Listowel Memorial Arena set to be demolished in 2020
KITCHENER -- The Listowel Memorial Arena will be torn down in the new year.
The nearly 60-year-old building closed several years ago after the construction of the Steve Kerr Memorial Complex on the other side of town.
It was actually the second arena to be built at that location.
On February 28, 1959 the roof of the first Listowel Arena collapsed on top of a peewee hockey team.
Seven players and their coach died.
Ross Werth says it's a day he'll never forget.
"I just remember hearing a crack, a boom, and then nothing."
His teammate, Pete Leppard, also survived.
"You shouldn't go to a hockey practice and not come home," he says. "I think about that all the time. Why them?"
The community later decided to rebuilt the structure on the same spot.
Since the Listowel Memorial Arena closed, North Perth council has been debating the future of the property.
They say the land will be repurposed, though the final plan hasn’t been decided and no date has been set for the demolition.
"Part of the decision by council was that this property remains in the municipality's control," says Mayor Todd Kasenberg. "So that we have control over the redeveloment and a significant memorial will be placed here for those that their lives in 1959."
Proposals for the property include housing, a parking lot, a park or an indoor pool.