Old rink, new name

When the expanded Leaside Gardens opens this fall, the original ice surface will be known thereafter as the Bert F. Grant Rink in recognition of the $250,000 legacy gift made by his three children in his honour.

Who was Bert F. Grant?

He was president and later chairman of what is today known as the Crestview Group of Companies. In the early 1950s, as Lawrence Construction, this company built the Crestview apartments and the homes on both sides of Leacrest Rd., the long parcel of land in South Leaside on the brow of the Don Valley, south of Moore between Pottery Rd. and backing on to the Leaside Gardens arena property.

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Leaside Gardens Update

Dear Friends,

This is my first email update to our Leaside Arena users and friends since being appointed as chair of the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens Board of Management on January 1st, 2013. I would like to use this opportunity to thank our outgoing arena board chair, Brooke Biscoe, to give you a brief update on expansion and fundraising, to let you know about the 4th annual Laugh out Loud in Leaside event on Friday, February 22nd, and finally to provide an update on the pool closure.

A big “Thank-You!” to Brooke Biscoe

Brooke Biscoe served as chair of the arena board from January 1st 2010 until the end of 2012. It was during this time that the Arena Expansion Project went from the dream of the community to the concrete and steel reality that is now rapidly taking shape beside the original rink. Brooke has put in countless hours during this time meeting with municipal officials, potential donors, architects, contractors and community members in a determined pursuit of building the second rink. This is all in addition to his regular responsibilities as board chair related to the current arena, pool and banquet hall. On behalf of the arena board and, indeed, the entire Leaside Gardens community, I extend a sincere and heartfelt “thank-you” to Brooke for his dedication, hard work and leadership over the past three years. Brooke will now serve on the board as past chair and his experience and knowledge in matters related to the expansion project continue to be available to us.

An Update on the Second Rink and on Fundraising

Construction has moved forward quickly over the past few weeks and no-one driving by the arena can any longer doubt that the second rink will soon be a reality! The community fundraising goal of $3.5 Million is within reach as we recently passed the $3.1 Million mark. This means we have just under $400,000 still to raise between now and the summer to achieve our goal. It is not too late to donate! Donations in any amount will be gratefully received. And there remain a number of naming opportunities for those who may be considering a major gift. As you may know, when the expanded Leaside Gardens opens in the fall, the original rink will thereafter be known as the Bert F. Grant rink in recognition of the major legacy gift made by his three children in his honour. The second rink has not yet been named. If you would like to have this new rink named for your company or in honour of a family member, please contact me or a member of the fundraising committee.

Fourth Annual Laugh out Loud in Leaside – Fundraiser for the Second Rink

The Fourth Annual Laugh-out-Loud in Leaside comedy fundraiser, with all proceeds going toward the community fundraising goal of the Arena Expansion Project, will be held on Friday, February 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at Fantasy Farm (Pottery Road in the Don Valley between the Bayview Extension and Broadview Avenue). Each of the first three LOL in Leaside events has proven to be a great evening of good food, music and laughs, and each has also proven to be a successful fundraiser. Charlene Kalia of the arena board is again taking the lead in organising this event. Our thanks to Charlene and her volunteer team for their unfaltering dedication to the cause. A flyer with more details is attached. I hope you will join us on February 22nd.

Leaside Pool Closure Update

The repairs to the pool’s damaged ceiling has recently begun and the arena board has been informed by the City of Toronto that it will take approximately six weeks to complete. We estimate that the pool will reopen sometime in late March.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with your comments or questions regarding the programs and activities at Leaside Memorial Community Gardens. I may be reached through the arena at 416-421-4944 or by contacting me directly at raymond.white@sympatico.ca.

Best wishes for a successful 2013.

Ray White,
Chair of the Board of Management
Leaside Memorial Community Gardens.