Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Willibrord Park

Here are some recent pictures I took of the Willibrord Park. Since I heard that the ice rink was in operation, I decided to drop by and take some photos. There are 2 rinks in operation but they are the regular hosed down type watered with a hose. I spoke to the park attendent who told me that the pipes are installed underground but that the artificial rink will be in operation later this year. This is one of the rinks that the Montreal Canadiens are financing the construction of the artificial rink, there are 3 or 4 more similar rinks to be built in Montreal. I went inside the building "shack" as we called it in our youth and took a couple of pictures. Judging by the ware and tare of the building, (notice the old style water radiators) it seems to be very old and may be the same one that was there in the 40s or 50s but I can't be sure. The outside of the building is certainly more recent as it is covered with bricks compared to the original wood finish. The janitor did not know so I will have to ask city hall. To be continued.

27 comments:

Keith Harrison said...

This brings back warm memories from the early 60's as part of the Norman Dawes Athletic Asc (God bless all those volunteers.)

We used to play at different rinks vs other Verdun teams and I remember my parents walking me to the rink we were to play. My home rink was Wilson Park on Brown Blvd and the "shack" was the same. I remember the parents standing on the snow hills besides the boards watching their kids play and clapping for both teams and all the kids. Certainly different than today.

We used to get to play once per season at the Verdun Auditorium as a treat and we all felt like major leaguers at the time albeit only 9-10 yrs old.

I keep hearing about the high cost of playing hockey today and, heaven forbid, the little darlings would have to play on an outside rink! Anyone have an idea what it costs these days to play on a team in Verdun with similar outdoor facilities? I remember having to sell a few books of tickets at fifty cents to get on a team and we got the leggings, jersey and regular ice time during normal hours.
Seems all the kids today seem to play in arena's and perhaps if there was more use of outdoor rinks, costs could be kept in line?

My Dad, as would all the others, take us kids into the shack during periods to warm up, rub the cold feet and lace up the skates real tight so that you felt the skate was part of your foot. There was always enough snacks to go around for everyone.

Today- 1000's of dollars to play, 300 dlr skates, 150 dlr sticks.... Goodness what the hell happened? How I miss that time of my life in Verdun.....thanks for the pictures.

Keith Harrison.
Beeton, Ontario

Keith Harrison said...

This brings back warm memories from the early 60's as part of the Norman Dawes Athletic Asc (God bless all those volunteers.)

We used to play at different rinks vs other Verdun teams and I remember my parents walking me to the rink we were to play. My home rink was Wilson Park on Brown Blvd and the "shack" was the same. I remember the parents standing on the snow hills besides the boards watching their kids play and clapping for both teams and all the kids. Certainly different than today.

We used to get to play once per season at the Verdun Auditorium as a treat and we all felt like major leaguers at the time albeit only 9-10 yrs old.

I keep hearing about the high cost of playing hockey today and, heaven forbid, the little darlings would have to play on an outside rink! Anyone have an idea what it costs these days to play on a team in Verdun with similar outdoor facilities? I remember having to sell a few books of tickets at fifty cents to get on a team and we got the leggings, jersey and regular ice time during normal hours.
Seems all the kids today seem to play in arena's and perhaps if there was more use of outdoor rinks, costs could be kept in line?

My Dad, as would all the others, take us kids into the shack during periods to warm up, rub the cold feet and lace up the skates real tight so that you felt the skate was part of your foot. There was always enough snacks to go around for everyone.

Today- 1000's of dollars to play, 300 dlr skates, 150 dlr sticks.... Goodness what the hell happened? How I miss that time of my life in Verdun.....thanks for the pictures.

Keith Harrison.
Beeton, Ontario

Les F said...

perhaps we are the authour of our own demise,catering to our kids as they grew up ,all the while trying to give them more than we had,with all good intentions of course,but maybe we were actually doing them a diservice.The now generation wants (and gets) everything 'now' & I mean 'right now' That's probably why we appreciate going back in time ,to visit our past,and maybe we are secretly hoping for a do-over.......Although I know ,none of us would ever really have bought our kids things we didn't get without working for them........hahahahaha
Mea Culpa...........& most likely so are you....... HF&RV
ps: Great pictures Guy, & Thanks for taking the time to take them & post them for us.

Ron Chapdelaine said...

Brings back a lot of memories, Guy - thanks. I remember reffing minor hockey at Willibrord Park on a Saturday afternoon in the 60's and getting paid $10 (total) for doing 5 games in a row. As with Keith, my home park was Wilson Park the many things he mentions while playing Pee Wee there also bring back a lot of memories. I have to admit, Keith that I used to remove the staple on the end of the books of tickets we had to sell, remove the 3 free ones and replace the staple before starting to sell them. I don't imagine that I was the only one who did that.

Ron
Belleville

Les F said...

Parents still lacing them up for their kids, here's a youtube video of the Levin family in Montreal helping their kids to learn to skate......................

......always neat to see kids Having Fun

Les F said...

Have any of our members who still live in Montreal or Verdun been out skating at all ? How about this outdoor rink in front of the Bonsecouer Market,..........looks like it might be fun.......Cold..but fun.

HF&RV

pauline garneau said...

This is the over 50 team that Andre plays for on Wednesdays and a video of the over 70 team that they played against in Ottawa




back row
Jean Y Prevost,Jacque Calve,Edward Brennan,Jean Frenette,Luc Major,Bertrand Girard,Rob Ellicott,Elie Leroux,Jean Decarie,Steve Adams, Mike Wright,Raymond Lauzon
Front row
Andre Garneau,Lionel Dubeau, Ghislain Langois,Andre Robitaille,Claude Ouellette,Jean Regis,Jacque Dery, William Riley

Greenfield Park 16 December 2009

pauline garneau said...

Brown Blvd. Park was my rink too. Lived on Allard and walked in skates there and back (no other way) in the 50's.

The hockey equipment has improved 100%. As a grandparent of a 14 year old who has played hockey since he was 5 years old and he still has all his teeth. Thank God. It’s a fast game played on ice so the protective equipment is expensive but necessary. His head has always been protected with a helmet unlike his grandfather now 71 who played hockey back in the good old days and lost his teeth plus stitches on the face plus a few pucks to the shin.

As for my 71 year old kid from Verdun who still plays hockey for two teams 50 plus and the 70 plus is still enjoying the sport and playing hockey 5 times a week so he needs all the protection available. Pauline

pauline garneau said...


I was the one taking the video and a play by play announcer I am not but I am sure you will remember the voice Danny Galavan with the play by play.

pauline garneau said...




Les F said...

It was always great to walk inside the shack & immediately feel the warmth from those old radiators...
we'd stay as long as we could,usually until 'Pops' kicked us out, I guess he knew how to make sure the place kept processing the kids in & out, just long enough to warm up....... HF&RV

Diane Roberts said...

I can almost feel my toes thawing out in the shack....sort of a stinging sensation! Only relief was to get out there and skate some more, or head home skating though the laneways as quickly as you could...relieved once you hit 3rd Ave without any "boogieman" trapping you in the laneways. Oh, the imagination on those quick dashes home!....Diane

Sandra penner said...

Diane, stinging sensation on the toes,exactly what it felt like back then,we went to 1st ave rink averyday after school,loved to play The Whip,where you were the last person on, and went flying around the rink. I still have a pair of skates and would go 5 years ago,but you lose your nerve,not to mention falling down a few times as you think you can still do the figure "8" and the "teapot" certainly not at this age! So after peeling myself off the indoor ice here, I hung up the skates for good (maybe)

cookie

Diane Roberts said...

Ah Sandra, I'd forgotten about The Whip! Just like you, I headed to the ice rink everyday and just came home in time for supper. Wonderful memories.
I've been in Australia over 36 years and have only skated 3 times, last time about 10 years ago. I'm also hesitant about trying it again, but I've promised myself I'll give it a go when I return from overseas in June. Don't want to break a leg just before the trip! I just really have to skate again as I'm determined to return to Verdun try out Willibrord Park when I visit in Sept 2011. Pauline will hopefully join me and anyone else on VC who is game...never know, maybe we can get enough oldies to form The Whip again! So tie up those laces, take a deep breath and just remember that you've done it before and nothing will stop you from doing it again! Diane

Sandra penner said...

Diane..am I reading right, you plan to return to Verdun in Sept.2011 and try to skate at Willibrord Park? At that time of the year,you will need roller skates.(smile) My good neighbors have been in Perth,Aus. since December visiting their son ,they should be home in April..I'd love to go to Australia but I don't care for long flights, not even short ones,I need to get to my destination in a minute....
..talk soon Diane,
cookie

Guy Billard said...

Cookie,
The city is installing an artificial rink wich should be ready by then, compliments of the "Les Canadiens" hockey team who are financing 5 such rinks in the Montreal area and wich is now owned by the Molson family, again.
Guy

Diane Roberts said...

Your right Sandra, I do plan to skate in Sept! Apparently they've made the park a year round skating rink...a project completed just recently and I'm sure Guy will have details to post about this. I visit Montreal every 2 or 3 years either in Sept or for Christmas. Last visit was Dec/Jan a couple of years ago and the -40C was just too much to take! Think we'll skip winters in the future.

Brian Gearey said...

Smart move Diane stay where it is warm and visit Verdun when it is warm. Where is Les these days?

Diane Roberts said...

Hi Brian, I don't know where Les is these days, in fact it's getting to be a lonely site with not to many people around. Do you know if they've "migrated" to another site? Maybe Guy knows more....Diane

Diane Roberts said...

I remember going to the first hockey game between the juniors for Russia & Canada at the Auditorium in the late 60s'? All the Russian players looked and probably were about 5 years older than our poor guys...sure seemed fishy to me!....Diane

Brian Gearey said...

Diane You are right ,it is getting lonely on this site .I don't know of any other sites, If you do please let me know. Thanks Brian

Guy Billard said...

I am pleased and surprised of the interest shown regarding the Willibrord park. The reason is no doubt due to the central location. on the north side of Verdun. I lived on Galt near Bannantyne and it was one of my favorites. Another one was the park next to the YMCA on Gordon street wich also had a rink in the winter and a baseball field in the summer and was at the end of Gordon next to the aqueduct. Do any members remember that park? On the other side of the street there were fields wich had gardens. One of my friends father had a vegetable garden there and we used to eat fresh vegetables.
On the south side of Verdun, near the boardwalk and the river there was the Woodland Park wich was also centrally located and catered to that section of Verdun.
We spent a lot of our time in these parks and is the reason why we have such fond memories of these places wich are etched in our minds forever.
Hey everybody, lets not start talking about other sites and contribute to this one instead.
Guy

Diane Roberts said...

Will do Brian and keep in touch. I'll ask around and see if there's any problem with VC that we've missed and also if an acceptable alternative is available to us. I keep in touch with several members of VC by email and I'll see if they know what's happening. Take care....Diane

Brian Gearey said...

Diane I sent a pm to Les and so far I haven't had a reply.Unfortunately I will be away in hospital for about 8 weeks on wednesday and don't know how often I will be able to use the computer.I wanted to put all the pieces but I'm pretty sure I went to school with Les at VCHS but unfortunately I don't know his last name. Don't worry Guy I am just trying to find out why we are losing people to this site.Apart from this site the only other one I belong to is a walleye fishing club (fishing is one of my passions) Brian PS thanks Diane

Diane Roberts said...

Hi Guy and Brian....same here, I don't belong to any other sites and just hope this one keeps on line. I'm having enough trouble finding time to deal with the Internet without anymore contacts....but where is Les these days? Maybe he's decided to "retire" like I did a couple of months ago. You can get lonely out here talking to yourself!
Always stuck to Willibrord Park and Guy, hope you will join me and Pauline having a skate when I next visit That's if we can still stand on them!...Diane

Diane Roberts said...

Brian...8 week hospital stay is a very long time. Wishing you well and we all look forward to you returning home in good health and joining us on Verdun Connections again...Best of luck...Diane

Guy Billard said...

The only way this site will survive is if interested members such as myself, Pauline, Diane and other regular members contribute on a regular basis. Where is Les these days, it is unusual for him to be absent for such a long period. Les, where are you. It would also be nice to hear from Maggie now and then.
Guy