Originally the Maple Leaf Gardens was opened in 1931 and the Toronto Maple Leafs played their last game there on February 13th, 1999. No one had used the arena as a facility in years, and in 2011 the historic Gardens were converted to a Loblaws grocery store.
But a small Canadian school, Ryerson University, received a government loan a few years ago and worked to convert the old Maple Leaf Gardens into a new sports complex. The hockey rink is elevated 50 feet above street level, so that the grocery store can still operate under it. The project cost the Ryerson Rams $60 Million ($20 Million was from the government) and they created a new complex called the Mattamy Athletic Center at the Gardens; the rink can house 2,796 fans. That’s not all though, the complex includes a studio, some fitness facilities and other high-performance courts.
This is just another option for local Toronto area hockey fans to have during the lockout. They can go watch the Rams play, or they can go skate at the rink, which will be a facility for the public to use. It’s great to see such a historic facility being reused and not being knocked down to make room for parking, as old facilities usually are.