Maple Leaf Gardens reno deal to be announced
Ryerson University, Loblaws and the federal government are set to announce a deal that will see the rejuvenation of Maple Leaf Gardens, including the retention of its storied ice surface.
An announcement will be made Tuesday at 9 a.m. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, a GTA MP, and Infrastructure Minister John Baird are expected to be there.
The Toronto Star reported Monday night that the feds will be contributing $20 million to the deal, or one-third of the $60-million cost.
Another third of the cost will come from Ryerson's students, who voted in a referendum to contribute an additional $126 in annual fees to fund a new athletic centre. Ryerson's campus sits a few blocks south of the Gardens.
The Loblaw Companies will provide the final third.
The legendary building, built in the heart of the Great Depression, will host a Loblaw store on its main level. Two floors of athletic facilities will exist above it, along with the rink. Parking will be built underneath.
Loblaw bought the 78-year-old property in 2004 and announced in 2007 it would convert it to a supermarket, but declining company fortunes left the structure at Carlton and Church Streets sitting empty ever since.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment had a caveat in the deal that prevented the old arena from being used to host sports or entertainment events that would compete with its then-new Air Canada Centre.
However, the company has since relented on the notion of a small arena for university hockey.