De Havilland Canada was founded in 1928 as the Canadian affiliate of de Havilland in Britain, based in Downsview, a suburb of Toronto. Its purpose was to manufacture de Havilland aircraft for the North American market, and it produced D.H.82 Tiger Moths, D.H.83 Fox Moths and, during World War II, D.H.98 Mosquitos.
After the Second World War, DHC designed and built its own aircraft while continuing to manufacture licensed designs and subcontract components. They included bush utility aircraft and military and civil transports of various sizes. All together, eight different models were originated by DHC. The first six were named after animals indigenous to Canada. The last two were uncreatively named the “Dash 7” and “Dash 8” after the last part of their manufacturer designations.
DHC was sold to Boeing in 1986; Boeing quickly discontinued the aircraft that it considered too competitive with its own, destroying the tooling so that they could not be produced again. In 1992 Boeing sold DHC to Bombardier, which continues to produce the final DHC design, the Dash 8. Ownership of the seven previous models has been acquired by Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia. Viking Air has put two DHC products back into production and provides support for the remainder.