My fascination with architectural conversions doesn’t stop with churches transforming into condos. Preservation of historic architecture by means of transformation is on my mind again with the opening of Loblaws (a large Canadian supermarket) in Maple Leaf Gardens (former home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL team). (More info on this here, here, or here). A compromise was reached whereby the facade of the historic building was maintained, with the grocery store, clothing store and LCBO opening on the first floor, and a hockey facility for the Ryerson Rams opening above. The fact that hockey will once again be played inside the historic walls pacified a lot of the sentimental Leafs fans.
This morning’s Toronto twitter was a-buzz with reports of people lining up for hours this morning for early entry into the new location. Free food and a chance to meet the handsome Galen Weston (president of Loblaw’s and star of President’s Choice commercials) are apparently what it takes to get people to wait in the cold for hours. That being said, I’m glad for a peak at the renovated building from the warmth of my desk, latte in hand – I’ll check it out when the weather is less inclement, and when there are groceries to be bought.
Check out the images below, of Maple Leaf Gardens new and old:
Left to Right: Maple Leaf Gardens, Date Unknown, Maple Leaf Gardens marquee, People line up for the grand opening, Fans get Galen Weston’s Autograph, Inside the Gardens, The new front, new home for the Ryerson Rams hockey team