Oshawa Civic Auditorium

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Oshawa Civic Auditorium
Civic Auditorium Oshawa 2006.jpg
Address99 Thornton Road South
LocationOshawa, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates43°53′16″N 78°53′28″W / 43.887795°N 78.890998°W / 43.887795; -78.890998Coordinates: 43°53′16″N 78°53′28″W / 43.887795°N 78.890998°W / 43.887795; -78.890998
OwnerCity of Oshawa
OperatorCity of Oshawa
Capacity3,625 (seated)
4,025 (standing)
Construction
Broke groundFebruary 28, 1964
OpenedDecember 11, 1964
ClosedOctober 29, 2006
DemolishedApril–July 2010
Construction cost$1.4 million
Tenants
Oshawa Generals (OHL) (1964–2006)
Oshawa Crushmen (OPJHL) (1965–1972)
Oshawa Legionaires (OPJHL) (1972–2006)
Oshawa Green Gaels (OLA) (1965–1996)

The Oshawa Civic Auditorium was an indoor arena in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. It operated from 1964 to 2006, and was primarily used as an ice hockey venue for the Oshawa Generals. The auditorium was built as a replacement to the Hambly Arena, which burned down in 1953.[1][2] The auditorium was part of a larger multi-purpose recreational complex.

Construction[edit]

The construction of the auditorium was led by a committee of residents with the slogan: "Let's build it ourselves, for ourselves."[3] Volunteers raised $1.4 million from the community to fund the project, including $476,000 from the local General Motors employees union (Canadian Auto Workers) through payroll reductions.[2] The City of Oshawa provided 20 acres of land on Thornton Road South, previously designated for a cemetery.[2] Groundbreaking for the project took place on February 28, 1964,[3] and the formal opening took place on December 11, 1964.[3][4] The auditorium capacity was 3,625 seated, and 4,025 including standing room.

History[edit]

The Oshawa Generals began play at the auditorium on December 15, 1964, and won 6–4 over the St. Catharines Black Hawks.[5] While playing at the auditorium, the Generals won five J. Ross Robertson Cups, and the 1990 Memorial Cup. The Oshawa Generals hosted the 1987 Memorial Cup tournament at the auditorium. The Generals played their final at the auditorium on October 29, 2006, and won 8–6 over the Kingston Frontenacs.[5] The Oshawa Legionaires won three regular season Metro Junior B League titles playing at the auditorium. The Oshawa Green Gaels moved into the auditorium partway through their seven consecutive Minto Cups from 1963 to 1969.

The auditorium hosted the inaugural Wrigley Cup in 1974, a national midget hockey tournament for the top 12 teams in the country set up by Jack Devine and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.[6] On April 22, 1979, the auditorium hosted two benefit concerts for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind by the Rolling Stones, after Keith Richards was charged with possession of heroin.[7] The auditorium became home to the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame on May 21, 1986.[8] The auditorium became home to the world's longest hockey stick in 2003.[9] In May 2006, Alice Cooper was one of the final concerts at the auditorium.[2]

Replacement[edit]

In June 2005, construction began on a replacement arena in downtown Oshawa. The General Motors Centre opened as the city's new primary hockey venue in October 2006. The auditorium sat idle until demolition between April and July 2010. The former site of the auditorium became an indoor turf field.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weymark, Jennifer (2016-01-29). "Memories of the Oshawa Arena". oshawaexpress.ca. The Oshawa Express. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  2. ^ a b c d e Pfeiffer, Ryan (2010-06-22). "Walking down memory lane at the Oshawa Civic". DurhamRegion.com. Oshawa This Week. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  3. ^ a b c Brown, Babe; Attersley, Bobby (1978), A History of the Oshawa Generals, One, Toronto, Ontario: Chimo, pp. 38–42, ISBN 0-920344-07-0
  4. ^ "Opening of Oshawa's New Civic Auditorium". The Oshawa Times. Oshawa. 1964-12-10. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b "Bobby Orr helped open Oshawa Civic Auditorium 50 years ago". DurhamRegion.com. Oshawa: Oshawa This Week. 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  6. ^ MacLaine, Ian (November 8, 1973). "National Final For 12 Midget Teams". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. p. 67.Free to read
  7. ^ Caldwell, Rebecca (2017-03-28). "The Stones: A history". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  8. ^ "About Us". Oshawa Sports Hall Of Fame. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  9. ^ Bock, Tony (2010-02-23). "Giant hockey stick handlers go to great lengths". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-12-20.

External links[edit]