In 2013, while you were at the beach getting high and ogling the opposite sex in their skimpy bathing suits, I was getting stuck in Montreal traffic, working my way around an inner city marathon involving thousands of runners, all of whom seemed in slightly better shape than me.
I did this because I wanted to see where the old Habs barns once stood or still stand. And I’m almost sure that not one runner got squished by my tires.
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 –
And what it looks like now. Nice, if you like warehouses.
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 –
And what it looks like now –
Next, 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 –
And what it looks like now. A Provigo supermarket –
The classic Montreal Forum, built and opened in 1924 –
Renovations in 1968 made it look like this –
And then, after the team had moved to the Molson (Bell) Centre, the beautiful Forum became this –
And finally, the Bell Centre, originally named the Molson Centre, which opened in 1996.
The Canadiens’ dressing room, which the tour guy said is the smallest dressing room in the league, partly because they wanted to keep it as similar as possible to the Forum dressing room. and something about moving from the Forum after the season had already started.