Kitchener Rangers

Arena Name: Waterloo Memorial Arena
Built: 1947
Address: 31 Caroline St. N., Waterloo, ON, N2L 2Y5
Last Hurricanes Game: 1952
Used by the Rangers: Intermittently
Demolition Started: 1987
Demolition Finished: 2001
Ice Surface Size: Unknown


 Waterloo Memorial Arena

Waterloo Memorial Arena

 What Was the Arena Like?

Waterloo Memorial Arena opened its doors as the main arena in Waterloo in 1947. It was home to the OHA briefly in the early 1950's, as the Waterloo Hurricanes began play in 1950 and ceased operations two short years later. The arena later became known for being the home of the junior B Waterloo Siskins, who have been a part of the fabric of the city for generations.

The neighbouring big boys, the Kitchener Rangers, played intermittently in Waterloo in the 1960's, 70's and 80's during occasions when the city-owned Memorial Auditorium was booked up with other tenants.

The city of Waterloo never properly maintained the building, and by 1987 the arena was condemned as structurally unsafe. The city complied by tearing down half of the building, as the grandstands, ice-making equipment, front facade and dressing rooms were all kept while the unsafe roof was torn down. Then - and here is where the story moves from the ridiculous to the sublime - the exposed part of the building was surrounded by a giant inflated kevlar bubble. The city then continued as if nothing at all was amiss about having their main arena partially demolished while still hosting a full schedule of hockey games. The Waterloo Memorial Rec Complex opened next door in 1993 and the Siskins moved into the new building, but ice shortages in the city of Waterloo forced the old facade and bubble to stay open until 2001, when the building was finally put out of its misery. In a final note of delicious irony, the property was redeveloped as the world-renowned Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where geniuses from around the world contemplate slightly less weird things than enclosing half an old arena in a bubble.

Like quarks.

 The Site of Waterloo Memorial Arena

Perimeter Institute

 What's the Arena Used for Today?
Waterloo Memorial Arena opened in 1947, but the much larger and nicer Memorial Auditorium opened in nearby Kitchener a mere four years later, and Kitchener got into major junior hockey in a big way. The driving distance between the two buildings is only about 5 kilometres, so I suppose it makes sense that older and larger Kitchener would be the major junior city. Apart from a few odd games played here by the Rangers when the Aud was booked by another group, the OHL has never been back to Waterloo, but Waterloo has taken some sort of revenge by becoming known for innovation and invention rather than hockey and an annual beer and sausage-fest. Perhaps it's emblematic of the new Waterloo that most of the site of the arena, as mentioned above, is now occupied by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. There is no sign of the arena on the site, but the nearby Waterloo Rec Complex has a historic marker for the old building as well as the old war memorial stuff from the old building on display.

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 8, 2019