Friday, February 3, 2012

THE RINK THAT NEVER WAS

by: Ron C. Johnston


It started on the day the Regina Leader Post Saturday, April 23, 1938, issue came out with the following headline: “CENTRALLY LOCATED RINK DISCUSSED” The first details toward erection of an artificial ice rink in downtown Regina was made Friday in a meeting held at the King’s hotel. A week later city alder men favoured construction of the rink at the north end of the Broad Street Park (east side between Twelfth Avenue and Victoria Avenue). (Photo: King's Hotel to the right - City of Regina Archives - CORA-A-1332)

The building would take an area 270 by 165 feet and would cost about $140,000. It is planned to raise funds by selling shares at $10 each which will be sold to the public. The rink will be fully controlled by citizens of Regina.



(Sketch: by Architects Stoney and Van Egnon - Regina Leader Post)

Tuesday, May 10th it was announced that the citizens would decide on whether or not to have a new artificial ice rink on the down town site on Friday, May 20th. In the Saturday, May 21st, issue the head lines read: “Citizens Behind New Rink” and advised the rink would seat 6,000 plus 2,000 standing room.

A group called the Queen City Gardens Limited, President Jack Hamilton, was created August 13th, and took over the previous committee. They decided to shelve the idea of the new down town rink and approached the Regina Exhibition Board regarding leasing the Stadium rink. They ordered an ice plant from Canadian Ice Machine Company on October 20th.

At the same time they made improvements to the rink – open waiting room on the east side, repairs to the ladies washroom, players dressing rooms remodeled, plus a new paint job all over the rink. The ice plant was finally finished at the end of November, in time for the opening game of the new Saskatchewan Senior Hockey League.

Friday, December 2nd, Regina Leader Post sports writer Dave Dryburgh, reported, “Record opening game crowd of 5,000 turns out to christen the new artificial ice plant in the stadium, Saskatoon Quakers edge Regina Aces 2-1.”