(TORONTO) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs and The Home Depot unveiled a new look West Mall Rink Monday as part of their hockey legacy program that was established last year. The West Mall Rink in Etobicoke is the second City of Toronto facility to benefit from the program that supports refurbishing Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation owned rinks.
Maple Leafs Head Coach Paul Maurice held an outdoor team practice at the rink in recognition of the event and was joined by 250 students from St. Elizabeth's Separate School and Bloordale Middle School. Prior to the start of practice the students were entertained by the Leafs Game Operations Crew who participated in a game of Super Hockey.
Leafs General Manager John Ferguson, The Home Depot Canada Senior Vice-President of Operations Harry Taylor and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation General Manager Brenda Lebrecz participated in ceremonies on ice prior to the start of practice as they unveiled a newly decaled Zamboni.
The Leafs and Home Depot made significant improvements to the rink including installing a new rubberized floor and painting the dressing rooms, adding rink boards, as well as accelerating city repairs to the community centre roof.
"The Leafs commitment to community leadership forms the foundation of Leafs Home Depot Hockey Legacy program," said Ferguson. "Our program provides access and opportunity to play hockey and creates a safe environment for kids and their families to develop their skating skills, stay physically active and have fun. We're proud to give back to the City of Toronto and to our community that provides so much support to the Leafs."
"Our company was founded on the value of giving back to the great communities in which we live and work," said Taylor. "So giving back in a way that also delivers on our customers' and associates' passion for hockey, makes this rink refurbishment a perfect fit for us."
Toronto Mayor David Miller who was unable to attend the Leafs outdoor practice and rink unveil because of the Big City Mayors' Caucus in Montreal said "Investments like those being made by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Home Depot demonstrate what can be accomplished when the private and public sectors work together. This is a terrific example of a private investment in public facilities that will benefit all Torontonians. I look forward to working with more of our corporate citizens to build a truly great city."
The Home Depot Canada currently operates in ten Canadian provinces, employing more than 25,000 people across the country. Giving back is a fundamental value for the world's largest home improvement retailer and a passion for its associates. Through an extensive community relations program, they reach out to the communities where associates live and work with philanthropic and volunteer support. Community efforts focus on four key areas: building and refurbishing playgrounds/ice rinks; ensuring the safety and accessibility of community gathering spaces, building and refurbishing affordable and transitional housing; preparing communities for emergencies.
The Leafs are committed to responsible community leadership through providing access to sports and recreation, and encouraging health and wellness in the community. Through the Leafs Fund, the team raises and disperses more than $1 million to charities annually. Last season Rennie Park in Swansea was the first rink to benefit from the Leafs Home Depot's hockey legacy program. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Leafs Fund are planning future rink refurbishments for other areas of the city.
In addition to being responsible for the stewardship of nearly 8,000 hectares of green space and 1,470 named parks, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation provides a wide range of programs and services for people of all ages and abilities. The Division strives to ensure all Torontonians enjoy active, healthy lifestyles and a high quality of life, supported by leisure and recreation programs, services and facilities, provided in partnership with the community. For more information, visit: www.toronto.ca/parks