Hockey Hall of Fame
April 12, 2019
Hockey Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame was originally going to be in Kingston, Ontario, the place many believe to be the birthplace of hockey. Kingston's mayor, Stuart Crawford, was elected president of the newly established Hockey Hall of Fame on September 10, 1943.While the plans for the actual Hall of Fame building were still being finalized, the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted its first members in 1945 — Dan Bain, Hobey Baker, Dubbie Bowie, Chuck Gardiner, Eddie Gerard Frank McGee, Howie Morenz, Tommy Phillips, Harvey Pulford, Art Ross, Hod Stuart and Georges Vezina were added in the Player Category, and Sir Montagu Allan and Lord Frederick Stanley were included in the Builder Category. Even though construction was delayed due to rising costs, new members were still being inducted for several years.By 1958, NHL President Clarence Campbell grew impatient with the delays and withdrew the NHL's support of Kingston as home for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Toronto was then chosen to be the new home for the Hall of Fame. Toronto was a natural choice for the Hockey Hall of Fame, as Toronto already had a sports museum on the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds in a building that had once housed the Stanley Barracks, named after Lord Frederick Stanley, the man who donated hockey's Stanley Cup. This Sports Hall of Fame included a National Hockey Hall of Fame, and included twenty-three players and ten builders, all of whom had first been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston.Conn Smythe, former manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and chairman of the NHL owners' committee, found the resources to finance a new building on the CNE grounds, and personally supervised construction of the building. The Hockey Hall of Fame invited Canada's Sports Hall of Fame to share its space in this new building. Construction of the building was completed On May 1, 1961. The Hockey Hall of Fame was officially opened to the public on August 26, 1961. After the Hockey Hall of Fame outgrew its CNE location, the committee searched for an appropriate new location. They eventually decided on a highly impressive heritage building located at the corner of Yonge and Front in Toronto's downtown core that was vacant. The beautiful building was built in 18885 to be the head office of the Bank of Montreal. This building was one of the few to survive Toronto's Great Fire of 1904. Since 1885, the building served as the Bank of Montreal's head office until 1949. The heritage building was mostly vacant until it was renovated and included in the development of Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place). Although it was destined at one point to be an art gallery, the building was dormant until it was bought by the Hockey Hall of Fame as its new location.After a $27 million renovation, on June 18, 1993, the Hockey Hall of Fame officially opened at its new home at Brookfield Place. In its first year of operation at the new location, more than 500,000 guests visited the Hall of Fame.The Hockey Hall of Fame spent over $12 million on exhibit enhancements between the years 2000 and 2006. Nearly every inch of the 57,000 square-foot facility, with the exception of the Verizon Great Hall and replica Montreal Canadiens dressing room, has been renovated since 1998, giving guests a fresh experience.The Hockey Hall of Fame contains treasured artifacts, multi-media exhibits, interactive games, a showcase for hockey's Honoured Members and, of course, home of the Stanley Cup

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Email: niagara@chariots-of-fire.com

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