exist after more than sixty years where the explosives training took place, and the place where two brave men lost their lives in accidents with live ammunition. They will be told of the many stories and adventures, and the positioning and secret use of each of the camp buildings.
The old original pathway used by the patrol guards leads down to the beaches of Lake Ontario where Russian cipher clerk, turned defector, Igor Gouzenko, painted a scene of the beach which if visited today, looks exactly the same. Gouzenko was hidden with his family at Camp-X for two years after being whisked to the camp in the middle of the night by Sir William Stephenson and had little else to do but paint as he was constantly under armed guard.
Some of the 216 people who toured Camp-X on September 24th, 2005
(Photo credit, Bill Ewart)
More photos of the walk can be seen here.
“Forbidden Beach” as painted by Igor Gouzenko - 1946
(Photo Credit, Jim Cullina)
The tours, conducted by the author of ‘Inside Camp-X’, have been well received and visitors have come from all around the world with many co-ordinating their trip to Canada around the Camp-X tour dates.
Things you should know for your tour!!
There are no washroom facilities at Intrepid Park. There are no nearby eating facilities. Please wear running shoes or boots as the ground is rough and sometimes wet. Please put a jacket in the car, it can be 5 to 7 degrees colder at the lake. Please bring some water as you can become dehydrated in the hot weather of summer. If you are elderly, I suggest that you not go on the walking part of the tour. We will spend 45 minutes at the monument where I talk about the history of the Camp and then 45 minutes on the tour.
For directions to Intrepid Park:
Take the 401 hwy to Whitby and take the Thickson Road cut off. Go south on Thickson Road to Wentworth Road - left (East) to Boundary Road - right (south) about 600 ft. - top of hill on your right.
For more information about “Doors Open Ontario”, please go to: http://www.doorsopenontario.on.ca/
For more information regarding these free walking tours, please e-mail meand join us for some exciting tours through history.
Young man climbs out of the Greatroom at Camp-X (1976)