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In the Spotlight: Hockey Hall of Fame
Welcome to the home of the Stanley Cup and the finest collection of hockey artifacts in the world.
Located in Toronto, Ontario, the Hockey Hall of Fame (30 Yonge St.) is the premier destination for all things hockey. Dedicated entirely to the history of ice hockey in Canada, the Hockey Hall of Fame holds regular exhibits on famous players and teams, and displays permanent galleries of National Hockey League (NHL) records, trophies and miscellaneous memorabilia.
First established in Kingston, Ontario, in 1943, the Hockey Hall of Fame changed homes after the NHL withdrew its support for the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958. It now resides in the historic Bank of Montreal building in downtown Toronto. The Hockey Hall of Fame is spread over 65,000 sq ft and offers a slew of activities, including hockey simulation games, as well as an expansive retail store dedicated to hockey equipment and merchandise. Open 362 days of the year, the Hockey Hall of Fame only closes on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Induction Monday.
Places to eat at or near Hockey Hall of Fame
Visitors looking for places to eat at the Hockey Hall of Fame will find several nearby options. The Hockey Hall of Fame itself has two dining establishments, namely the Bottom Line––a classic sports pub and quintessential Canadian café—and Tim Hortons. Its location in downtown Toronto also means visitors can take a quick stroll and find places to eat. Visitors may want to tuck into a comforting meal or end the day with some quality Italian fare at Cantina Mercatto.
The Bottom Line
Owned and operated by retired hockey player Wayne Cowley, the Bottom Line is a sports bar located a few steps away from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Visitors can expect to indulge in generous and eclectic gastronomical selections. It’s also the perfect place for sports fans looking to spend their night cheering on their favourite team, as the Bottom Line is filled with wall-to-wall entertainment options. 22 Front St. W.
Tim Hortons Hockey Hall of Fame Special Edition
Tim Hortons is a Canadian classic and this branch located by the Hockey Hall of Fame retail store is incredibly unique. Besides enjoying Tim Hortons classics like coffees, pastries, snacks and meals, this branch also features themed hockey exhibits that display artifacts from the Hockey Hall of Fame’s collection.
Have a taste of European fare right after touring the Hockey Hall of Fame at Biff’s Bistro. With its seasonal menus that feature French bistro favourites, visitors can also expect to unwind with refreshing cocktails either at the stylish bar or out on their colourful, Parisian-inspired streetside terrace. It can be reached after a short stroll from the Hockey Hall of Fame. 4 Front St. E.
This wine cellar-inspired Cantina Mercatto is just a two-minute walk from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Visitors can enjoy classic Italian meals like Chitarra ala carbonara, prosciutto pizza, as well as a refreshing Bellini for brunch. They also have an extensive menu of vegetarian options and serve Italian-inspired brunch on weekends. 20 Wellington St. E.
Things to see at Hockey Hall of Fame
Hockey fans and visitors curious about the sport will have no shortage of things to see at the Hockey Hall of Fame. It has 15 in-house exhibits, not to mention regular events relating to the sport.
Entrance Foyer: Upon entering, visitors will be greeted by a nine-foot-tall statue of the legendary “Mr. Hockey” himself, Gordie Howe. The entrance usually hosts newer or rotating exhibits and four Honoured Member Columns in the admissions area.
Honda NHL Zone: This area showcases the highlights and milestones of modern NHL and its history. This section also contains the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society (PHATS) and the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment (SPHEM) wall of honour.
Canadiens Dressing Room: This exhibit is a to-scale replica of the dressing room in the Montreal Forum, which was home to 23 Stanley Cup champions from 1924 to 1996. The walls are ornamented with team rosters and portraits of each player inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame before the Forum’s closing.
Stanley Cup Dynasties: This exhibit hall displays rosters of nine franchises that ruled the NHL over the years, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs from the 1940s.
TSN Theatre: Here, visitors can sit down for a screening of an original 3D film, “Stanley’s Game Seven.” The film features a mix of live-action, 3D animation, and archival footage of the most famous Stanley Cup playoff moments.
Hometown Hockey: This exhibit showcases Hockey’s humble roots and features artifacts pertaining to different levels of hockey in Canada.
NHLPA Game Time: This area is where visitors can try their hand at shooting goals in state-of-the-art interactive games. You can choose to shoot or defend a goal against hockey superstars like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
TSN/RDS Broadcast Zone: In this area, guests can try their hand at what happens behind the scenes during hockey games and television hockey broadcasting.
Video Game Kiosks: Visitors can enjoy the latest in ice hockey video games here.
Slapshot Trivia: Hockey fans can come and test their knowledge of hockey trivia in this area. With eight kiosks cycling through a database of 10,000 questions, fans and newcomers alike are bound to learn some new things.
Upper Deck Collector’s Corner: This area features premium collectibles like autographed merchandise and playing cards.
The Mask Presented by Imports Dragon: Here, visitors can explore the evolution of goalie masks. With up to 90 masks on display, this gallery honours the past and present puck stoppers.
Tissot World of Hockey: This is the largest exhibition area in the Hockey Hall of Fame and pays tribute to international hockey.
Esso Great Hall: This is the heart of the Hockey Hall of Fame, with portraits and biographical sketches of Honoured Members throughout the years, as well as all significant NHL Trophies, including the Stanley Cup.
Spirit of Hockey Retail Store: Fans can take home hockey merchandise or souvenirs of their own from this official Hockey Hall of Fame retail store.
Fun Facts About Hockey Hall of Fame
Learn some fun facts about the Hockey Hall of Fame:
- The Hockey Hall of Fame has the largest hockey-book collection in the world.
- It also has the world’s most extensive hockey-stamp collection.
- Only 45 percent of collected material is only on display by the Hockey Hall of Fame, while the rest is continuously rotated from storage to public display throughout the year.
- The Hockey Hall of Fame receives over 300,000 visitors every year.
- The building that houses the Hockey Hall of Fame, the former Bank of Montreal, was built in 1885 and was the only building on its block that survived Toronto’s Great Fire in 1904.
- The building has its own resident ghost, Dorothy. It is said that she can sometimes be seen in a window that overlooks the intersection of Yonge and Front Streets.
How to get to Hockey Hall of Fame
By Car from Lester B. Pearson International Airport: Merge onto Provincial Route 427 S, then onto Gardiner Expressway E via the left exit. From there, take the Yonge St. Exit and keep driving north to Front St. W.
By Public Transportation via the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC): Transfer onto Line 1 Yonge-University subway, then alight at the Union Station or King subway stop. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a short walk from there.