Memories of Attending Games at Maple Leaf Gardens

St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages
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I’ve recently had the good fortune to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road, seeing them take on the Blue Jackets in Columbus, Ohio (Toronto lost) and face the Hurricanes in Raleigh, North Carolina (Toronto lost).  Nationwide Arena (Columbus) opened in 2000, while PNC Arena (Raleigh) was finished a year earlier in 1999.

The home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Scotiabank Arena, also opened its doors in 1999 (at the time known as the Air Canada Centre, or ACC).  All three of these hockey arenas have a similar architectural feel, with wide concourses, a variety of overpriced concessions, and a clean, safe corporate type of feel.

Over the last 30 years or so, almost all of the older generation sports venues have been torn down and replaced with modern arenas, ballparks and football stadiums. 

Today’s luxuries and conveniences, however, often came at the cost of style and nostalgia.

Old Style Experience of Attending a Toronto Maple Leafs Game

This comparison got me thinking about what it was like to attend Leafs games at the ACC’s predecessor, Maple Leaf Gardens. 

The Carleton Street Cashbox.  Built in 1931, the Gardens was one of the oldest and most revered hockey rinks in North America (along with similar shrines in the other Original Six cities).

Here’s a few memories that I’m sure many of you share.