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Concert Venues :: Maple Leaf Gardens


Now Known As
Date Opened Nov. 21, 1931
Venue Capacity 16,000
Venue URL
Venue Address 60 Carlton Street
Toronto, ON M5B-1L1

Venue Information

The Gardens was built by Leafs managing director Conn Smythe in a six-month period during 1931 at a cost of $1.5 million. The site was purchased from The T. Eaton Co. Ltd. for a price said to be $150,000 below market value. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Ross and Macdonald. W. A. Hewitt, sports editor of the Toronto Star, was hired as general manager to oversee all events other than professional hockey.

The Gardens opened on November 12, 1931, with the Maple Leafs losing 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Reported attendance on opening night was 13,542, which was about 1,500 below capacity.

962 new seats were added to the Gardens in 1962 and added a private club, The Hot Stove Club, the following year. Even more seats were added in 1965 and new mezzanine galleries were constructed in 1966 and 1967. By 1968, seating capacity for hockey had grown to 16,307.

Maple Leaf Gardens has been mostly dormant since 1999.
Loblaw Companies, Canada's largest food retailer, purchased the Gardens in 2004. It is converting the interior to accommodate a Real Canadian Superstore and parking. There has been some criticism that the conversion of the building to retail uses diminishes its heritage value, and that Maple Leaf Gardens should continue to serve as an arena in accordance with its rich history and traditions. Others, however, note that the structure has been deteriorating for a number of years, and that its ongoing use for minor league sports and events would not generate sufficient income to secure the building's preservation and restoration. Further, the active re-use of the building would allow it to remain open to the public for years to come.

Venue Photos

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