The old barn that was once called Oakville Arena has been completely redesigned and christened with the new moniker, the Trafalgar Park Community Centre. Oakville Arena, as many of you reading this, holds many memorable moments in the lives of local area residents. Built in 1951 and once home to the Junior A OHJL hockey club the Oakville Blades, the arena located on the corner of Rebecca & Kerr, has been a gathering place for all levels of game play. It has been a long established local institution. The arena was meant for year-round use, such as hockey, skating for seven months, as well as dancing, roller skating, community events, boxing and lacrosse. Even local wrestling events were held here!
(Above) The original arena in the 1950’s
For those who have personal experiences playing in this barn, you may remember how ridiculously cold it could be in the midst of a long winter. Or perhaps how hot and humid (with an abundant & pungent smell of sweat) it could get in the summer while playing lacrosse or roller hockey. Even with the all the doors open. Or walking down the ramp off the ice into the bowels of the arena to get to the dressing rooms. My most vivid memory of this historic coliseum, would be staring up to the rafters as I was being carried off the ice. Having suffered a shattered knee, broken ankle, ligament and tendon damage from an unfortunate wipe out into the boards. I didn’t say it was a happy memory, but I will always remember that wood roof and rafters and look back fondly as another “Old School Hockey Barn” has been modernized to make way for societies growing demand for newer, advanced, large, multi-use facilities.
However, for all you traditionalists (like me) out there, do not worry. The Town of Oakville integrated the most iconic part of the old beauty into their new design. THE ROOF and RAFTERS!
- The existing arena structure would be maintained without the requirement to reinforce the wood trusses.
- A new roof would be constructed over the existing, eliminating the need for reinforcement.
- The new roof would eliminate the reliance on the current wood trusses for structural support and allow for the opportunity to eliminate some later structural enhancements.
- This approach would enhance the original 1950’s design & configuration.
So players of all ages will still be able to look up at the same roof that I, and so many before and after me have as they continue to flock to this rink to satisfy their hockey needs. Like they have for the last 67 years.
Riley is proud to be a part of this new development, and is happy to see that this icon will live on for many years to come, which now includes….