Thank you, Patrick Dovigi

Randy Russon
October 17, 2018

It is just a sign. Actually, it is more like a welcome sign. Or, perhaps a sign of the times. As in good, old times from the good, old days.

Thanks to Green For Life, an environmental waste management firm, the name ‘Memorial Gardens’ is again attached to Sault Ste. Marie’s downtown arena facility.

Recall, if you will, the old downtown arena, which for decades was known as Sault Memorial Gardens.

With the new downtown arena, which opened in 2006, the Memorial Gardens moniker was dropped by the two naming rights sponsors as the facility was first known as Steelback Centre and then Essar Centre.

But when Green For Life came on board just prior to the start of the current hockey season, it immediately added ‘Memorial Gardens’ to the name of the facility. And now, complete with bright, greenish lights on a spiffy sign, GFL Memorial Gardens is the new name for our downtown arena.

It took a Sault boy — and former Ontario Hockey League goalie — to bring Memorial Gardens back to life. The Sault lad being 39-year old Patrick Dovigi, who is the founder of GFL, which has became a major North American company with a multi billion dollar net worth.

As someone who has been going to hockey games in Sault Ste. Marie since I was tagging along with my dad to watch the Soo Thunderbirds of the Eastern Professional Hockey League almost 60 years ago, it is rather heart-warming and nostalgic to see the words ‘Memorial Gardens’ again standing tall on our downtown arena.

The original Memorial Gardens is no more. But standing in its place is GFL Memorial Gardens. And it just seems so right to again have the words Memorial Gardens attached to our main arena in town.

Good on you, Patrick Dovigi and GFL, for bringing Memorial Gardens back to us. Good on you, young fellow.

(Photo by Allana Plaunt.)

What you think about “Thank you, Patrick Dovigi”

  1. Great article Randy ! Remembering the Sault Memorial Gardens as our home arena when we played in the early 80’s will always put a smile on my face . Great crowds and almost always sold out , boy was it a lot of fun playing in that building …
    Hat’s off to Patrick Dovigi for bringing the “Memorial Gardens” back !!

  2. Totally agree on having Memorial Gardens back on the side of the rink. A lingering memory of the popcorn smell coming into the old lobby and the great sight-lines of the old barn.
    And one of my favourite all-time Greyhounds was Wayne Groulx. I realize the Soo’s sports hall of fame is for Soo-bies, but something has to be done to commemorate Wayne as one of the franchise’s all-time greats. Led the team in scoring four years in a row, beginning as a 16-year-old. (I can still hear Terry Crisp yelling his name.)

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