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Welcome to Maple Leaf Gardens

Photographs and Memories from Canada's Most Famous Arena

Welcome to Maple Leaf Gardens
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From its unfathomable construction in the grip of the Great Depression to its closing in 1999 and its current status as Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, this lush, nostalgic history captures the former Maple Leaf Gardens hockey arena in all its glory. With a compelling narrative from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ official photographer Graig Abel, and Toronto Sun hockey reporter Lance Hornby, more than 240 color photos form a documentary that is the definitive chronicle of the team’s former venue. Beginning with team manager Conn Smythe’s dream of building a landmark arena of the likes of the New York Rangers’ in midtown Manhattan and opening night on November 12, 1931, against the Chicago Blackhawks through more than 2,500 games and a myriad of other sports matches, concerts, and events—performances by Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and the Beatles; election rallies held by Prime Ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Pierre Trudeau; and the historic bout between Muhammad Ali and George Chuvalo—this work details the storied saga of Toronto’s once premier showcase. Views of the edifice over the years and shots of the many events and the audiences who attended are among the book’s never-before-seen photos.

ECW Press; Read online