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.)