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Arena Gardens
AGside
Name Arena Gardens
Opened 1912
Closed 1931 (demolished in 1989)
Owned By The Arena Gardens of Toronto Ltd.
Hockey Tenants Toronto Tecumsehs (NHA) (1912-13)
Toronto Blueshirts (NHA) (1912-17)
Toronto Ontarios (NHA) (1913-14)
Toronto Shamrocks (NHA) (1914-15)
Toronto Aura Lee (OHA) (1916-26)
Toronto 228th (NHA) (1916-17)
Toronto Arenas (1917-1919)
Toronto St. Patricks (1919-1927)
Toronto Maple Leafs (1927-31)
Toronto Marlboros (1926-31)
Toronto Falcons (IHL) (1929-1930)
Hockey Capacity 7500

Arena Gardens, later known as Mutual Street Arena, was an indoor hockey arena located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The area was home to the Toronto Blueshirts of the National Hockey Association, as well as the Toronto Arenas, Toronto St. Patricks, and later the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League.

HistoryEdit

Arena Gardens was constructed for a reported cost of $500,000 and opened in 1912. At the time, it was billed as the largest indoor arena in Canada, and held about 7,500 for hockey. The rink was owned by the Toronto Arena Company, which was organized on September 19, 1911 with Sir Henry Pellatt as president, Lol Solman as managing director, and Aemilius Jarvis, Joseph Kilgour, T.W. Horn, R.A. Smith, and Col. Carlson as directors. There were two other directors from Montreal. It was built on the site of a previous Mutual Street rink which was used primarily for curling and skating between Dundas Street and Shuter Street.

Arena Gardens was initially home to two new teams in the National Hockey Association, the Toronto Hockey Club and the Tecumseh Hockey Club. Delays in construction meant that the teams could not play in the 1911-12 season, as was originally scheduled.

The Stanley Cup finals were played at Arena Gardens three times, with the Toronto team winning each time. The Cup was won by the Toronto Blueshirts in 1914, by the Toronto Arenas in 1918 (the first National Hockey League team to win the Cup), and by the Toronto St. Patricks (formerly the Arenas) in 1922. Arena Gardens also hosted the Memorial Cup finals nine times from 1919 to 1931. It was from Arena Gardens that radio pioneer Foster Hewitt broadcast his first hockey game on February 16, 1923. The St. Patricks became the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1927, and played at Arena Gardens until the construction of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931.

It also served as a neutral site for several other NHL games during the mid-1920s. For a time, the Arena Gardens was the only facility in Canada east of Manitoba with artificial ice, until the Ottawa Auditorium opened in December 1923.

On June 10, 1925, the building was used as the venue to consummate the union of three Protestant denominations: the Presbyterians, the Methodist Church of Canada, and the Congregational Union of Canada. The union became the United Church of Canada.

In 1938, the Arena was leased to William Dickson, who turned it into a recreation facility offering ice skating in the winter, and roller skating in the summer. Dickson bought the building in 1945, and it remained in the family for the next 43 years. Eighteen curling sheets were added in a 1962 renovation, and the building was renamed The Terrace, a name it kept until it was sold in 1988 to become the site of a condominium complex. It closed its doors on April 30, 1989, and was demolished a few months later.

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