The new Maple Leaf Gardens takes shape
Renovations at Maple Leaf Gardens have come a long way since our last check up in January of this year. At that time it was just becoming possible to get a sense of how the cavernous space was being divided up for its eventual use as Loblaws grocery store and a Ryerson hockey rink / athletic facility. Still, considerable imagination was required to picture what the building — and particularly the rink area — might look like when it was all said and done.
As these most recent photos demonstrate, that's no longer the case. While there is much work left to do, the overall layout of the elevated rink has taken its final shape, right down to the foundations for the stands that will surround the ice pad. With the elimination of the acoustic baffles from the ceiling, it's even more cathedral-like than it was when last in use. Also noteworthy is the additional natural light that will make its way into the building via the newly replaced windows.
The fact that there will be small sections of balcony seating at each end of the ice is also a nice touch from a historical perspective. Watching a hockey game (or other event) here will definitely recall the old days, which I wasn't so sure of based solely on the renderings. It still seems like a long shot that the facility will be ready for fall 2011, but it's nice to get a good look at what they've been up to for all those months behind closed doors.
Cross-section of the project for reference
Slideshow (with additional photos):
Thanks to Flickr user landon alger is real for sharing these shots with us