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Calgary Arena History: Sherman Rink

The Calgary Flames will have a new home in 2024, as the city and the Flames are teaming up to construct an as-yet-unnamed new facility in Victoria Park. The new barn will be the fifth major arena in Calgary’s history. We’re taking a look back at the other four.

Up first? Sherman Rink.

Prior to 1909, hockey in Calgary was an ad-hoc affair. There were regular rinks and leagues, but ice conditions fluctuated wildly due to weather and other factors. Most of the time hockey games were played on flooded fields or on lakes and rivers.

That changed early in the 20th Century, though. Bill Sherman arrived in town and among the things he constructed was a major roller skating rink and auditorium at the corner of 17th Avenue and Centre Street in the Beltline. It was also used for horse shows until the Horseshoe Pavilion opened in Victoria Park in May 1912.

Lloyd Turner arrived in town in the mid 1900s and took over management of Sherman Roller Rink. He soon convinced Sherman to put ice in and it became Sherman Rink in 1909. (It was still used for occasional horse shows.) It was the city’s main indoor rink until it burnt down in February 1915. Undeterred, Turner kept hockey in town going by salvaging some of the seating from Sherman Rink and putting in outdoor ice across the street before a more permanent indoor solution was found in 1918.

(You’ll notice as we go along that putting in a new one across the street eventually becomes a pattern.)