Friday, February 17, 2012

Update: A Mysterious Disappearance

Recently, I wrote a piece concerning the cornerstone located at Maple Leaf Gardens - Full Story.

The alarms went off when the cornerstone, in place for 80-years, suddenly disappeared from view. It was a jolt to the system to walk by the Gardens and not observe the stone with "1931 AD" carved into the surface. The cornerstone ceremony took place on September 31, 1931.

While attending a press conference at Ryerson University (for the Maple Leaf Gardens Time Capsule), I had the opportunity to explore what happened concerning the vanishing cornerstone. Fortunately, I'm pleased to report a happy outcome.

In anticipation of the interior transformation and new use by Loblaw and Ryerson, the cornerstone was put out of commission. Jane Marshall, Executive Vice President of Properties for Loblaw Companies Ltd., explained the next step. "We will keep the old one and then below it we are going to indicate the year it was restored. The old one goes back and then a little piece goes below it."

A ceremony marking the new and old cornerstone will take place later this year.

With all the changes going on, I wondered what Conn Smythe, the driving force behind the building project in 1931, would think. This question was put to his son, Dr. Hugh Smythe.

"I think he would be really pleased. Broken-hearted at what happened when they (Leafs) moved away from the Gardens and delighted that it came back as a real people place. He was a university graduate, so the tie-in with Ryerson makes perfect sense in terms of proper use of, let's face it, a landmark building," stated a beaming Dr. Smythe.

In tune with the changes, the two cornerstones will incorporate the old and new. From the Conn Smythe era to present day - then and now.

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