Toronto Marlboros

Arena Name: Markham Centennial Centre
Capacity: 2,300
Built: 1974
Last OHL game: 1976?
Address: 8600 McCowan Road, Markham, ON, L3P 3M2
Ice Surface Size: Regulation


 Markham Centennial Centre

Markham Centennial Centre

 What Was the Arena Like?

When the WHA launched a team in Toronto for the 1973 season, Leafs owner Harold Ballard was happy to have the Toros as a tenant - on the condition that he be able to gouge them for everything! The Toros paid handsomely for the privilege of using Maple Leaf Gardens, and given how much income the Toros were paying into old Harold's pocket, the Toronto Marlboros quickly went from second to third in the pecking order for dates at their arena. Given that the Marlies weren't able to have all the dates they needed, the team spent years in the mid-70's occasionally playing home games at the Markham Centennial Centre, and also at the Brantford Civic Centre.

When the Toros finally left Toronto in 1976, the Marlies reclaimed their second place in the pecking order, and my research has not been able to find any dates at the Centennnial Centre after that time, but there's no way to say for certain. At any rate, Markham Centennial Centre is a dark, concrete and aluminum 1970's construction located across from a shopping mall in suburban Markham, Ontario. When I was visiting, the main entrance was undergoing a massive renovation project which will graft a new glass facade onto the old brutalist concrete structure, so it was hard to judge just what it looks like. The Centennial Centre complex also includes a swimming pool and community meeting rooms.

Inside the Centennial Centre, there is a standard community-centre lobby with a load of the city's hockey history on display, including photos of Markham's historic Waxers, who still call the building home. Once into the arena bowl, the building features wooden seats in a "U" shape around the ice, done up in psychedelic diagonal patterns featuring then-fashionable fuschia and dark grey-blue. Sight lines are good. The arena feels surprisingly large due to the many rows of seats, although capacity is obviously lower than you might expect due to the three-sided arena. There is also no centre clock, but merely a small timing board in one end of the rink.

The Centennial Centre was also only ever intended as a stopgap solution to an overbooking problem, and is another in the long list of footnote arenas in the OHL.

 Inside Markham Centennial Centre

Markham Centennial Centre

 What's the Arena Used for Today?
The Markham Centennial Centre is still used as a community rink, and is also home to the legendary Markham Waxers junior team.

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

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Last Revised: December 7, 2019