Multi-storey hockey complex is one step closer to being built—if city can find a stack of cash
In its final meeting before the next election, Toronto’s executive committee approved the much-heralded stacked-rink waterfront hockey complex that the papers are calling the “icescraper.” (Can we get a better name for this, please? We nominate “The Ice Cube.”) The gleaming rink is going to cost twice as much as the first (horrible) design, but the hope is that the Lower Don Lands will get a world-class facility that’s pretty to boot. Just one problem: nobody knows where the extra cash will come from yet.
The Toronto Star reports:
Led by Mayor David Miller, the committee was solidly in support of building a stacked facility at Commissioners St. and Don Roadway even though only $34 million has been earmarked.
A staff report estimates a $21 million to $25 million bond could be paid off in 30 years, leaving a gap of $29 million to $33 million.
The committee was told that hockey users may be willing to pay a surcharge to help fund construction of the complex, which would offer four NHL-sized ice surfaces, spectator seating, a restaurant, meeting rooms and an indoor track.
So all that’s really been accomplished so far is that the city has approved, in principle, spending money they don’t yet have. It’s a shame that the Pan Am Games have summer-only events, or else we might be able to shake down the feds and the province for a bit more help.
Conservative voices in council are questioning the $88 million cost, saying that regardless of how much help the city gets from other levels of government, it shouldn’t be built if it’s too expensive. Councillor Doug Holyday is quoted by the Sun as saying a golf course downtown would be nice too, but would be too expensive to build. (Shhh—nobody tell the councillor about the driving ranges at the Lakeshore Links). Of course, if we could stack four golf courses on top of one another to save space—which is precisely the point of this hockey complex—well, that’d be a sight to see.
• Waterfront arena approved, now we need the cash [Toronto Star]
• Rink project gets the nod [Toronto Sun]
• City approves 4-storey ice rink, puts off decision to close ski hills [CP24]
• Stacked arena one step closer to construction [CBC News]