Serving Toronto's most liveable community with the Annex Gleaner

ON THE COVER: Bill Bolton Arena celebrates 50 years (Oct. 2022)

October 19th, 2022 · No Comments

Programs coordinator, Chris Quinn (at left), and veteran arena manager, Mario Carpino, reflect on Bill Bolton Arena’s success in serving skaters of all walks of life for the past 50 years. HAILEY ALEXANDER/GLEANER NEWS

On September 23, Bill Bolton Arena hosted an evening of free food and skating in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Tucked away behind a busy park on 40 Rossmore Road, a block south of Dupont and two blocks west of Bathurst, Bill Bolton Arena is a hidden gem for many skaters. 

According to the arena manager, Mario Carpino, a lot has changed since he started working at the arena 38 years ago. Back in 1985, Bill Bolton Arena mainly ran adult house leagues and beer leagues. Dave Pim, the programs coordinator from 1988 to 2018, sought more involvement from the rink’s surrounding community. Children and adults grew to value this recreational centre as it’s in a residential neighbourhood. Now the arena runs over 20 programs every year for men and women of all ages. “Over the years, our achievements come from the service we offer our community,” said Carpino. “I know some people would call us a local arena or a rink rat, but we get noticed by a lot of people.”

In all their years of service, Bill Bolton staff have not been short of commitment. Jim Oreto, the first manager from 1974 to 2010, oversaw arena expansions. What used to be an outdoor rink became an indoor arena thanks to his efforts to construct a sand floor. Bill Bolton Arena now houses programs every season which is a huge milestone they are celebrating this year. With Oreto’s vision and the right people, the arena has become a place of relaxation for everyone. “All our programs are really successful,” said the new programs coordinator, Chris Quinn. “But our learn-to-skate program hosts almost 1,200 kids a year. Youth spring and summer leagues are crazy now.” Quinn is most proud of the youth’s growing interest towards hockey. He and other staff are eager to share the joy of skating with younger generations.

Bill Bolton Arena staff are proud of the efforts they make to serve the Seaton Village community. “We’re in a residential neighbourhood, no parking area, and four dressing rooms, and we’re still that busy,” stated Carpino. “The community appreciates us, and we appreciate the community.”

—Hailey Alexander/Gleaner News

Tags: Annex · News · On the cover