Ted Reeve Hockey Association celebrates 65th anniversary this weekend

This photo from the archives shows Councillor Ross Lipsett at the opening of Ted Reeve Arena in October of 1954. Ted Reeve Hockey Association celebrates its 65th anniversary this weekend.

The Ted Reeve Hockey Association celebrates its 65th year with on-ice and off-ice activities this weekend.

The fun gets underway on Friday, Oct. 4, with an Alumni Night at the Balmy Beach Club. It goes from 7 p.m. to midnight at the club, 360 Lake Front. Former players, coaches, volunteers and parents are invited to look back on 65 years of hockey in the community. To order tickets, please visit www.tedreevehockey.com

Saturday, Oct. 5, will feature a full day of celebrations both inside and outside at Ted Reeve Arena, 175 Main St., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Maggie Ahlbrand, with Ted Reeve hockey, said the club is “super excited” to be celebrating its 65th season.

An official ceremony featuring a piper and speeches is set for approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the rink.

There will be hockey skills competitions and showcases on the ice, a collection of gently used equipment for donation, and activities off the ice including facepainting, balloons and a barbecue.

There will also be a puck toss for prizes from 4 to 4:30 p.m. in the rink, and this will be followed by three-on-three tournament until 8:30 p.m.

Ahlbrand said that along with providing hockey for generations of kids, the Ted Reeve Hockey Association has also served as a centre for the community over the past seven decades.

“People really feel proud to belong to this organization,” she said. “We have generations of families who support us.”

Ted Reeve hockey has run for 65 years a non-profit organization supported by its volunteers.

“We are very proud of that fact,” said Ahlbrand.

Community support has always been at the core of Ted Reeve hockey, and that goes right back to the campaign to get the rink built which began in the early 1950s.

Ted Reeve Arena officially opened on Oct. 13, 1954 at a special ceremony that saw more than 3,000 people pack into the rink which had a capacity at the time of about 1,800.

Getting the arena built was a massive community undertaking which featured numerous local fundraising events.

The idea for building an indoor rink for the east end of Toronto surfaced shortly after the end of the Second World War, but really got rolling in May of 1950 when the official fundraising drive for the Toronto East Arena Gardens began with a parade along Queen Street East.

The cost of the rink, of which the City of Toronto would pay half was $250,000. The other half, $125,000, had to come from the community.

“It seemed like everyone was involved,” Jack Blakeley, a young hockey player back in the 1950s, said of the fundraising drive in a story in the Beach Metro News about the association’s 60th anniversary.

It helped that local legend Ted Reeve was a supporter of the need for the arena. He used his connections and sports column in the Toronto Telegram newspaper to help lead the fundraising efforts.

Reeve was born in the Beach and spent most his life there. He was a star lacrosse and football player, winning the Grey Cup with the Balmy Beach team in both 1927 and 1930.

For more information on this weekend’s 65th anniversary celebrations, including a full schedule of events, please visit www.tedreevehockey.com


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