Arena Name: Trenton Community Gardens Capacity: 948 Built: 1957 Last OHA Game: 1964 Address: 8 Couch Cres. Trenton, ON, K8V 1G8 Ice Surface Size:
Trenton Community Gardens
What Was the Arena Like?
I completed this website for the first time in 2007. While my personal 'All 20' was done by 2005, I had wanted to make the point of visiting every former OHL arena in addition to every current one before considering the project complete. In January 2007, on a northern road swing, I stopped in at the Norris Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and the Walden Community Centre in Lively, Ontario, and that was it. As far as I (or anyone else) knew, I'd been to every current and former OHL arena. Unlike the QMJHL, the OHL does not have a complete box score record on their website. Therefore, while it was impossible to know for certain if I'd been to every former arena, I'd at least been to all the ones I knew about. In the thirteen years that have passed, I've continued to keep my totals up whenever a new arena opens, but the "former" section of the site has only grown when a current team has moved to a new city or building.
The indomitable @OHLHistory Twitter account started a pandemic project in 2020 of scanning and uploading as many game box scores from league history as possible, and it was they who discovered, while reading about the Oshawa Bowmanville Generals of 1963-64, that the Gens played four home games at the Trenton Community Gardens that season. No one that I've ever spoken with knew about it, but the evidence is unassailable, which meant that the next time I was in the area, I had a new former OHL rink to check out.
The arena, now known as the Duncan McDonald Memorial Community Gardens, sits on the fringes of downtown Trenton, with a small parking lot in front and a fighter jet mounted on a pedestal at the entrance. The front end has been renovated with the addition of a new main lobby, but the rear of the building is still the same brown brick as it was when the building opened. Inside, the new lobby leads into the arena bowl. The seating is in a U-shape around the ice, with seven rows of new plastic seats. In the fourth end there's simply a wall, looking out from the lobby.
The Community Gardens is quite intimate and the views of the ice are excellent, as one would expect from such a small building. I've never seen pictures of the old arena in Bowmanville that the Generals called home their first year of rebirth, but I'd have to think that the Trenton Community Gardens was its equal or better while the Civic Auditorium was under construction. It just goes to show that you can still be surprised after all this time, and even were it not for the arena's OHL pedigree, it would still have been worth dropping in to see one of Ontario's most intimate community arenas.
What's the Arena Used for Today?
The question as to why the Oshawa Generals played four home games a good hour and change away from their home base (more in those pre-401 days), and moreover, four spaced-out games instead of four in a row, remains unanswered. But, as far as anyone knows, that was it for Trenton. The Oshawa Civic Auditorium opened for the 1964-65 season, and the Gens remained there until moving to the Tribute Communities Centre.
As far as the Trenton Community Gardens is concerned, it was and still is home to the city's OJHL team the Trenton Golden Hawks. I don't know who Duncan McDonald was or why he has an arena named after him, but since 2004 the rink has been known as the Duncan McDonald Memorial Community Gardens.
Trenton Community Gardens
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at and I'll update the guide.