The Curling Club of Collingwood
A Proud History
- 1881 The strongly Scottish settlement of Collingwood began its association with the O.C.A. in 1881. All curling was done outdoors on the bay.
- 1883 The skating rink on Pine Street (west side) was built primarily for hockey and skating. When the weather did not permit curling on the bay, the club had the privilege of having its games in this rink.
- 1898 The first curling rink was built on Pine Street (east side). It was probably a three-sheet rink.
- 1909 The building at 250 Hume Street was built by the Town of Collingwood, on land belonging to the Town, as an Agricultural building with the possible use as a hockey and skating rink. The Town leased the building to the Agricultural Society for 99 years. Hockey started in 1911 and curling remained in the Pine Street location.
- 1914 Two teams from the Collingwood Curling Club won the Ontario Tankard this year. The banner hangs in the lounge of the present curling club. The players from the two teams were: H.G. Vernon (skip), T.G. Brown, F.H. Nettleton and W. B. Fryer Jr.; and N.A. Rule (skip), G.B. Westcott, J.C. Peterman and H. G. Wynes. During the next decade, the club won many Governor General Trophies.
- 1920 This year, the Collingwood Curling Club won the Ontario Tankard. The banner hangs in the lounge of the present curling club. The players from two teams were: H.G. Wynes (skip), J. Mair, H.E. Prentice and G.B. Westcott; and W. B. Fryer (skip) C.W. Pangman, F.H. Nettleton and W. T Rennie.
- 1925 The first Pine Street Curling Club was demolished and rebuilt as a red brick building on the same site with four sheets of ice. A.B. Dillon, a local bricklayer and plasterer also made the ice on a dirt floor by shoveling snow in from outside then dampening it down with a large fireman type hose. He was paid $35.00 a month for being the icemaker. The rink was a favourite place for captains, mates and others from the lake ships that were laid-up in Collingwood for the winter. In later years, the building became the site of the Martin/Baker Aircraft plant.
- 1948 The Eddie Bush Arena was built as a hockey and skating rink with the Grand Opening on December 16, 1948.
- 1949 The Collingwood Curling Club was moved into the vacated Agricultural Building (current location) at 250 Hume Street with a membership of approximately 300.
- 1953 The curlers installed a concrete floor using wheelbarrows to make a six-sheet rink. The money was raised, by selling $100.00 debentures. Each year you clipped a coupon to recover your money and when finished, you had a common share of $1.00.
- 1976 A new steel roof and insulation was installed along with structural upgrades to the steel trusses. The cost of this project was covered by a Wintario grant of $60,000.00, plus $30,000.00 raised by the members. Also this year, the Collingwood Curling Club signed a 25 year lease with the Town of Collingwood.
- 1991 The membership declined to 125 members who held shares, but only 75 were active members.
- 1993 Additional structural upgrades were done to the masonry pies that support the steel roof trusses. This project was orchestrated by the Town.
- 1995 Due to deterioration of the under-flooring cooling pipes, the ice surface had to be reduced to five sheets. This year, the Curling Club became a corporation without shares, to be known as The Curling Club of Collingwood. It was the mandate that the club be a non-profit, volunteer club.
- 1999 Probably due to slow economic times in Collingwood (closure of the shipyards and other manufacturing facilities), the membership stayed flat at about 75 members and was on the verge of closing.
- 2000 New Life – There was new interest happening from people (retirees) moving into Collingwood and membership started to grow. The mechanical plant was in need of major repairs. A Trillium grant, along with help from the Town, helped make the necessary repairs. The club managed to get through until 2004 when a new mechanical plant was installed.
- 2002 In order for new beginner curler members to get good instruction, a grant from the OCA was obtained to train some of the existing curlers. These instructors could train new members. A new furnace was installed.
- 2003 With membership on the increase and a few dollars in the bank, upgrades were made to the lounge kitchen with volunteer help. New furniture was purchased for the lounge and more lockers were added to the change rooms.
- 2004 A grant from Trillium for advertising allowed for a very aggressive campaign for new membership, which reached a goal of 350 members. Upgrades were made to the bar. The existing refrigeration equipment was 50 years old and needed to be replaced. The Town installed a new mechanical refrigeration plant in the back of the building along with a new outdoor rink. This would provide artificial ice for them and also a new system for the curling rink. At this time, the club committed to pay $175,00.00 over an eight-year term to the Town for a new concrete floor and associated cooling pipes.
- 2005 The interior of the curling rink was repainted and upgrades were made to the lower level washrooms.
- 2007 With continued member growth, the club was able to contribute $100,000.00 toward the cost of the new expansion. This included a new front entrance, an elevator to the second floor and increased lounge space
- 2008 New furniture was purchased for the newly created “After 8 Lounge” on the second floor.
- 2009 A new sound system, large screen TV and viewing TV’s over the six curling sheets were installed.
- 2011 With membership over 475, the club was able to pay $45,000.00 for renovations to the lounge area, kitchen and washrooms.
- 2012 On November 23, President Larry Young and Past Presidents Bob Scott, Brent Lanktree and Dave Erler presented a cheque for $21,875.00 to the Town as the final payment for the floor installed in 2004.
- 2014 With membership now nearing the 500 mark, the club along with the Town of Collingwood undertook another substantial renovation. The ice area was insulated and heat added. The front of the building was extended to accomodate new larger change rooms, larger bar area and lounge area and an office.
- 2015 Our renovation was completed and fully operational.
Thank you to Paul Hurst and Bill Hanke for researching and preparing this document.