North Bay Arena Rink Heritage Site Plaque

Site P13:
North Bay Arena Rink Heritage Site Plaque
Location:
Memorial Drive, past the intersection of Main Street West and Murray Street
Evaluation Score:
N/A

North Bay’s story as a Northern Ontario city would not be complete without a history of the arenas and rinks that have served its citizens. The Palace Skating rink was the first, built around 1892 at the corner of Ferguson and Worthington Streets, and was used primarily for recreational skating and curling.

Demand for a larger rink for hockey was met with the creation of the North Bay Arena Rink, which opened in January 1907 at the corner of Main Street W and Murray Street. The new rink was thought by citizens as the best in Northern Ontario – it had dressing rooms, a refreshment booth, curling rinks and a viewing gallery above the ice. The Rink burned down on May 14th, 1928, drawing over a thousand spectators to watch the blaze.

The next covered rink was built in 1936 at the corner of King and Ferguson Street in Wallace Park. The North Bay Arena was financed through public subscription and shares totalling around $25,000. The arena was renamed Memorial Gardens following World War Two, although it shares nothing but the name with the modern structure on Chippewa.

The arena and its surrounding fields were demolished and turned into a shopping mall in the 1960s.