007 Author Ian Fleming’s Time At Camp X

Posted on Nov 5, 2015

To the delight of spy enthusiasts, the latest entry in the James Bond film canon, Spectre, opens in theatres across the country today.

But did you know that the series’ famed creator, Ian Fleming, was at Camp X in 1942 as both an observer and participator?

As the story goes, Fleming failed what was considered a vital test at Camp X’s Sinclair House. Designed to determine if an agent has the mettle to kill, the author was given a loaded weapon and ordered to assassinate a ‘dangerous enemy agent’ in a mockup of a hotel room. The ‘enemy agent’ is said to have been an instructor at Camp X, adept at avoiding point-blank gunfire, but Fleming was unable to go through with it and failed.

What’s more, rumours abound that the inspiration for Fleming’s iconic character may have come from Ontario landmarks.

Oshawa’s Genosha Hotel, a then-popular haunt for British Officers at Camp X, had it’s rear parking lot situated on Bond street.

It’s also believed Fleming was billeted at a spot on Toronto’s Avenue Road, where he was chauffeured to and from the camp each day. Across the street was the St. James-Bond United Church. The church was torn down as recently as 2006, but there’s little doubt Fleming would have failed to notice the church’s namesake while waiting on the porch for his morning ride.

While another story suggests the name was taken from a book about exotic birds by American ornithologist James Bond - it’s hard to deny that Fleming’s time at Camp X was a heavy influence.

From research by Lynn Hodgson.

Canadian Media Fund