Maple Leaf Gardens

Ryerson rink at Maple Leaf Gardens nears completion

While Loblaws' adaptive reuse of the lower level of Maple Leaf Gardens has got most of the attention over the last little while, that's likely set to change as Ryerson's athletic centre nears completion above the grocery store. Although we don't have an exact date for the opening of the facility yet, Ryerson tells us that late spring is the goal.

The latest bit of concrete news about the project is that the top layer of the ice rink has just been installed. In the photograph above it almost looks like the ice itself has been put in, but that's still a few weeks away. Nevertheless, we've now got a really good sense of what the arena will look like.

Little details like the concrete balconies at each end of the rink are worth pointing out here. These serve as a nice little nod to the layout of the old Gardens, to which such seating was added during a Harold Ballard-led renovation in the 1960s. These balconies (red and blue level seating) were a fantastic place to watch a hockey game from, and no longer exist at the bowl-shaped arenas that dominate the NHL today.

It's also interesting to note that the rink is 50 feet above ground level, which makes it the highest ice rink in Toronto. Perhaps that little tidbit will be worthy of mention when they come out with a Toronto version of Trivial Pursuit. Jokes aside, the upper level looks pretty good, doesn't it?

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Photo by Norm Betts / Ryerson University


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