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Ottawa Auditorium

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Ottawa Auditorium
Ottawa Auditorium
Location Argyle at O'Connor Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Opened December 26, 1923
Demolished 1967
Owner Ottawa Auditorium Ltd (1923-1944)
Tommy Gorman
Surface mechanically frozen ice
Construction cost $350,000
Tenants Ottawa Senators (NHL)
Ottawa Senators (QAHA / QSHL)
Hull-Ottawa Canadiens
Capacity 7,500, 10,000 (temporary)

The Ottawa Auditorium, was a 7,500 seat arena located in Ottawa, Ontario. It was located in Downtown Ottawa at the corner of O'Connor and Argyle Streets, today the site of the Ottawa YMCA. Built primarily for ice hockey, the arena was also used for sports events, assemblies and musical concerts.



Ad for first game

It was built in 1923 with a 10,000-person capacity (seated and standing) to be the home arena of the NHL's Ottawa Senators by the Ottawa Auditorium Limited, a consortium controlled by T. Franklin Ahearn and Senators' owners Edgar Dey and Tommy Gorman. It replaced The Arena, built in 1907. The first NHL game held there was played on December 26, 1923 between Ottawa and the Montreal Canadiens, before 8300 fans, in which Howie Morenz scored his first NHL goal.

At the time of construction, the consortium took over the ownership of the hockey club as well. In 1924, Dey sold his share of the consortium and exited the rink business ending the Dey family's ownership of ice rinks in Ottawa dating back to the 1870s. In 1925, Gorman exited hockey in Ottawa, moving to New York City to manage the New York Americans. Gorman sold his share to Ahearn, picking up ownership of the Connaught race track in Aylmer, Quebec. By 1930, the Auditorium was losing money as the Ottawa Senators losses increased. The Auditorium Limited debts to the Ahearn family would lead to the Senators NHL team suspending operations, then starting up again when capital was raised in 1932. By 1934, the Senators NHL franchise was moved to St. Louis, Missouri, becoming the St. Louis Eagles. The Senators were continued as a senior amateur hockey team playing out of the Auditorium. The move to St. Louis was not a success. The franchise was still a drain on the Auditorium and was folded by the NHL in 1935. In 1936, the Auditorium went into receivership and was controlled by the Royal Securities Corporation until 1945, when Gorman returned and purchased the building and the Senators. Gorman would remain an owner until he died in 1962.

The arena was demolished in 1967 and replaced at that location by the YMCA-YWCA building (180 Argyle Avenue). Its replacement, the Ottawa Civic Centre (arena) opened in 1967. It is located on Bank Street in The Glebe at Lansdowne Park.

Ice hockeyEdit


Program from the 1933-34 NHL season


1953 hockey program


Auditorium in 1953. Senators game and Minto Follies upcoming events

It was the home arena of the original NHL Senators from 1923 to 1934. In 1923, the Senators were the defending Stanley Cup champions and they opened the Auditorium on December 1, 1923 with an exhibition game against the Edmonton Eskimos, the team Ottawa had defeated to win the Stanley Cup. The game was attended by the Governor General Lord Byng and Lady Byng.

The Senators won the 1927 Stanley Cup in the Auditorium, the decisive game on April 13, 1927 against the Boston Bruins. The April 13 game at the Auditorium was the last Stanley Cup finals game in Ottawa until the June 2, 2007, game played at Scotiabank Place between the modern Senators and the Anaheim Ducks. It is known that one fan, Russell Williams, attended both games, both won by Ottawa. It also held the final game of the 1924 Stanley Cup Finals between Montreal and Calgary because of its then state-of-the-art artificial ice, and the Montreal Forum had not yet been built.

After 1934, the NHL franchise relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Ottawa Senators became a senior amateur team, first playing in the Montreal Senior Group. The club won the Allan Cup in 1949. After the Senators folded in 1954, attributed to the rise of televised ice hockey matches, the junior Ottawa-Hull Canadiens played in the Auditorium.

The arena hosted games of the 1930-31 Memorial Cup Final and 1957-58 Memorial Cup Final. The Ottawa-Hull Canadiens were the victors of the 1958 series against the Regina Pats.

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Ottawa Auditorium. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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