Music - Whammer Jammer by the J. Geils Band
Photographed in 1987 and 1996 using film.
Location - 299 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario At the north end of the University of Toronto campus. Arena is located at the south east corner of the newly rebuilt Varsity Stadium.
The arena opened its doors on December 17, 1926 and immediately became the home ice for the U of Toronto Varsity Blues hockey team. The one foray into pro sports was with the old WHA. During the 1973 - 1974 season, the Toronto Toros played home games here. With a seating capacity of about 4,100 it was intimate to say the least. The team wanted to play in the refurbished CNE coliseum on the CNE grounds (Exhibition Stadium was located close to the CNE coliseum). Bill Ballard, Harold's kid was running the Leafs and the Maple Leaf Gardens while dad was in prison. He wanted the Toros to play there, but they opted for Varsity Arena.
The Toros lasted 1 season here before moving on to Maple Leaf Gardens, then to Birmingham Alabama before folding.
I have been here twice and it brings back memories of what hockey was like back in the day. I am so glad that Varsity Arena still exists and is being used today.