The Toronto Maple Leafs and The Home Depot, in collaboration with Toronto’s Parks, Forestry & Recreation, unveiled a newly refurbished High Park Outdoor Rink Tuesday. The rink refurbishment is the eighth completed project as part of their Hockey Rink Legacy Program that was established three years ago.
n three seasons, more than $400,000 has been invested by the Leafs and The Home Depot to refurbish eight city-owned outdoor rinks for youth hockey development in Toronto. High Park is the latest rink to benefit from the Hockey Rink Legacy Program.
In recognition of the event, the Maple Leafs held an outdoor team practice at High Park. Joining them were a minor hockey team from the George Bell Hockey Association, 200 students from Keele Street Public School and High Park Alternative School and hundreds of Leafs fans from the community.
Maple Leafs Head Coach Ron Wilson was joined by The Home Depot Canada Vice-President of Supply Chain Geoff Frodsham and Mayor David Miller for a special wood cutting ceremony prior to the start of practice.
"The Maple Leafs believe in the importance of community and giving back in ways that create opportunities for young people and promote sport," said Leafs Head Coach Ron Wilson. "The High Park Outdoor Rink is an important legacy project for the community. We want to thank the community of High Park for welcoming us to their neighbourhood and the hundreds of fans who attended our outdoor practice.”
Wilson added, “Holding an outdoor practice brings back memories for the entire team. It takes us back to our roots and childhood when we played hockey on an outdoor rink.”
Significant improvements for the High Park Outdoor Rink include: a new dasherboard system, new fencing and newly painted dressing rooms.
“We are proud to participate in neighbourhood improvement projects like this rink refurbishment”, said Geoff Frodsham, vice-president of supply chain, The Home Depot Canada. “The Home Depot embraces its roles as a leader in social responsibility and its long-standing commitment to giving back to the communities where our associates live and work.”
“Bringing the City of Toronto, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and The Home Depot together in this way is exactly the kind of public interest partnership that is helping build our great city," said Mayor David Miller. "I want to thank our partners for these on-going improvements that mean more high quality public facilities for Torontonians."
Founded in 1978, in Atlanta, Georgia, The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement retailer currently operating 2,227 stores, including 178 The Home Depot stores across Canada. 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.
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 $1.2 million to charities annually. To date, eight City of Toronto rinks have been part of the Leafs-Home Depot Hockey Legacy Program including High Park’s Outdoor Rink. Rennie Park in Swansea, The West Mall Rink in Etobicoke, and five parks in Riverdale: Withrow Park, Riverdale Park East, Greenwood Park, Jimmie Simpson and Monarch Park.
In addition to being responsible for the stewardship of 7,390 hectares of green space and 1,473 named parks, City of 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
The Leafs next home game is Wednesday, February 25 versus the New York Rangers at Air Canada Centre. Game time is 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.mapleleafs.com