We teach kids to play hockey with heart!

For 65 years, the Ted Reeve Hockey Association has taught Toronto kids the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication. We run a non-competitive house league, a semi-competitive select program and a competitive GTHL program, and kids as young as five can learn to play. Many of our players start in our Tykes division and stay with The Ted Reeve Hockey Association until they’re 19.

Our association is 100% volunteer run. From coaches to commissioners, we show up at the rink every week because we want to give the young people of our community a chance to play the game we all grew up with. We’re always looking for new volunteers to help with:

Coaching | Fundraising | Reffing (must be certified and over 14 years old)

To find out more about volunteering with the Ted Reeve Hockey Association, click here

The Ted Reeve Hockey Story

As you enter Ted Reeve Arena and walk up the stairs by the snack bar, you’ll see a row of paintings hanging on the north wall.

These paintings depict men from an earlier era. Men that, having lived through the depression and two world wars, cared for their community and were determined to contribute in a meaningful way. Each of these men played a role in the building of our local arena and helped to create one of the last community-run hockey associations in the city of Toronto.

The last painting in the set is of a striking brown-eyed man with a thick moustache and a tall, muscular build. In this portrait, Ted Reeve is smiling and I wonder if, when he posed for the artist, he was already aware that by supporting this local arena, he was building a legacy of community spirit and cooperation in the east end.

Ted Reeve’s legacy is housed within the arena that bears his name

Today we take indoor hockey rinks for granted but for most of the 1930s and 40s, Toronto kids played hockey on the city’s many outdoor ice rinks. In the mid 1940s, a series of mild winters curtailed the use of the outdoor rinks just as hockey was growing in popularity and the demand for ice time was increasing.

It became clear that the east end desperately needed an indoor hockey rink but the question was how? There were no political interests or government programs willing to build a new arena near Main and Gerrard.

There were no large corporations providing capital in return for naming rights. The community had no choice but to pull together and as a result, the building of Ted Reeve Arena has become one of the best examples of local cooperation in the city of Toronto.

In 1947, the city agreed to pay one-half of the $250,000 it would take to construct the new arena. For the next seven years, community activists like Ross Lipett and Don MacGregor organized neighbourhood events and went door-to-door to raise the other 50 per cent.

Long-time Beachers may recall a parade down Queen Street to kick off fundraising efforts. Supporters of this neighbourhood initiative organized golf tournaments and, thanks to the support of Major Conn Smythe, held an old-timers tournament at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Back in the day, the Beach was the driving force of Toronto’s sports scene and big names like the colourful Cabbagetown  racing mogul, Willie Morissey, got behind this important local project. Morissey, who was famous for supporting the rights of racing jockeys at Woodbine Racetrack, now supported a place for young Beachers to play organized hockey. “After all,” he is quoted as saying, “We are all east-enders.”

Why Ted Reeve?

By 1954, the finishing touches were added to the arena and it was time to give it a name. Ted “The Moaner” Reeve was an obvious choice. Ted Reeve had grown up in East York and lived in the Beach for many years. As a Lacrosse star, a football Hall of Famer, a coach and a prolific sports journalist with the Toronto Telegram (predecessor to the Toronto Sun), Ted Reeve was an icon. Tall, dark and brawny, with a strong chin and his trademark moustache, he founded the Balmy Beach Football Club and was one of the most influential men on the Toronto sporting scene. The Toronto Argonauts describe him as “a patriotic WW1 soldier and great all-around athlete.”

Ted Reeve was famous for his indomitable spirit. In a 1930 Grey Cup match, he led the Rough Riders to an 11-6 victory against Regina. He had a broken collar-bone at the time. It’s no wonder that he was often referred to as “The Moaner” or “Old Bones.”

Ted Reeve was a vocal supporter of the new arena and had spear-headed the fundraising campaign through his column in the Telegram. It was Ted Reeve’s support that cinched the deal and his infamous determination that guided the building of the arena.

The spirit of Ted Reeve is infused in every rafter of the 58-year-old building. When the rink finally opened its doors in 1954, it became a symbol for neighbourhood involvement, progress and a certain self-reliance that the east end is known for. It became a symbol for Ted Reeve and his unwavering commitment to our children.

The next time you walk past Ted Reeve’s portrait, take a second look at this extraordinary man who created a legacy of community spirit in the east end. Today that spirit is represented by the Ted Reeve Hockey Association and the rink that bears his name.