Moose Jaw Warriors

Arena Name: Moose Jaw Civic Centre
Capacity: 3146
Built: 1959
Address: 1251 Main St. N., Moose Jaw, SK S6H 0X3
Ice Surface Size: Regulation
Last Game: 2011
Demolished: 2012


 Moose Jaw Civic Centre

Moose Jaw Civic Centre

 What Was the Arena Like?

As mentioned on my review of Mosaic Place, the Moose Jaw Civic Centre was an icon. The one junior arena that every hockey fan in Canada could name, the famous "Crushed Can", designed by Joseph Pettick and built in 1959, was to my knowledge the only hockey arena in Canada that ever won a recognized architectural award, the Massey Medal. It was an icon of mid-century modernism, and when it was demolished in 2012, there was loud and angry outcry from the preservationist and architecture communities.

The Civic Centre opened in 1959 on the grounds of Moose Jaw's only mall, what then would have been the edge of the city. It was a building clad in blue paint with white buttresses and with the famous sloping cable-stayed roof, tallest along the sides and sloping down to barely a storey above the ground in the centre. The seating was all along the sides, with the arena wall barely eight feet behind the end boards in each end.

According to architect Pettick, one of the reasons the building was designed as it was was because of the shoestring budget - with a traditional roof, heat rises into the rafters, so that it's coldest down by the ice and warmest at the highest point where no one ever goes. With the Civic Centre's design, the warmth rose into the grandstands, so heating costs were significantly reduced compared to a conventional design.

The Civic Centre had two under-seat concourses with portals leading to the seats. At the end of its life, the seats were alternating red and grey in Warriors team colours, and the angle of seating was incredibly steep. From the rear of the building, the roof angle was so severe that it wasn't possible to see the seating on the other side of the ice.

While the Civic Centre was justifiably famous, I can understand how local hockey fans would have grown tired of a building that was too small for modern use. No video board was possible owing to the low ceiling, and its design meant the low capacity by modern WHL standards could never be increased. Mosaic Place was built in downtown Moose Jaw as a replacement, opening in 2011, and in many ways it is the anti-Civic Centre. The new rink is cavernous instead of intimate, downtown instead of suburban, and conventional instead of ground-breaking.

YouTube has a great video about the construction of the Civic Centre including an interview with Joseph Pettick, and you can watch it here. The Civic Centre also inspired a copycat arena in Longueuil, Quebec, which opened in 1968 and still stands, though unlike the Civic Centre, Longueuil's arena has most of its seating on only one side of the ice.

 Inside Moose Jaw Civic Centre

Moose Jaw Civic Centre

 What's the Arena Used For Today?
In spite of a massive outcry from preservationists, the Civic Centre was demolished shortly after it closed. The arena sat adjacent to Moose Jaw's only mall, and the developer wanted to use the land for additional retail space. The exact site is currently occupied by a Sobey's liquor store, the architecture of which pays homage to the Crushed Can by mimicking its unique roofline and supporting buttresses.

 The Site of Moose Jaw Civic Centre

Moose Jaw Civic Centre

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at Email and I'll update the guide.

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Last Revised: November 29, 2022