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A time capsule buried in the old Maple Leaf Gardens offers a glimpse into city life circa 1931

A time capsule buried in the old Maple Leaf Gardens offers a glimpse into city life circa 1931
The best-kept secret in Toronto, a small (20 cm x 12 cm x 12 cm) copper box sat in the masonry of Maple Leaf Gardens for nearly 80 years, unbeknownst to all

Last fall, a masonry company working on the new Loblaws flagship at Maple Leaf Gardens unearthed a gift for local historians (and Loblaws public relations managers): a time capsule. A small copper box had been placed behind the cornerstone on September 21, 1931, and yesterday, Loblaws and Ryerson University finally revealed what was inside. Among the dozen items is a miniature Red Ensign flag (Canada’s national flag at the time), three hockey rulebooks and four newspapers containing stories about Japan invading Manchuria and the financial crisis (i.e. the Great Depression). Yes, 80-odd years ago Torontonians were obsessed with hockey and worried about a global economic slowdown. Sound familiar?

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