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Montreal Forum

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Title: Montreal Forum  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: 1989 Stanley Cup playoffs, 1978–79 NHL season, 1958–59 NHL season, Matthew Hilton (boxer), 1991 Stanley Cup playoffs
Collection: 1976 Summer Olympic Venues, Albums Recorded at the Montreal Forum, Basketball Venues in Canada, Boxing Venues in Canada, Defunct Indoor Arenas in Canada, Defunct Indoor Ice Hockey Venues in Canada, Defunct National Hockey League Venues, Defunct Professional Wrestling Venues, Defunct Volleyball Venues, Downtown Montreal, Former Music Venues in Canada, Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Canadiens Arenas, Music Venues in Montreal, National Historic Sites in Quebec, North American Soccer League (1968–84) Indoor Venues, Olympic Basketball Venues, Olympic Boxing Venues, Olympic Gymnastics Venues, Olympic Handball Venues, Olympic Volleyball Venues, Ontario Hockey League Arenas, Pepsico Buildings and Structures, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Arenas, Rebuilt Buildings and Structures in Canada, Sports Venues Completed in 1924, Sports Venues in Montreal, Volleyball Venues in Canada
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Montreal Forum

Montreal Forum
Forum de Montréal
Le Forum
The Montreal Forum in 2011
Location 2313 Saint Catherine Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Owner Investissements Forum Canadien Inc.
Ben Ashkenazy[1] (today)
Operator Investissements Forum Canadien Inc.
Ben Ashkenazy[1] (today)
Capacity Ice hockey: 17,959
Basketball: 18,575[2]
Broke ground June 24, 1924[3]
Opened November 29, 1924
Expanded 1949, 1968
Closed 1996
Demolished 1998
(interior only; exterior still stands)
Construction cost $1.5 million
($21.2 million in 2016 dollars[4])
Architect John S. Archibald[5]
General contractor Atlas Construction Company[6]
Montreal Maroons (NHL) (1924–1938)
Montreal Canadiens (NHL) (1926–1996)
Montreal Junior Canadiens (QJHL) (1933–1961), (OHA) (1961–1972)
Montreal Voyageurs (AHL) (1969–1971)
Montreal Bleu Blanc Rouge (QMJHL) (1972–1975)
Montreal Juniors (QMJHL) (1975–1982)
Montreal Manic (NASL Indoor) (1981–1982)
Montreal Roadrunners (RHI) (1994–1995)
Designated 1997
The Montreal Forum under construction in 1924.

The Montreal Forum (French: Le Forum de Montréal) was an indoor arena located facing Cabot Square in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Called "the most storied building in hockey history" by Sporting News,[7] it was the home of the National Hockey League's Montreal Maroons from 1924 to 1938 and the Montreal Canadiens from 1926 to 1996. The Forum was built by the Canadian Arena Company in 159 days.[8]

Located at the northeast corner of Atwater and Ste-Catherine West (Metro Atwater), the building was historically significant as it was home to 24 Stanley Cup championships (22 of the Canadiens and two of the Montreal Maroons, for whom the arena was originally built). It was also home to the Montreal Roadrunners and Montreal Junior Canadiens.


  • History 1
    • Construction 1.1
    • Ice hockey 1.2
    • Other sports 1.3
    • Notable events 1.4
    • Seating capacity 1.5
  • After hockey 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The Forum opened on November 29, 1924, at a total cost of $1,500,000 ($21.2 million in 2016 dollars[4]) with an original seating capacity of 9,300. It underwent two renovations, in 1949 and 1968.[9] When the Forum closed in 1996 it had a capacity of 17,959, which included approximately 1,600 in standing room.

By the time of the 1968 renovations, a centre-hung digital scoreclock was installed, designed by the Day Sign Company of Toronto and similar to those installed at the Boston Garden and Chicago Stadium during the 1970s. A new centre-hung scoreclock, designed by Daktronics, was installed in the mid-1980s and contained on each side a color matrix board. Along with one other Original Six indoor ice hockey arena, the Boston Garden, the Montreal Forum used a high-pitched siren to signal the end of an NHL game's period — the siren would later be re-installed in the Forum's successor facility, the Bell Centre (and still in use there), much as the TD Garden in Boston inherited the lower-pitched Garden's siren.


The idea to build the Forum in 1923 is credited to Sir Edward Wentworth Beatty, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. At the suggestion of Senator Donat Raymond, William Northey developed a plan for a 12,500 seat capacity rink. Plans were scaled back for financial reasons to a rink of 9,300 seats. Even at the reduced size, the rink could not immediately find financing. The Forum would eventually be financed by H. L. Timmins. The site selected was the site of a roller skating rink named the Forum, and the name was kept. The site had previously been the site of an outdoor ice hockey rink, used by Frank and Lester Patrick, Art Ross and Russell Bowie as youths.[10]

Ice hockey

While hosting the Canadiens and Maroons on Thursdays and Saturdays, the Forum also hosted the Quebec Senior Hockey League, featuring the Montreal Victorias, Montreal Royals and the Montreal Canadiens amateur team on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Quebec Junior Hockey League played on Monday nights, the Bank League on Tuesdays and the Railways and Telephone League played on Friday nights.[11]

The Montreal Forum hosted Memorial Cup games in 1950, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973 & 1976, with the Junior Canadiens winning on home ice in 1970. In 1972, the Forum hosted game one of the famous "Summit Series" between Team Canada and the USSR, the USSR won the game 7-3. The 1980 NHL Entry Draft was hosted at the Forum. It would mark the first time that an NHL Arena hosted the event.[12]

Only two visiting teams have ever won the Stanley Cup on Forum ice: the New York Rangers did so in 1928, defeating the Maroons, while the Calgary Flames defeated the Canadiens in 1989.

On March 11, 1996, the Montreal Canadiens played their last game at the Montreal Forum, defeating the Bell Centre). Their first game at the new venue was against the New York Rangers, a game which the Canadiens won.

Other sports

The Forum also hosted other sports, including indoor soccer, boxing and tennis. The Forum was a site of five events in the 1976 Summer Olympics: gymnastics, handball (final), basketball (final),[2] volleyball (final), and boxing (final).[15] The gymnastics event included Nadia Comaneci's famous perfect 10, the first in Olympic history.

The Forum was the site of many major professional wrestling matches, as shown in the 1961 National Film Board of Canada documentary Wrestling (La Lutte).[16]

Notable events

On March 11, 1937, the Forum hosted its only funeral, for Canadiens great Howie Morenz. Morenz died from complications due to a broken leg, sustained in a game between the Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks on January 28.

On September 8, 1964, The Beatles performed at the Forum.

The first four tracks off the Journey live album Captured were recorded at The Forum on August 8, 1980.

In 1981, Canadian rock band Rush filmed (and recorded almost all of) their 1981 concert film and album, Exit...Stage Left.

That same year, British rock band Queen recorded and filmed their concert film, titled We Will Rock You (re-released as Queen Rock Montreal in 2007).

The live portions of Black Sabbath's video for the song "Zero the Hero" were filmed in 1983.

Billy Graham held his Mission Quebec in 1990, before nearly 20,000 spectators, which was videotaped for international television syndication as a TV special. Then-Canadien Ryan Walter delivered his testimony at the crusade.

Seating capacity

The seating capacity for hockey went as followed:

  • 9,300, 12,500 with standing room (1924-1949)[3]
  • 13,551, 15,551 with standing room (1949-1968)[3]
  • 16,500, 19,000 with standing room (1968-1978)[3]
  • 16,074, 18,076 with standing room (1978-1991)[3]
  • 16,259, 17,959 with standing room (1991-1996)[3]

After hockey

The Pepsi Forum as seen in 2009.

After the Canadiens left the Forum, the building was used to film arena sequences for the Brian De Palma film Snake Eyes.[17] It was then completely gutted and converted into a downtown entertainment centre called the Pepsi Forum, consisting of an AMC Theatres multiplex theatre (sold to Cineplex Odeon in July 2012), shops and restaurants. Centre ice has been recreated in the centre of the complex complete with a small section of the grandstand, along with a statue of a fan leaning forward in delight, while original seats are used as benches throughout the complex. A statue of Maurice Richard can be found next to the grandstand. On the Saint Catherine Street entrance there is a Quebec Walk of Fame consisting of Richard and Celine Dion. Both were on hand for their bronze star's respective unveiling. The Atwater street entrance has a large bronze Montreal Canadiens logo surrounded by 24 bronze Stanley Cup banners cemented into the sidewalk. Inscribed in French are the words "forever proud". The entire building is themed after the Forum's storied history with special emphasis on the Montreal Canadiens.

The building was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1997 because:

"it was arguably the country's most famous sporting venue... it also serves as an icon for the role of hockey in Canada's national culture... the Forum is the oldest of Canada's large-scale arenas and has, throughout its history, been the country's leading site for major indoor cultural, political and religious events."
— Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1997[18]

The city of Montreal estimates the value of the building at $36.8M, in 2012.[19] This is a $10M drop in value since the previous estimation in 2009. AMC Forum is now owned by New York City Real Estate investor Ben Ashkenazy through a firm called INVESTISSEMENTS FORUM CANADIEN INC.[20]


  • Mouton, Claude (1987). The Montreal Canadiens. Key Porter Books. 
  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b Olympic Games Official Report-1976 Montreal, part I
  3. ^ a b c d e f 2012-2013 Montreal Canadiens Media Guide
  4. ^ a b Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2015-09-08. Retrieved September 22, 2015
  5. ^ Doucet, Paul (January 30, 2004). "The Montreal Forum". Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Chronology". HabsWorld. 2003. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The end of an era. (the Montreal Forum)". High Beam Research. 1996. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 
  8. ^ Musée de la Civilisation de Québec (2001). "Famous Canadian Arenas". Hockey: A Nation's Passion. Canadian Heritage Information Network. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Montreal Forum". 1996–2006. Retrieved January 21, 2007. 
  10. ^ Mouton(1987), pp. 111–113
  11. ^ Mouton(1987), p. 114
  12. ^ The Montreal Canadiens:100 Years of Glory, D’Arcy Jenish, p.240, Published in Canada by Doubleday, 2009, ISBN 978-0-385-66325-0
  13. ^ CBC News 
  14. ^ "HOCKEY;Blinking Back the Tears, Montreal Closes Its Forum".  
  15. ^ 1976 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. pp. 138-43.
  16. ^ "Wrestling". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Stephen Burum - Snake Eyes". International Cinematographers Guild. 1998. Retrieved January 21, 2007. 
  18. ^
  19. ^{7Pc%5BnOiVw4
  20. ^

External links

  • Farewell to the Montreal Forum
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