by the travel bug at a very early age. I grew up underneath the main runway at the Toronto Airport, Runway 23. The airport was later named the Lester B Pearson Airport, but at that time it was always the Toronto International Airport.
It was not unusual for us to be sitting in the backyard at my parents house, and have the airplanes fly in not far overhead. Our conversation volume would increase as the planes went over and then decrease naturally as the planes passed. All of our friends found it unusual, but we never noticed anything unusual about it. It was just part of living under the airport.
I would watch the planes go over and imagine where all those people were going or where they had been – and I knew I wanted to go too!
As a kid I would jump on the bus and go to the airport with my friends. We would spend the day playing Spy in the airport. We would follow suspicious looking people around until they went through the gates. We would also get into areas that we should never have entered in the first place. I have been kicked out of the Control Tower (after first getting a tour) and various airside areas in the airport. Try doing that today and I would probably be the one followed as a spy.
That could be me on the roof below. In those days you could watch the planes take off and land from the roof or the garage. The terminal was circular with the control tower in that little piece on the front (accessed by an elevator).