I seem to remember sometime last year were (and i hope my reference is somewhat close) Jim Flaherty said he was not in the business of funding sports stadiums, in particular he mentioned CFL facilities. Why then change of heart then Jim? And why drop millions more into a hockey arena when Toronto already has the ACC and all these other cities want or need new/repaired football stadiums? Especially when a multi-million (billion?) dollar company like Loblaws is involved.
Blades on the ice of Maple Leaf Gardens again as Ottawa partners to reopen shrine
By The Canadian Press
TORONTO - There will be blades on the ice again at Toronto's storied Maple Leaf Gardens.
The federal government is contributing $20 million toward the $60-million plan to turn the hockey shrine into an athletic facility, rink and grocery store, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Tuesday. Ryerson University will contribute $20 million through increased student fees and Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) will partner with Ryerson to raise the remaining $20 million through fundraising.
The Ryerson Sports and Recreation Centre will have, among other things, a NHL-size skating rink, Flaherty said.
"With today's announcement we're keeping Maple Leaf Gardens as a special place for generations of Canadians to come," he said.
"This centre will generate excitement across the Greater Toronto Area. It will create jobs in the Toronto region once it's completed."
Earlier this year, Ryerson students voted to pay an extra $126 per year in athletic fees for new facilities.
"We are bringing Maple Leaf Gardens back to life," said Ryerson president Sheldon Levy.
"Our varsity sports and athletics will have the facilities and opportunities to excel."
Maple Leaf Gardens opened in 1931, hosting its first Maple Leaf game on Nov. 12 that year, when the Maple Leafs lost 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Leafs moved down the street to the Air Canada Centre in February 1999 and Loblaw bought Maple Leaf Gardens in 2004 from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
Loblaws has said it will maintain the existing facades of the arena, as well as existing rooflines with the majority of development taking place within the building's interior.
The sports centre will cover 150,000 square feet and, in addition to the rink, will host a four-lane, 200-metre running track, basketball and volleyball courts with telescoping bleachers, a fitness centre, a gym and academic space.