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Riverside Recreation and Memorial Centre – 1957 – 2011

A few readers sent in emails to let me know that the Riverside Arena was being wiped away this holiday weekend.

The building that was built by the Town of Riverside bites the dust at the age of 54, a victim of the WFCU Centre. As many may remember, the proceeds from the sale of the Riverside arena as well as the Edward Street Community Centre were all factored into the final cost of the new behemoth off of Lauzon.

After sitting vacant for several years, the City decided to have it demolished, expecting the demand to be greater for the empty parcel of land. I guess we’ll see what the future holds for the parcel at Wyandotte St. E. and St. Rose.

RIVERSIDE CENTRE-Top picture shows the outside eleva-
tion of Riverside’s $150,000 Recreation and Memorial Centre,
which will be under construction shortly, following sod-turning
ceremonies Saturday at 3 p.m. Specifications for the building
call for a structure 290 feet long, 136 feet wide at the front,
117 feet wide at the rear and 32 feet high. It will be situated
300 feet south of Wyandotte St.. in Riverside Municipal Park.
Lower picture shows the plan. Included in the arena will be
an artificial ice rink, measuring 80 by 180 feet, and an audi-
torium at the front of the building.

The picture above, ran in the Windsor Star September 14, 1956.

According to the Star, the Hon. Paul Martin, minister of health and welfare, and M.P. for Essex East, was the official sod turner to kick off the project. OF the $150,000 needed to build the arena (about $1.28 million today) nearly $90,000 of it was raised by donations and a raffle for a new car. Ford of Canada kicked in $10,000 while the Province of Ontario contributed $15,000.

The picture above shows the front page of the May 18, 1962 edition of the Windsor Star, which shows Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, who addressed a crowd of 2,000+ at the Riverside Arena.

I hope everyone had a good long weekend. Back to work today, but a Happy 4th of July to our US readers.

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