Edmonton Gardens was the first indoor arena in Edmonton, opening all the way back in 1913. It opened at what was even then the city’s fairgrounds, what is today called Northlands, and it was originally called the Edmonton Stock Pavilion. It was mostly built of wood, with a brown brick superstructure, and by the 1960’s it was widely criticized as a fire hazard, to the point that the Edmonton Fire Department had firemen stationed nearby during every event held there!
The arena was finally renovated in 1966. A new lobby was built on top of the old building facing 118 Ave, and the interior was gutted, removing the support columns that blocked views of the ice. Old wooden grandstands were replaced with modern concrete ones. The Edmonton Oil Kings then moved in for the fall of 1967 and played there until their move to Portland in 1976; the subsequent Oil Kings team that only existed in 1977-78 also played at the Gardens.
Edmonton Gardens was also home of the WHA’s Oilers from 1972-74 while the Northlands Coliseum was being built across the street. When the Coliseum opened, and once the Oil Kings had left, the Gardens had few major tenants left, and it ultimately was demolished in a farcical controlled demolition in 1982, where two successive attempts to implode the building failed before it was finally brought down with a wrecking ball.
The Site of Edmonton Gardens
What's It Used for Today?
Wikipedia notes that Hall D of the Edmonton Expo Centre (aka the Northlands Agricom) currently occupies the site, though that is only partially true. The Gardens’s exact site is directly at the foot of the footbridge across 118 Avenue from the Coliseum, and most of the old arena’s footprint is parking lot for the Expo Centre, though the south end of the Gardens site does overlap with the Agricom.
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