A deliciously rich history
It was a minor miracle. In a little over five months, in the depths of the Great Depression, Conn Smythe constructed Maple Leaf Gardens* with the remarkable budget of $1.5 million. The building opened to the public on November 12, 1931 and was a place for Torontonians to gather for some of the most memorable events of the last century all the way up until February 13, 1999.
Maple Leaf Gardens was home to more than just Toronto’s favourite hockey team. It saw game two of the Summit Series in 1972, where the Canadian team trounced the Soviets and restored order to the world of international hockey. It played host to the first official NHL All-Star game in 1947, a fan favourite tradition that continues to this day. It was where diehard boxing fans witnessed the iconic fight between Mohammed Ali and the Junction’s own George Chuvalo, who Ali later described as the toughest boxer he ever fought.
Over the years, more than a few stars cried out, “Hello, Toronto!” to the Gardens. A 22 year old Elvis Presley played to the biggest crowd he’d ever seen. Frank Sinatra, the chairman himself, crooned to 36,000 fans, ending the night with his signature classic, “My Way.” And John, Paul, George and Ringo were deafened by the screams of Torontonian girls not once, but three times.
This building has truly seen it all. And just over a decade after it closed its doors, we’re thrilled to open our Loblaws® store at Maple Leaf Gardens. We’re proud to offer some of the most delicious food and exciting culinary experiences imaginable to the Torontonians who love this historic building as much as we do.