Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cleanup At Centre Ice

Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto.

Maple Leaf Gardens is much loved by Torontonians. The art deco building was home to the Toronto Maple Leafs until 1999, when they relocated to the larger Air Canada Centre. Maple Leaf Gardens has often been referred to as a “shrine to hockey”. I’m not even a big hockey fan, but I attended a few games there as a child, as did my father when he was a child, and even I have a fond attachment to the building.

Maple Leaf Gardens has an amazing history. Built in the depression era funded by selling shares to Torontonians, the building was constructed in just 5 months and 2 weeks.

Since 1999 the building was stood vacant with an uncertain future.

Yesterday Loblaws opened a supermarket there. This may sound an unlikely use for such a building, but the supermarket has been tastefully done and Loblaws has done much to preserve the history of Maple Leaf Gardens. Centre ice is now located on aisle 25 and is marked by a large red dot. While the old rink may be gone, Ryerson University is building a new rink on the top floor.

It may seen strange to see such an iconic sports arena turned into a supermarket, but if it saves the building from being demolished then it is worth it.

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