Federal funds to help with multi-million makeover for Maple Leaf Gardens

TORONTO – Maple Leaf Gardens will be getting a new lease on life as a multi-function facility.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L), Ryerson University and federal officials are expected to announce $20 million in infrastructure funding for the project at a news conference on Tuesday.

Loblaw purchased the building several years ago and planned to turn it into a Superstore.

Earlier this year, Ryerson students voted to pay an extra $126 per year in athletic fees for new facilities that will help fund Ryerson’s portion of the deal.

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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird, Ryerson president Sheldon Levy and Loblaws chairman Galen Weston are to attend the announcement Tuesday morning.

Maple Leaf Gardens opened in 1931, hosting its first Maple Leaf game on Nov. 12 that year, when the Maple Leafs lost 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Loblaws has said it will maintain the existing facades of the arena, as well as existing rooflines “with the majority of development taking place within the building’s interior.”