Winter is not my favourite season. Lots of times it’s beautiful to look at from inside but not as great from the outside. But what it does have going for it is hockey.

In 1956 our family moved from England to Scarborough, Ontario. One Saturday we took the bus and subway downtown to Simpsons (before it became Simpson Sears) and bought a TV.  By the time we got home, the TV had been delivered.  We plugged it in.  As it hadn’t been hooked up to an aerial we could get one channel, CBC.  As this was Saturday night we had our introduction to hockey.  We had no idea what we were watching.  In 1958 towards the end of the season, my Dad and I were getting interested.  The Toronto Maple Leafs under Punch Imlach on that final weekend could make the playoffs if they won their games and someond else lost.  They did and we were hooked.

My Dad worked with someone who had season’s tickets and sometimes Dad was able to buy them from him.  At the time they were in the blue section of Maple Leaf Gardens when the seats were red, blue, green and grey. He paid $5.00.  I don’t know if that was for both tickets or five dollars each.  We saw some good games.  One time in a playoff game, we saw Red Kelly score the winning goal in overtime.  I remember those winning years.  I actually have pictures of one of the parades after they won the Stanley Cup, I think it was the 1964 parade.  As this was before we could get colour film, the pictures are black and white.

Back in the ‘old days’ wrestling took place at Maple Leaf Gardens on Thursday nights.  The ice was removed so on Fridays, the Leafs practiced at Ted Reeve Arena.  As that wasn’t far from our school, some of us would go and watch Punch Imlach put the team through their paces.  I remember on one occasion, Eddie Shack came to where we were sitting and told us to watch.  Then he did one of his ‘clear the track here comes Shack‘ runs down the ice.  After the practices, we would sometimes talk to some of the players in the parking lot as they were leaving.  Some of them were friendlier than others.

I still follow the Leafs and hope that one day there will be another victory parade while I’m still on this side of the ground.  A victory I would love to share with my son and grandson!  As a Leafs fan, I hope springs eternal.

About the Author

Linda Calder is a retired teacher. She likes to write and enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys going on cruises, taking pictures and scrapbooking.