They opened the time capsule Conn Smythe buried at Maple Leaf Gardens


In 1931, Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe broke ground on Maple Leaf Gardens, which would go onto become one of hockey’s most hallowed buildings. The Maple Leafs won 11 Stanley Cups there, the first annual NHL All-Star Game was held there, Game Two of the 1972 Russia-Canada Summit series was held there…heck, Elvis Presley even played there.

On Thursday, another chapter in the Gardens’ rich history was unveiled — a metal time capsule Smythe buried behind a cornerstone in ’31. The capsule was opened during a ceremony at Ryerson University.

More, from the Toronto Star:

Found in the handmade copper box were copies of the local newspapers from Sept. 21, 1931 — the Toronto Daily Star, the Globe, the Mail and Empire and the Evening Telegram— a stock prospectus for Maple Leaf Gardens, the 1930-31 National Hockey League handbook and a 1930 Ontario Hockey Association rule book.

The inner lid of the time capsule was engraved “M.B. Campbell 124 Lindsay Ave 9/21/31.”

Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy said Campbell’s identity remains a mystery.

Another mystery is the small, ivory elephant found in the capsule. Two of Smythe’s great-grandsons were on hand at the ceremony and offered up their theories, though neither was entirely sure as to elephant’s significance. One heard it was from the Smythe family collection while the other thought it was to bring the Leafs good fortune.

“I’m not sure,” Stafford Scarlett told the Star. “I think it’s more of a good-luck charm. For 11 (Stanley) Cups, it worked.”

The Leafs played their last game at the Gardens in 1999. It has since been converted into a Loblaw’s grocery store and Ryerson’s athletic center.

(Image courtesy

Today’s depressing note: Maple Leaf Gardens now a gourmet grocery store


If you’re a hockey buff with a love for the past, today’s a day that will make you more than a bit sad. Maple Leaf Gardens, the classic old building that was once home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been remade and turned into something a bit more modern.

A gourmet grocery store.

What once used to be the home of Johnny Bower and Maple Leaf Stanley Cup winning teams in the 40s, 50s, and 60s is now instead a Loblaw’s grocery store. It’s not a reference to “Arrested Development” otherwise it’d be genius. Instead of reliving the memories of days gone by and soaking in the hockey history, foodies will get their fill of funky cheeses and other assorted goodies.

Sadly, re-purposing classic old hockey haunts like this is nothing new. Just look at the Montreal Forum which is now a shopping mall with a movie theater. It beats having these relics to hockey being torn down, but man does it hurt to see it become something else entirely.

Instead of being sad, however, we’ll just pour out a bottle of high end wine for the old Maple Leaf Gardens out of respect.