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Mutual Street Arena
[1]
Former names Arena Gardens (name at opening)
Location Toronto, Ontario
Coordinates 43°39′21″N 79°22′32″W / 43.65583°N 79.37556°W / 43.65583; -79.37556Coordinates: 43°39′21″N 79°22′32″W / 43.65583°N 79.37556°W / 43.65583; -79.37556
Opened 1912
Demolished 1989
Owner The Arena Gardens of Toronto, Limited[1]
Surface artificial ice
Construction cost $500,000 CDN
Architect Ross and McFarlane of Montreal[1]
General Contractor Peter Lyall & Sons Limited[1]
Capacity seated: 6,000

standing: 7,500 (hockey)

Tenants
Toronto Tecumsehs (NHA) (1912-1913)

Toronto Blueshirts (NHA) (1912-1917) Toronto Ontarios (NHA) (1913-1914) Toronto Shamrocks (NHA) (1914-1915) Toronto Aura Lee, (OHA) (1916-1926) Toronto 228th Battalion (NHA) (1916-1917) Torontos (1917-1919) Toronto St. Pats (1919-1927) Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) (1927-1931) Toronto Marlboros (1926-1931) Toronto Falcons (IHL) (1929-1930)

Mutual Street Arena, initially called Arena Gardens or just the Arena, was a hockey arena in Toronto, Ontario. From the time period of 1912 until 1931, with the opening of the Maple Leaf Gardens, it was the premier site of ice hockey in Toronto, being home to teams from the National Hockey Association (NHA)/later the National Hockey League (NHL), the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) and the International Hockey League (IHL). It was the third rink in Canada to feature a mechanically-frozen or 'artificial' ice surface. It was also the location of the first radio broadcast of an ice hockey game in 1923. It was also used for musical concerts, gatherings and other sporting events, including professional wrestling. It was later converted to a curling club and roller skating rink.

It was constructed for a reported cost of $500,000 and opened in 1912.[2] 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, organized September 19, 1911 with Sir Henry Pellatt as president, Lol Solman as managing director, and directors Aemilius Jarvis, Joseph Kilgour, T.W. Horn, R.A. Smith, and Col. Carlson. There were two other directors from Montreal. It was built on the site of the Mutual Street Rink, used primarily for curling and Ice 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 first professional ice hockey game in the building was on December 25, 1912.[3]

The Stanley Cup Final was 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 Torontos in 1918 (the first National Hockey League team to win the Cup), and by the Toronto St. Pats (formerly the Torontos/Arenas) in 1922. Arena Gardens also hosted the Memorial Cup finals nine times from 1919 to 1931. The St. Pats became the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1927, and played at Arena Gardens until the construction of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931.

On February 8, 1923, the first radio broadcast of an ice hockey game was made from the Arena by Toronto Star's CFCA radio station. Norman Albert did the play-by-play of the third period of a game between North Toronto and Midland, won by North Toronto 16–4.[4] Later that season, Foster Hewitt made his first radio broadcasts from the Arena, also on CFCA. A game on February 14, 1923 featured the Toronto St. Pats and the Ottawa Senators, and is the first NHL game to be broadcast on radio.

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

After the Maple Leafs left, the building continued to host ice hockey, and became a venue for Torchy Peden and bicycle racing, Sammy Luftspring and boxing, Stan Stasiuk and wrestling and Pancho Segura and tennis. The Glenn Miller big band played at the Arena in January 1943, the band's only appearance in Toronto. The city's first boat show was held in 1954. Melody Fair also started in 1954 at the Arena.[3]

In 1938, the Arena was leased to William Dickson who turned it into a recreation facility offering ice skating in winter and roller skating in summer. The name was changed that year to the Mutual Street Arena.[3] Dickson bought the building in 1945 and it remained in the family for the next 43 years. The arena was renovated for $3 million in 1962, adding eighteen curling sheets, a parking garage and a new facade.[3] The Arena 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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