Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto
It is at the BCE Place at the corner of Yonge & Front Streets. Hockey fan or not, visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame is a treat. You will be amazed with the display of trophies and memorabilia and a souvenir photo beside the Stanley Cup. The Hall is open everyday and the general admission is C$13.00. It will definitely be a hockey experience for the whole family.
Come and enjoy the fun and games and collect hockey souvenirs from Toronto.
Anyone who grew up in the North probably played hockey as a kid. I can't even skate, but I remember getting on the ice in my boots as a young kid in Boston and playing until I was well past chilled to the bones. In the spring we would play street hockey. In Gym class, floor hockey. Notice a theme? I can remember being VERY young and having my Dad take me to the Boston Gardens to watch Bobby Orr play, somehow Dad got us backstage to meet him.
Toronto is the Home of the Hockey Hall of Fame. I don't follow the sport as much anymore, but just passing by the building brought back a flood of memories.
Okay, so a lot of Americans have a hard time relating to the absolute frustration and utter depression that I feel over this hockey lock-out. Canadians, on the other hand, understand perfectly, and they have non-pro hockey and college hockey to fall back on. Even being from the city of the Stanley Cup Champions, I do not have that luxury.
So, it was with that puck-loving gusto that I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame. These people have their priorities straight because the hall is right next to the main train station. The HHOF is accessed through the BCE building, an ultra-modern shopping centre that is pretty much empty save for a Roots store, some food shacks, and the HHOF that connects to the historic Bank of Toronto, which is also part of the HHOF.
When you enter the hall, there's a real danger of experiencing some sensory overload. There is a track of memorabilia that includes the historic - near Godly - 1980 Team USA / CCCP jerseys, jerseys worn by the original - the legend - Gordie Howe, and recent treasures like Khabibulin's gear from when he played with Team Russia.
An ultra-cheesy replica of the Team Canada locker room is a good place to sit and cool off and listen to Don Cherry voice-overs before moving on.
The next part of the hall is full of interactive things that didn't really interest me, but kids seemed to like it. There was a really neat was this booth they have where you can record a message for Canadian television. A very good place to complain about the lock-out.
The last part of the hall is the holy grail - the trophy room. Located under the stained-glass dome of the old Bank of Toronto building, the travel replica of Lord Stanley is directly in the middle of the room. Etched glass panels with portraits of hockey legends surround it on two large walls. With the Conn Smythe trophy meters away, it is really a sight to behold. Just off the side is a vault that holds the original Lord Stanley. They room is small and cramped, but it gives the trophy a really reverence.
Good God Almighty.
Equipment: Twelve Canadian dollars is all you need for admission into Mecca. Bring a camera and maybe some smelling salts.
The Hockey Hall of Fame was the only bright spot on my last trip to Toronto. The weather was hot and muggy, the people were short and agressive, and the city itself is concrete on concrete, cement on cement.
The Hockey Hall of Fame, however, is an absolute treat. So, if you're unfortunate enough to get stuck in TO for a few days, take in the hall. The exhibits are fabulous, with memorabilia from every era conceivable. Even casual sports fans are wowed by some of the goaltending equipment on display; the wall of masks itself is worth the price of admission.
There are odes to hockey's greatest players, tributes to its greatest teams, and huge exhibits for the Original Six, the Great One, and the Stanley Cup.
And who doesn't want to see the Cup? There's a certain magic that goes with this, sport's most famous trophy. The lore associated with Lord Stanley's mug is so variant, it sounds like fiction. The Cup has been punted into the bottom of swimming pools by showoff Chicago Blackhawk scoring legends, danced on by seedy Edmonton strippers, and left on a street corner by drunken Montreal Canadiens who piled into a post-party cab. (It sat in a passerby's living room for almost a week before he called to say he'd found hockey's Holy Grail.) It's been groped, fondled, kissed, caressed, slept with, sweat upon, drunk out of, and pissed in (not necessarily in that order, and hopefully not all in the same night). It's legendary, and worth a gander for even non-sports fans.
I'll write more later, and hopefully I'll find my pictures -- this place is like a cathedral for the sporting soul.
Equipment: Bring your camera, and a few bucks to spend at the souvenir shop.
Home of the Stanley Cup the Hall of Fame had hockey artifacts from all around the world. We didn't get to go in, but this place is easily found in Toronto.
Canada is all about hockey, so you must visit the Hockey Hall of Fame if you're a fan. At the moment, you'll be able to see the Stanley Cup in all its glory at the museum.