Barn Burners

Are you feeling romantic and appreciative and looking to do something nice for your spouse?

You could do what I did. I took my wife to see the places where the Canadiens played before they made the Forum their home. It goes without saying that she was overcome with joy and appreciation.

Three rinks. And all three burned down.

First, the 3,200-seat Jubilee Arena in east-end Montreal, at the corner of St. Catherine and Malborough (now Rue Alphonse – D. Roy.)

The Canadiens played there during their first ever season, 1909-10, and again from 1917 until it burned down in 1919.

What the Jubilee looked like, inside and out –

Jubilee Arena


And what it looks like now, from two angles –

Jubilee 1

Jubilee 2

From 1910 to 1918, the Canadiens played at the Montreal Arena (or Westmount Arena as it was also called), at the corner of St. Catherine and Wood, one block west of what would become the Forum.

The place held 4,000 people seated and another 6,000 standees, and burned down in 1918, forcing the Canadiens to move back to the Jubilee for a very short period.

The Montreal Wanderers played there also, and I kind of feel for this long-gone team. After being a powerhouse in the old ECAHA and NHA, they joined the NHL in 1918 and played just four games before their barn burned down. So they called it quits permanently.

What the Montreal Arena looked like then –

Westmount Arena

And what it looks like now –

Westmount 1

Westmount 2

And finally, the 6,000-seat Mount Royal Arena near the corner of Mount Royal and St. Urbain, where the Canadiens, after the Jubilee burned down, played from 1920 to 1926 . After that they would take residence (with the Maroons) in the Forum, which was built two years prior in 1924.

The Mount Royal Arena burned down in 2000.

What it looked like then –

Mount Royal Arena

And what it looks like now. A Provigo –

Mount Royal 1


12 thoughts on “Barn Burners”

  1. Hey Dennis, An interesting look at the old rinks in the Montreal area. Kinda strange how they all burnt down though, makes you wonder how that all came about . There is the second part of your story .

  2. hello again Kane, As always your stories about Hockey and the Habs are grand. I was just wondering why my comment, the first of this season, was ignored by you completely. I f I am not welcome here, I won’t come back. Just let me know.

  3. William, I’m sorry but sometimes I unintentionally miss replying to various comments. Sometimes they just get by me and I miss replying completely. It can be very difficult to keep up sometimes, it’s only me on this site, and I think I reply to at least 95% of all comments and have for the past seven years. I don’t understand how you can write that maybe you’re not welcome here and won’t come back, simply because I missed replying to your recent comments. I think I’ve replied to every one of yours, except for these, since you came here, and I’ve always enjoyed your comments. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t win. Please know, most sites don’t reply to every comment, even with several people working. But I’ve always tried my best to do so. But when I don’t, I get this.
    I’m also curious as to why you felt it necessary to post a comment as “Gab” and slag the Habs and tell me to stop living in the past. Why would that be? (Yes, I compared IP addresses).
    Very difficult to understand.

  4. DK, I can’t believe it, the picture of the provigo is the one Diana & I stopped at & picked up some goodies. That silver car out front is in my spot—-spookie!!

  5. That’s where the Mount Royal Arena was, Mike. You were on hallowed ground, right by the carrots and cole slaw.

  6. DK, I sent you a couple of texts today with even greater offerings for Yvon’s sweater, I’m sure you won’t be able to resist!

  7. Guess I’m a bit dissapointed with some of the comments on this site. Yesterday some of you replied to Gab’s comment —THANK YOU!!!!!You were more gracious then what I tried to type! Now I see that another ass-wipe remark aimed at Dennis hit the screen. And our private eye identified Gab. William, this isn’t my blog by ANY MEANS— but if you got nothing better to do then hurl negative at Dennis, may I suggest something—-SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!! Sorry DK but I had to say that. The real readers of your blog greatly enjoy your style, your humour, AND the amazing tidbits of history and info you dig up. I don’t think we live in the past too much— we just know how to celebrate it while #25 is getting hitched to the wagon. We don’t hang ” Made the playoffs” banners in the Bell’s rafters. Happy birthday.

  8. Hey Dennis, Not all that happy with William’s comment, not saying it in a mean way but just wanting to see more positive things here then a person feeling sorry for themself,had to say it buddy.

  9. I think I was closer to the Bier section & was drawn to anything Red, white & blue, must have been the ghosts guiding me!

  10. Cheers, Peter. I keep looking for a bottle of 4 Aces for you but it seems that nobody stocks it anymore. Not sure why.

  11. All’s good, Derry. Solid guys and gals like you and others make this a pleasant experience.

  12. Mike, it was the rough and tough Sprague Cleghorn, the mighty Morenz and Joliat, and the brick wall Vezina guiding you around that Provigo.

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