Maple Leaf Stadium – Home to One of Toronto’s Greatest Baseball Teams

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September 4, 1925 - Sign for the future site of Maple Leaf Stadium, once located at the foot of Bathurst St and Lake Shore Blvd W
September 4, 1925 – Sign for the future site of Maple Leaf Stadium, once located at the foot of Bathurst St and Lake Shore Blvd W (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 6161)

Maple Leaf Stadium was once located at the foot of Bathurst St, south of Lake Shore Blvd W in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood of Toronto.

Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club

The stadium was home to the minor league Maple Leafs baseball team. It was built in 1926 on reclaimed land owned by the Toronto Harbour Commission. The 23,500-seat Fenway-style stadium was designed by architects Chapman & Oxley. It was made from concrete and steel. Opening day was postponed by a day due to a soggy field.

The Park and Stadium on Toronto Island

Before the ball team moved to Maple Leaf Stadium in 1926, they played at Hanlan’s Point Stadium/Maple Leaf Park on Toronto Island. In May 1897, Toronto played its first professional baseball game at Hanlan’s Point against Rochester. Part of the Eastern League, Toronto lost their first game in front of 2,000 cheering fans. From 1901 to 1907, the team moved to Diamond Park before returning to Toronto Island in 1908.

At Maple Leaf Park in September 1914, 19-year-old Babe Ruth hit his one and only home run in the minors. The Bambino was a pitcher for the Providence Grays, who won in a 9/0 shutout. Nine years later, the “Sultan of Swat” was back at the Island stadium playing for the New York Yankees in an exhibition game against the Leafs. During that game, Babe Ruth hit a homer that soared high over the right field wall and fell out of sight into Toronto’s bay. That ball would be worth a fortune today. The Leafs won 8 to 2.

The Island’s Maple Leaf Park was torn down in the 1930s to make way for the Toronto Island Airport, today’s Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Maple Leaf Stadium

1930 - Looking south towards the entrance of the Maple Leaf Stadium (Library and Archives Canada PA-098369)
1930 – Looking south towards the entrance of the Maple Leaf Stadium (Library and Archives Canada PA-098369)

Back to Maple Leaf Stadium… in the early 1950s, the ball club attracted many fans, and in 1951 the team was sold to Jack Kent Cooke. He was also the owner of the CKEY radio station. The Maple Leafs, who started playing in 1896 and are part of the top 100 minor league teams of all time, flourished under Mr Cooke. He made some renovations to upkeep the stadium and used various techniques to promote the team, but by the early 1960s, attendance started to dwindle. The team was sold a few times in the 1960s, then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1968. The stadium was demolished that same year.

The Area Today

Today, the land is part residential and home to Little Norway Park as well as a gas station. The area also has a street that’s been appropriately named Stadium Rd.

Maple Leaf Stadium Photos

March 5, 1929 - Looking southeast towards Maple Leaf Stadium
March 5, 1929 – Looking southeast towards Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 465)
1925 - Future site of  Maple Leaf Stadium
1925 – Future site of Maple Leaf Stadium (Library and Archives Canada PA-073462)
September 4, 1925 - Sign for the future site of Maple Leaf Stadium, once located at the foot of Bathurst St and Lake Shore Blvd W
September 4, 1925 – Sign for the future site of Maple Leaf Stadium, once located at the foot of Bathurst St and Lake Shore Blvd W (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 6161)
Circa 1926 – The Maple Leaf Stadium design
Circa 1926 – The Maple Leaf Stadium design (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 845)
May 10, 1926 – Construction on Maple Leaf Stadium
May 10, 1926 – Construction on Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1548, Series 393, Item 20393a)
April 25, 1926 - Construction on the west face of Maple Leaf Stadium
April 25, 1926 – Construction on the west face of Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 7652)
Late 1920s - Looking east along Lake Shore Blvd W from west of Bathurst St towards Maple Leaf Stadium on the right, Crosse & Blackwell factory in the centre and Loblaws Groceterias Company Limited building on the left
Late 1920s – Looking east along Lake Shore Blvd W from west of Bathurst St towards Maple Leaf Stadium on the right, Crosse & Blackwell factory in the centre and Loblaws Groceterias Company Limited building on the left (Toronto Public Library 942-1-16)
1930 - Looking south towards the entrance of the Maple Leaf Stadium (Library and Archives Canada PA-098369)
1930 – Looking south towards the entrance of the Maple Leaf Stadium (Library and Archives Canada PA-098369)
June 8, 1934 - Looking southeast from Fort York towards the Maple Leaf Stadium on the right and Loblaws Groceteria building on the left
June 8, 1934 – Looking southeast from Fort York towards the Maple Leaf Stadium on the right and Loblaws Groceteria building on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 602)
1934 – Looking south from Fort York towards Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors
1934 – Looking south from Fort York towards Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors (Toronto Public Library R-6871)
Date unknown - An aerial view looking southwest towards Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors. Notice in the upper right corner of the photo the Toronto Maple Leafs former ballpark, Hanlan's Point Stadium, which was demolished in the mid-1930s to make way for the Island Airport
Date unknown – An aerial view looking southwest towards Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors. Notice in the upper right corner of the photo the Toronto Maple Leafs former ballpark, Hanlan’s Point Stadium, which was demolished in the mid-1930s to make way for the Island Airport (City of Toronto Archives)
Between 1935 and 1936 – Looking east along Lake Shore Blvd W from west of Bathurst St. Notice Maple Leaf Stadium on the right, the Crosse & Blackwell factory in the centre background and the Imperial Gasoline sign on the left
Between 1935 and 1936 – Looking east along Lake Shore Blvd W from west of Bathurst St. Notice Maple Leaf Stadium on the right, the Crosse & Blackwell factory in the centre background and the Imperial Gasoline sign on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 4284)
Circa 1934 – An aerial view looking southeast towards Bathurst St, Fleet St and Lake Shore Blvd W. Notice Loblaw Groceterias Company Limited, Crosse & Blackwell, Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors
Circa 1934 – An aerial view looking southeast towards Bathurst St, Fleet St and Lake Shore Blvd W. Notice Loblaw Groceterias Company Limited, Crosse & Blackwell, Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 7297)
Circa 1950 - Looking southwest towards the entrance of Maple Leaf Stadium on Lake Shore Blvd W
Circa 1950 – Looking southwest towards the entrance of Maple Leaf Stadium on Lake Shore Blvd W (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 843)
July 22, 1930  - Queen’s Wharf Lighthouse with Tip Top Tailors and Maple Leaf Stadium in the background. Notice the Fleet St TTC streetcar loop encircling the lighthouse
July 22, 1930 – Queen’s Wharf Lighthouse with Tip Top Tailors and Maple Leaf Stadium in the background. Notice the Fleet St TTC streetcar loop encircling the lighthouse (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 21235)
2023 - Looking southeast towards Queen’s Wharf Lighthouse with Tip Top Lofts in the background. From 1926 until 1968, Maple Leaf Stadium was located just east of what was originally Tip Top Tailors. Today, the area has a street that’s been appropriately named Stadium Rd. Notice the Fleet St TTC streetcar loop still encircling the lighthouse
2023 – Looking southeast towards Queen’s Wharf Lighthouse with Tip Top Lofts in the background. From 1926 until 1968, Maple Leaf Stadium was located just east of what was originally Tip Top Tailors. Today, the area has a street appropriately named Stadium Rd. Notice the Fleet St TTC streetcar loop still encircling the lighthouse
1951 – Owner Jack Kent Cooke signed the team's first Black players, pitcher Leon Day (left) and catcher Charlie White (right), at Maple Leaf Stadium
1951 – Owner Jack Kent Cooke signed the team’s first Black players, pitcher Leon Day (left) and catcher Charlie White (right), at Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 2621)
April 29, 1926 – Baseball team photo on opening day at Maple Leaf Stadium
April 29, 1926 – Baseball team photo on opening day at Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 7698)
Circa 1950 - Jack Kent Cooke with the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball players in the dugout at Maple Leaf Stadium
Circa 1950 – Jack Kent Cooke with the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball players in the dugout at Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 2609)
Circa 1950 - Jack Kent Cooke, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team, presents a watch to a player to one of the players. Notice Canada Malting Co Ltd silos/plant in the background
Circa 1950 – Jack Kent Cooke, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team, presents a watch to a player to one of the players. Notice Canada Malting Co Ltd silos/plant in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 2618)
Between 1940 and 1960 - Nat Turofsky wearing the Toronto Maple Leaf Baseball Club uniform at Maple Leaf Stadium
Between 1940 and 1960 – Nat Turofsky wearing the Toronto Maple Leaf Baseball Club uniform at Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 9526)
1947 - Spiff  Evans with OHA group at the Maple Leaf Stadium
1947 – Spiff Evans with OHA group at the Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 3004)
Circa 1950 - Jack Kent Cooke owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team, with baseball players on the field at Maple Leaf Stadium
Circa 1950 – Jack Kent Cooke owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team, with baseball players on the field at Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 2620)
June 8, 1930  - Shrine parade near the Maple Leaf Stadium
June 8, 1930 – Shrine parade near the Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 20629)
May 3, 1961 – The Toronto Maple Leafs (Baseball ) season opener at the Maple Leaf Stadium
May 3, 1961 – The Toronto Maple Leafs (Baseball ) season opener at the Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 880)
Date unknown – Aerial view looking north towards Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors on the left
Date unknown – Aerial view looking north towards Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors on the left (Library and Archives Canada PA-052430)
Date unknown – Looking west towards the crowds lining up outside Maple Leaf Stadium on the right with Tip Top Tailors in the background
Date unknown – Looking west towards the crowds lining up outside Maple Leaf Stadium on the right with Tip Top Tailors in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 857)
Date unknown – The marquee over the main entrance of Maple Leaf Stadium advertising a Labour Day double-header against Rochester. Notice the "Bulova Watch Time" clock above the entrance
Date unknown – The marquee over the main entrance of Maple Leaf Stadium advertising a Labour Day double-header against Rochester. Notice the “Bulova Watch Time” clock above the entrance (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 844)
Date unknown – Enjoying a baseball game at Maple Leaf Stadium
Date unknown – Enjoying a baseball game at Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 872)
1963 – Looking southeast towards Maple Leaf Stadium on the left, Joy Gas Station and the side of Tip Top Tailors on the right
1963 – Looking southeast towards Maple Leaf Stadium on the left, Joy Gas Station and the side of Tip Top Tailors on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds Series 65, File 168, Item 5)
January 1968 - Looking southeast towards the Maple Leaf Stadium on Lake Shore Blvd W and Bathurst St
January 1968 – Looking southeast towards the Maple Leaf Stadium on Lake Shore Blvd W and Bathurst St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 15, ID 12)
March 6, 1926 – The building of the new ball stadium Maple Leaf Stadium
March 6, 1926 – The building of the new ball stadium Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 7259)
April 26, 1926 – Scaffolding on the west side of Maple Leaf Stadium the year it was built. The 23,500-seat Fenway-style stadium was designed by architects Chapman & Oxley
April 26, 1926 – Scaffolding on the west side of Maple Leaf Stadium the year it was built. The 23,500-seat Fenway-style stadium was designed by architects Chapman & Oxley (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 7685)
April 25, 1926 – Eastern face of the Maple Leaf Stadium
April 25, 1926 – Eastern face of the Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 7654)
1930 – Looking east from Tip Top Tailors on Lake Shore Blvd W. Notice Maple Leaf Stadium in the background on the right
1930 – Looking east from Tip Top Tailors on Lake Shore Blvd W. Notice Maple Leaf Stadium in the background on the right (Library and Archives Canada PA-098304)
April 3, 1931 - T.T.C. bus at the former Maple Leaf Stadium
April 3, 1931 – T.T.C. bus at the former Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 7516)
June 4, 1931  - Looking south from Bathurst St towards Fleet St with the Maple Leaf Stadium in the background. Notice Loblaw Groceterias (warehouse) on the left
June 4, 1931 – Looking south from Bathurst St towards Fleet St with the Maple Leaf Stadium in the background. Notice Loblaw Groceterias (warehouse) on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 3602)
Circa 1926 – The former Maple Leaf Stadium was built in 1926 and was home to the minor league baseball team, the Maple Leafs. The stadium was torn down in 1968. Notice Queen's Wharf Lighthouse near the stadium
Circa 1926 – The former Maple Leaf Stadium was built in 1926 and was home to the minor league baseball team, the Maple Leafs. The stadium was torn down in 1968. Notice Queen’s Wharf Lighthouse near the stadium (Toronto Public Library R-942-1-55)
August 30, 1929 – Looking north at an aerial view of Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors on the left
August 30, 1929 – Looking north at an aerial view of Maple Leaf Stadium and Tip Top Tailors on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 17770)
May 12, 1937 – Looking west towards the field and stands at Maple Leaf Stadium. Notice Tip Top Tailors (today Tip Top Lofts) in the background
May 12, 1937 – Looking west towards the field and stands at Maple Leaf Stadium. Notice Tip Top Tailors (today Tip Top Lofts) in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 848)
Date unknown – The former Maple Leaf Stadium was built in 1926 and was home to the minor league baseball team, the Maple Leafs. The stadium was torn down in 1968. Notice Queen's Wharf Lighthouse near the stadium
Date unknown – The former Maple Leaf Stadium was built in 1926 and was home to the minor league baseball team, the Maple Leafs. The stadium was torn down in 1968. Notice Queen’s Wharf Lighthouse near the stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 1715)
Between 1955 and 1962 - Nathan Phillips, once Mayor of Toronto at Maple Leaf Stadium
Between 1955 and 1962 – Nathan Phillips, once Mayor of Toronto at Maple Leaf Stadium (Library and Archives Canada PA-098304)
September 4, 1925 – The sign reads: 

This is the site of the Maple Leaf Stadium 

Home of Toronto Base Ball Club 

Capacity 30,000 - Ready for Season 1926 

(City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 6161)
September 4, 1925 – The sign reads:

This is the site of the Maple Leaf Stadium

Home of Toronto Base Ball Club

Capacity 30,000 – Ready for Season 1926

(City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 6161)
1946 - Maple Leaf Stadium program
1946 – Maple Leaf Stadium program (City of Toronto Archives)
1926 - Advertising on a billboard for the grand opening of the Maple Leaf Stadium
1926 – Advertising on a billboard for the grand opening of the Maple Leaf Stadium (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 2892)
2023 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Bathurst St and Lake Shore Blvd W in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood of Toronto. Once the site of Maple Leaf Stadium, today, the land is part residential and home to Little Norway Park as well as a gas station. The area also has a street that's been appropriately named Stadium Rd.
2023 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Bathurst St and Lake Shore Blvd W in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood of Toronto. Once the site of Maple Leaf Stadium, today, the land is part residential and home to Little Norway Park as well as a gas station. The area also has a street that’s been appropriately named Stadium Rd
2023 – Stadium Rd is located on the south side of Lake Shore Blvd W, just west of Bathurst St in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood of Toronto. The street has been appropriately named Stadium Rd after Maple Leaf Stadium, which once stood on the site
2023 – Stadium Rd is located on the south side of Lake Shore Blvd W, just west of Bathurst St in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood of Toronto. The street has been appropriately named Stadium Rd after Maple Leaf Stadium, which once stood on the site
2023 – The heritage plaque reads: Maple Leafs Stadium "The Toronto Maple Leafs, the city's first professional minor-league baseball team, played at a stadium on this site from 1926 to 1967. Designed by architecture firm Chapman & Oxley with Roy Bishop and financed by team owned Lawrence "Lol" Solman, Maple Leafs Stadium replaced a smaller ballpark on Toronto Island. The new stadium held 23,500 in its large, single-tier stand. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the international league in their first season at the stadium and would win five of their ten championships here. In 1951, new owner Jack Kent Cooke transformed the Maple Leafs. He signed the team's first black players, pitcher Leon Day and catcher Charlie White, and drew record crowds with promotions, celebrity appearances, and other game day entertainment. The team won two titles during this time. Cooke sold the Maple Leafs in 1964. Falling attendance and rising costs forced the team to stop playing in 1967. The Maple Leafs moved and became the Louisville Colonels in 1968, then the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1972. Maple Leaf Stadium was demolished in 1968, ending professional baseball in Toronto until the arrival of the major-league Toronto Blue Jays in 1977." Heritage Toronto 2018 The plaque is located at 50 Stadium Rd, west of Bathurst St, south of Lake Shore Blvd W
2023 – The heritage plaque reads: 

Maple Leafs Stadium 

"The Toronto Maple Leafs, the city's first professional minor-league baseball team, played at a stadium on this site from 1926 to 1967. 

Designed by architecture firm Chapman & Oxley with Roy Bishop and financed by team owned Lawrence "Lol" Solman, Maple Leafs Stadium replaced a smaller ballpark on Toronto Island. The new stadium held 23,500 in its large, single-tier stand. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the international league in their first season at the stadium and would win five of their ten championships here. In 1951, new owner Jack Kent Cooke transformed the Maple Leafs. He signed the team's first black players, pitcher Leon Day and catcher Charlie White, and drew record crowds with promotions, celebrity appearances, and other game day entertainment. The team won two titles during this time. 

Cooke sold the Maple Leafs in 1964. Falling attendance and rising costs forced the team to stop playing in 1967. The Maple Leafs moved and became the Louisville Colonels in 1968, then the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1972. Maple Leaf Stadium was demolished in 1968, ending professional baseball in Toronto until the arrival of the major-league Toronto Blue Jays in 1977." 

Heritage Toronto 2018  

The plaque is located at 50 Stadium Rd, west of Bathurst St, south of Lake Shore Blvd W
2023 – The heritage plaque reads:

Maple Leafs Stadium

“The Toronto Maple Leafs, the city’s first professional minor-league baseball team, played at a stadium on this site from 1926 to 1967.

Designed by architecture firm Chapman & Oxley with Roy Bishop and financed by team owned Lawrence “Lol” Solman, Maple Leafs Stadium replaced a smaller ballpark on Toronto Island. The new stadium held 23,500 in its large, single-tier stand.

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the international league in their first season at the stadium and would win five of their ten championships here. In 1951, new owner Jack Kent Cooke transformed the Maple Leafs. He signed the team’s first black players, pitcher Leon Day and catcher Charlie White, and drew record crowds with promotions, celebrity appearances, and other game day entertainment. The team won two titles during this time.

Cooke sold the Maple Leafs in 1964. Falling attendance and rising costs forced the team to stop playing in 1967. The Maple Leafs moved and became the Louisville Colonels in 1968, then the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1972. Maple Leaf Stadium was demolished in 1968, ending professional baseball in Toronto until the arrival of the major-league Toronto Blue Jays in 1977.”

Heritage Toronto 2018

The plaque is located at 50 Stadium Rd, west of Bathurst St, south of Lake Shore Blvd W
1953 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of Maple Leaf Stadium
1953 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of Maple Leaf Stadium (Toronto Public Library)
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