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Most spectacular of our big year – the new arena

With December upon us we come to the close of the 100th anniversary of the year of our community’s founding; the year of Leaside 100.

Things took off in earnest on April 23 when a number of events took place at various locations to mark the 100th anniversary of the actual founding date. (Or so we all thought, until historian Mike Filey revealed April 23,1913 to be merely the third reading date of the Queen’s Park private member’s bill authorizing the town’s establishment; the town itself was not formally proclaimed into existence until the following May 7!)

The anniversary was celebrated in high style on April 27 with the Leaside 100 Gala hosted at Hal Spradling’s All Canadian Self Storage and graced by appearances by the Prime Minister of Canada (a Leaside native) and the Premier of Ontario.

Various groups, businesses and individuals came up with their own initiatives in honour of Leaside 100. Even Leaside’s local soccer organization, managed by Leaside resident John Morgan, sported commemorative crests on all of its uniforms during this year’s playing season.

The most spectacular local achievement of the year, of course, was the completion of the expanded Leaside Memorial Community Gardens arena – on budget and on time, and almost entirely self-financed by means of local fundraising and long term borrowing supported by internally generated revenues.

On the day of the formal opening we all learned the identity of the local couple who wrote that all-important first cheque that made the rest of the project possible: Peter and Cathy Clark.

A number of events have taken place in connection with the opening of the new rink, including the celebratory ribbon cutting on Oct. 5, the touching rededication of the memorial plaque on Nov. 8, and the subsequent launch of Leaside’s first Sports Hall of Fame. Each of these initiatives owes much to the vision and hard work of LMCG board member Allan Williams.

It is not over yet.

Leaside’s character is reflected best in the many small groups and sports organizations that make up our community. On the afternoon of Sunday, Dec.1 we round out our year of celebration with a chance to meet them up close and personal.

Join us at the Leaside Gardens William Lea Room that afternoon as Leaside’s groups, clubs, and artists put their work and programs on display in the Leaside Community Celebration. This event is free of charge to visitors.

It will give each group – Leaside’s Garden Society, Lawn Bowling Club, Curling Club, Scouts, Guides, and other groups – an opportunity to tell us who they are and what they do. More importantly, it will be our chance to learn more about the exciting work that goes on in our neighbourhood and the people who do it.

Come on out on Sunday, Dec. 1. Who knows, you may just find yourself so impressed with our local groups that you decide to join one of them!