The CNR Curling Rink, under the auspices of the CN Recreation Association, opened for play on December 29th, 1939. The location was on CN property on the east side of Ave A and just south of 19th St underpass. Each member was assessed $1.00 per month so they could buy second hand material from the CNR, which came from the old CN station that was being dismantled at the time. There were 3 sheets of ice, which were condemned boxcars, and most CN members (who owned their own rocks) bought an assortment of old rocks of various sizes, shapes and weights to fill out the three sheets. The first year of curling was confined to two sheets of ice, as there was no time to roof the 3rd sheet. The first to arrive swept the snow off the ice and had the first choice of rocks.
In 1948 improvements were done to the club. They put in sewer and water, added a kitchen and put in men’s and ladies’ washrooms. The next year, they lined up the walls with boxcar decking. There was no paint yet, but the curlers noticed an improvement anyway.
In 1957 a 4th sheet of ice was added and then in 1958 artificial ice was put in. In 1963 the members were considering tearing down the front of the rink and putting in a full basement plus a new main floor, but a rumor came that the CNR was going out of town and in the spring, notice came to move.
Over the years of negotiating with the City of Saskatoon, Montgomery Ratepayers Association, and contractors of the CN Curling Club were about to emerge on Chappell Dr. The land was donated to the Montgomery Recreation Association by Mount Pleasant Land Co. Ltd., to be used for recreation purposes. The Montgomery Recreation Association, then, turned it over to the CNR Curling Club. Some Montgomery residents did not like the idea of liquor in the club and had a petition going with a clause of “for or against” and fortunately for the curlers the majority was “for”.
At the time of dismantling the “Old Club” they had $18,162.08 in the bank. They got a loan from the Royal Trust for $70,000.00, interest at 7% to be revised every 5 years.
Building the New Club began in spring of 1965. There was a lot of volunteer work done which lessened the expenses, but they also had problems that go with building and added expenses they hadn’t anticipated therefore they were unable to pay their accounts. After all the negotiating with banks, creditors etc. the club went on. When building the New Club, the equipment, plant and field of four sheets of ice were moved from the Old Club. The material for the fifth sheet had to be purchased. The rocks were purchased second hand from Olsen’s Curling Supplies in Edmonton, Alberta. They started curling in November 1965, with thirty-two men’s teams at $35.00 per curler and four ladies teams at $160.00 per sheet or $20.00 per curler.
The furnace was purchased new in 1965, from M.E. Cook & Sons, but had always caused problems. It was repaired in 1972 costing $2200.00. Fortunately it was covered by insurance.
The water circulator / cooler was purchased in 1972 for $4490.00. They received $1000.00 from the Western Regional Bonspiel Committee for the down payment. In return, they get the ice at no cost for their yearly weekend bonspiel. The balance of $3490.00 was paid off in three years, interest free. The water circulator was purchased as the water re-cylces and eliminates the use of city water, therefore lowering the water bill.
After years of repairing the compressor, it gave out. They purchased a 30-ton compressor “Mycom” in Vancouver, through McLean Enterprises (Wells) in 1976. Curling got started in October of that year. Then in 1978, they noticed that the ammonia was leaking from the pipes in the condenser and going into the water. So a 45-ton Condenser (large enough for 6 or 7 sheets of ice) was ordered through McLean Enterprises costing $9079.60. Once it arrived we were curling again on Wednesday November 1st.
The CN Curling Club has shared in hosting, along with the other curling clubs in Saskatoon, the Men and Ladies City Bonspiel, also the Men, Ladies, Senior and Junior City Playdowns. They hosted the Sask Wheat Pool Northern Men’s Tankard from January 31 – February 3rd, 2002. Thanks to the many volunteers at the CN Curling Club, the event was a complete success.