ICE GARDENS AT YORK UNIVERSITY BENEFITS UNIVERSITY, COMMUNITY
TORONTO, November 15, 1996 -- Tomorrow York University and Lauridon Sports Management Inc. will officially open The Ice Gardens at York University -- a "state-of-the-ice" facility that benefits students, athletes, families throughout the Greater Toronto Area, and the university community as a whole.
On hand for Saturday's opening will be: hockey great and NHL hall-of-famer Ken Dryden; guest artist/singer Michael Burgess; York University president Susan Mann; North York Mayor Mel Lastman; Metro councillor Maria Augimeri; and Lauridon Management Inc.'s owners, Rick Arends and Don Gedge. The official opening ceremonies, to begin at 1 p.m., include family pleasure skating, autographs from the world of sports, varsity men's and women's hockey games, a hockey shooting booth, music, clowns, and games with prizes.
"York University benefits from increased academic and athletic opportunities created by The Ice Gardens, from the 200 full and part-time jobs at the Ice Gardens, and from the revenue that the Ice Gardens will generate at a time when government grants to postsecondary education are being cut back," said York University president Susan Mann. "We're very proud to have such an excellent facility on our campus for students and staff, for the sports community, and local neighbourhoods."
The arena is a year-round recreation facility designed to accommodate the most discerning athlete -- from the world-class competitor to the neighbourhood weekend warrior. The North York community will also benefit from more local ice surfaces, as well as year-round training programs for children, summer camps, and day programs within their own neighbourhood.
The $18.5-million complex is a world class training facility that is one of the first North American arenas to cater to the growing sport of women's hockey. Canadian World Cup Women's Hockey Champion Geraldine Heaney, who acted as a consultant on the project, said she is thrilled to see her sport being given serious recognition.
The project is the result of a cooperative venture between York University and the private sector. Lauridon, which has a 49-year lease to use a portion of the university's lands, built the facility. York receives an annual minimum land rent guarantee from Lauridon, as well as a share of net profits. At the end of the lease term, York will get ownership of the entire facility. The land remains the property of York University.
Don Gedge, director of Lauridon, said "York University has an impressive tradition of inspiring academic and athletic excellence. We're proud to have worked with York to create one of the most advanced training facilities in North America -- if not the world -- for developing hockey and skating skills."
The Ice Gardens at York University features:
The Ice Gardens at York University is located across the road from Black Creek Pioneer Village on Murray Ross Parkway. Reporters should enter Murray Ross Parkway off Steeles Avenue at the west end of the university property. Check in with the booth at the entrance to the Ice Gardens parking lot for directions to free VIP parking.
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