|Opened:||Nov. 12, 1931||Home Team:||Toronto Maple Leafs (1931 – 1999)|
|Owner:||Maple Leafs Gardens Ltd. (1931-2004)|
Toronto Metropolitan University
Loblaw Companies Ltd. (2004–present)
|Location:||60 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Former Names:|
Maple Leaf Gardens is a historic building located at the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The building was originally constructed in 1931 as an indoor arena to host ice hockey games.
Considered one of the “cathedrals” of hockey, it was home to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League from 1931 to 1999. The Leafs won the Stanley Cup 11 times from 1932 to 1967 while playing at the Gardens. The first NHL All-Star Game, albeit an unofficial one, was held at the Gardens in 1934 as a benefit for Leafs forward Ace Bailey, who had suffered a career-ending head injury. The first official annual National Hockey League All-Star Game was also held at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1947.
It was home to the Toronto Huskies (1946–1947) in their single season in the Basketball Association of America (a forerunner of the National Basketball Association), the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey League, the Toronto Toros of the World Hockey Association (1974–1976), the Toronto Blizzard of the North American Soccer League (1980–1982 indoor seasons), the Toronto Shooting Stars of the National Professional Soccer League (1996–1997), and the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League (1999–2000). The NBA’s Buffalo Braves played a total of 16 regular season games at Maple Leaf Gardens from 1971 to 1975. The NBA’s Toronto Raptors played six games at the Gardens from 1997 to 1999, mostly when SkyDome was unavailable.
It was also one of the few venues outside the United States where Elvis Presley performed in concert (April 2, 1957). In 1972, Maple Leaf Gardens hosted game 2 of the famous Summit Series between Team Canada and the USSR. Team Canada won the game 4–1.
After the Leafs and Raptors moved to the then-Air Canada Centre in 1999, Maple Leaf Gardens sat largely vacant for around a decade as the owners refused to sell it in its present state, fearing that it could compete with the Air Canada Centre. In 2009, it was sold and underwent a major internal reconstruction turning it into a multi-purpose facility, with Loblaws supermarket occupying retail space on the lower floors and an arena for Toronto Metropolitan University, known as Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, occupying the top level.
- Nov. 12, 1931 – Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Blackhawks (2-1 loss)
- Mar. 31, 1998 – Raptors vs. Los Angeles Lakers (114-105 loss)
- Feb. 13, 1999 – Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Blackhawks (6-2 loss)
- Feb. 9, 1999 – Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks (91-77 loss)
- Stanley Cup Final – 1932, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967
- NHL All-Star Game – 1934, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1968
- Summit Series – 1972