Air Canada Centre
The Air Canada Centre (ACC) is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar (the latter nickname coming from its sponsorship by Air Canada). It is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). It was also home to the Toronto Phantoms of the Arena Football League (AFL) during their brief existence. The ACC is the 11th busiest arena in the world. From its initial design to completion, it revolutionized many concepts now included in new arenas and stadiums such as luxury suites accessible on the ground floor, splitting the main scoreboard into several sections, rotating all sponsor signage in the bowl at once (to allow dominant messaging), and multiple restaurants in and out of the main arena bowl view. The arena is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., the same group that owns both the Leafs and Raptors, and is 665,000 square feet (62,000 m²) in size. Air Canada Centre is connected to Union Station and the underground pedestrian PATH system, providing easy access to public transportation ( TTC's Union subway station and GO Transit) for fans attending events. There are also 13,000 parking spaces within immediate walking distance.

History
The Air Canada Centre was started by the Toronto Raptors under its initial ownership group headed by Canadian businessman John Bitove. The groundbreaking was performed in March 1997. While construction was in progress, the Raptors and their partially-completed arena were purchased by MLSE. Prior to this development, the Maple Leafs had been contemplating building their own arena to replace the aging Maple Leaf Gardens. MLSE subsequently ordered major modifications to the original design, which was basketball-specific, such that the arena become more suitable for hockey. The site was once occupied by the Canada Post Delivery Building. The current building retains the striking Art Deco façades of the east (along Bay Street) and south ( Lake Shore Boulevard) walls of that structure, but the rest of the building (facing Union Station) was removed to make room for the arena, through the process of facadism. The 15-storey tower on Bay Street stands at 55 metres and provides connections in the atrium to Union Station, Bay Street, and York Street (via Bremner Boulevard). The Air Canada Centre is connected to the PATH network.

Games and events

Sports
The first Maple Leafs home game took place on February 20, 1999 versus the Montreal Canadiens, won by the Leafs 3-2 on an overtime goal by Steve Thomas. The first Raptors game took place the following night versus the Vancouver Grizzlies. The Raptors won 102-87 in front of a sell-out crowd. The Tragically Hip performed the first concert at the venue the following night. The facility hosted the 2000 NHL All-Star Game and the championship game of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. The centre has hosted many World Wrestling Entertainment events over the years. In 2004, it hosted WWE SummerSlam 2004. In 2006, it hosted WWE Unforgiven 2006 headlined by Toronto native Edge against John Cena. It has also hosted many WWE Raw, ECW, and WWE SmackDown! tapings. The Air Canada Centre also featured World Championship Wrestling's first-ever WCW Monday Nitro telecast from Canada, on March 29, 1999. The Toronto Rock also moved to the ACC from Maple Leaf Gardens for the 2001 NLL season. The Rock's first game was a 17-7 win over the Ottawa Rebel on December 21, 2000. On October 3, 2003, the ACC had a power outage during the third quarter of a Raptors pre-season game against the Greek club Panathinaikos. The game was called a final, because the power was not restored in time, and Toronto already had a thirty-point lead.

Notable Concerts
The Air Canada Centre has played host to a number of musicians, including The Rolling Stones, Cher, Mariah Carey, U2, The Backstreet Boys, Aerosmith, Paul McCartney, Guns N' Roses, Justin Timberlake, David Bowie, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, and Beyoncé. Bon Jovi held the record for having played the most shows in the Air Canada Centre during one tour. On their 2007-2008 Lost Highway Tour, they played five shows in Toronto. They were breaking their own earlier four-night record at the ACC that tied with U2, The Spice Girls, The Police and Rush.

Political conventions
In 2003, the Liberal Party of Canada held their leadership convention at the Air Canada Centre.

Future developments
In late 2005, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced that they would be renovating the western side of the Air Canada Centre during the 2008 off-season, to connect it with the future Maple Leaf Square development. Maple Leaf Square is jointly owned by MLSE, Cadillac Fairview and Lantera Developments. The $500 million development will include two restaurants, Hotel Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square boutique hotel, extensive retail shopping including a 9,000-square-foot (840 m 2) Leafs, Raptors, and Toronto FC store, two 54-storey condominiums, a Longo's supermarket, a High-Definition broadcast studio, and a public square. It is slated for completion in 2010.

Building Activity

  • George Pasher
    George Pasher commented
    Air Canada was transformed from munition storage.
    about 4 years ago via Mobile
  • George Pasher
    George Pasher commented
    transformed from munion storage for ww2
    about 4 years ago via Mobile
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 9 media and uploaded a media file
    Air Canada Centre
    about 4 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference and removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com