Major


St. Michael's Majors

Arena Name: Air Canada Centre
Capacity: 18,819
Built: 1999
Last Game: 2003
Address: 40 Bay St., Toronto, ON, M5J 2X2
Ice Surface Size: Regulation
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OHL
Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
What Was the Arena Like?
The Air Canada Centre opened in 1999 as a replacement for the legendary Maple Leaf Gardens. Since then, it's been a home to Toronto's pro arena teams, exactly as intended. The ACC's history as an OHL rink, on the other hand, is brief, but still worth mentioning. In the early 2000's, the St. Mike's Majors played the odd regular season game here as an attempt to draw in greater numbers of fans than the St. Michael's College Arena could hold. It worked, and the Majors drew reasonably well, but it was never anything more than an exhibition of building and team for a greater audience.

As an arena, the ACC is well laid-out and architecturally interesting, having been constructed out of Toronto's old Art Deco Postal Delivery Building. It has a huge main entryway which connects it to Union Station and also features ticket booths and the team store. Once inside, the ACC is pretty much what you'd expect - a normal hockey rink that's pretty quiet during games due to the corporate suits in the stands. The seats are multi-coloured, which is a gigantic plus in these days of bland blue and maroon seats everywhere, and the views aren't bad at all for such a huge building.

For Leafs games, the place has a traditional and historic atmosphere while at the same time being completely bland. The Leafs have die-hard fans, but they've been so effectively excluded from purchasing tickets for so long that the rink is silent most nights, with the only audible sounds being those of the game being pumped over the speakers. Seeing the Leafs in Toronto is a terrific Original Six experience, but it's a quiet one that doesn't even come close to matching other Original Six rinks in Detroit, Chicago or Montreal, and the ACC is still bland in comparison to the much-missed Maple Leaf Gardens.

The ACC was never meant as anything more than an exhibition building for the OHL, and there isn't a lot to say about it. I've only been to one Leafs game at the ACC, and all it really did was make me miss the Gardens. With the Majors now playing out in Mississauga and owned by the same person as the rival Ottawa Senators, it seems very unlikely that the OHL will play again at the ACC in the foreseeable future.

How To Get There

From the Gardiner Expwy: Exit at the York/Bay/Yonge exit and take the Bay option, heading north. You can easily see the ACC from the highway.
Inside the Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
What's It Used For Today?
The Air Canada Centre is used for the purpose it was built - as the home of the NHL's Maple Leafs, the NBA's Raptors, the NLL's Rock, and a whole load of concerts and other events.

Feedback

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at Email and I'll update the guide.


 

 


Copyright Kevin Jordan 2002-12.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: April 15, 2012