Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the MLSE Team Up Foundation and RONA, in collaboration with the City of Toronto, unveiled a newly refurbished Ramsden Park Rink Tuesday. The refurbished rink marks the 10th completed project as part of the MLSE Team Up Foundation Hockey Rink Legacy Program.
To recognize the milestone, the Toronto Maple Leafs held their practice at Ramsden Park Rink. Joining them were hundreds of Leafs fans from the community and 200 students from Jesse Ketchum Public School and Brown Junior Public School.
Maple Leafs players and Head Coach Ron Wilson were joined by RONA’s Executive Vice-President, Marketing & Customer Innovations, Claude Bernier, Mayor David Miller, Malcolm Bromley, Director of Community Recreation, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Tom Anselmi, MLSE’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer and MLSE Team Up Foundation Board Members including Leafs Great Wendel Clark for a special on-ice ceremony prior to the start of practice.
"The Ramsden Rink Refurbishment outdoor practice is another way the Maple Leafs and MLSE give back to the community to create opportunities for young people and promote sport," said Wilson. "The Ramsden Park Rink is another important legacy project for our city. We want to thank the Leafs fans, students and members of our community for welcoming us to their neighbourhood and attending 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.”
“At RONA, our slogan is ‘Doing it Right.’ Part of doing it right is making sure that the next generation of young Canadians has the necessary facilities in which to pursue their dreams,” said Claude Bernier. “We believe that, as the leading Canadian company in our industry, we have a responsibility to leave a legacy. Our involvement in this rink refurbishment has allowed us to make a contribution to the well-being of this community and the youth who are growing up here.”
The MLSE Team Up Foundation with the support of MLSE’s Corporate Partner RONA invested more than $235,000 in significant upgrades and improvements to the Ramsden Park Rink including: replacing dasherboards, the addition of new doors, windows, storage, matting, benches, landscaping elements and repairing the entrance ramp and stairs to the rink.
Employees from Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and RONA contributed 320 volunteer hours towards the refurbishment.
"Today's Leafs outdoor practice on the refurbished Ramsden Park rink is the kind of investment in the local community that is ensuring our young people succeed," said Mayor David Miller. "This is another example of how collaboration with our private sector partners helps to strengthen our communities and increase investment in our neighborhoods so that we can all live, work and play in a safe, prosperous city."
In three-and-a-half seasons, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has invested and contributed to 10 city-owned rink refurbishments including Ramsden Park Rink. Oriole Community Centre, 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 are the others.
RONA’s partnership with MLSE is a continuation of its long-standing commitment to Canadian sports, both professional and amateur. RONA is already a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a National Partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams through the London 2012 Summer Games.