On January 15th, 2018, City Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina) and City of Toronto staff officially renamed the skating rink at Christie Pits Park in honour of Sid Smith and Toronto’s hockey history. The renaming ceremony, a family-friendly event, gave the public an opportunity to celebrate the newly named Sid Smith Artificial Ice Rink with Toronto Maple Leafs alumni and participate in free skating at Christie Pits Park.
In addition to skating, attendees were able to view a photo display of some of Smith’s memorable moments from his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Special appearances by Toronto Maple Leafs alumni who knew Smith included Dick Duff. Duff won two Stanley cups in 1962 and 1963 and is an inductee of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Smith was his team captain.
“It is my pleasure to name the rink in Christie Pits in honour of Sid Smith, the eighth captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sid Smith lived in the neighbourhood and would often return from practice with the Leafs to play shinny with his neighbours,” said Councillor Layton. “As a player, he exhibited many of the qualities all persons participating in sport should strive for. Generations of skaters and hockey fans will now have the opportunity to share the ice with Sid on Sid Smith Rink.”
The renaming process began when the City received an application from a member of the public to name the artificial ice rink at Christie Pits in honour of Sid Smith and Toronto’s hockey history. As a result, the City has rededicated the rink to honour Smith and this city’s hockey history.
Christie Pits Park is an 8.9 hectare area located at 750 Bloor St. W. The park features the Alex Duff Memorial Pool, three baseball diamonds, a multi-sport field, basketball and volleyball courts, an artificial ice rink, a children’s playground and labyrinth, a splash pad, a wading pool and a community garden.
Sidney “Sid” James Smith was born in Toronto on July 11, 1925. Toronto is where his love of hockey began and as a youth he would practise on the ice rink in Christie Pits. He played in minor leagues in Toronto and later with the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League. Smith played his entire NHL career as a left-winger with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1946 to 1958. He was team captain from 1955 to 1956.
Smith played in seven All-Star games and won three Stanley Cups, the John B. Sollenberger Trophy (recognizing the American Hockey League’s leading scorer) and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (twice, for exemplary sportsmanship combined with high playing ability).
Toronto has 113 indoor and outdoor ice pads, natural rinks and trails for recreational skating year round. The City offers a variety of free, leisure ice-skating programs for all ages and abilities at both indoor arenas and outdoor rinks. Schedules vary by location. Lace up a pair of skates and find your new favourite rink this winter. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate.
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