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Original rink now open, new one on October 6

Get those skates out. Arena board chair Ray White told Leaside Life at our deadline, that the Leaside Gardens original rink should be open by our delivery time, and the new rink will open for programming on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Until then groups with ice contracts for the new rink will be accommodated at the Angela James Arena, about five minutes east of Leaside Gardens, he said: “We’ve informed our user groups of this contingency plan and appreciate how co-operative and understanding they’ve been throughout the past year.”

To mark the official opening the arena board is planning a community celebration, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m., which will include an open house, a ribbon-cutting, demonstrations by the Leaside Hockey Association, the Leaside Skating Club and the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association, live music, a barbecue, and a chance for everyone in the community to skate on the new rink for the first time.

Other planned events include a ceremony to rededicate the arena’s memorial plaque, which will be mounted on the outside of the new rink [see page 3], and a reception to thank the more than 1,000 community donors.

“Thanks to the generosity of Leasiders we’ve raised almost $3.2 million to date, which is more than 90 percent of the way towards our community fundraising goal,” said Paul Mercer, who has overseen the project from the beginning, first as arena board chair and, since 2010, as chair of the expansion committee.

“But we’re still looking for someone to make a legacy gift that comes with the chance to name the new rink,” he said. “If you’re that someone, please call me.” 416-421-4944 or leasidegardens@aibn.on.ca.