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Ryerson Shows Off Its New Hockey Rink at Maple Leaf Gardens

Media got a look at Ryerson University's new Mattamy Athletic Centre earlier today, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper was there.

Ryerson University invited media inside the former Maple Leaf Gardens earlier today for a look at the new athletic centre the school is constructing on the building’s upper levels. Among the guests at the press conference was a special one: Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Mattamy Athletic Centre, as the new facility is known, won’t open officially until September 6, but today was the first time cameras were allowed inside for a look at the space in its nearly finished state. Stephen Harper’s appearance was a surprise; press releases sent out before today didn’t mention that he’d be in attendance. He took the opportunity to talk about the federal government’s $20 million contribution to the athletic centre’s construction, through Infrastructure Canada’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

Media were shepherded into the new hockey arena on the third level of the building, where the ice was illuminated publicly for the first time. The Mattamy Athletic Centre will have a number of amenities aside from the rink, including a four-lane, 200-metre running track, a multipurpose court for basketball and volleyball with more than 1,200 seats, a gym, and some other student facilities. The ground floor of the former Maple Leaf Gardens reopened as a Loblaws late last year.

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