Design selected for downtown Ottawa Stanley Cup monument

A 3.5-metre-high bowl, made of silvered aluminum bands, is set to be installed at the corner of Sparks and Elgin streets next spring to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, proponents of the monument say.

The Lord Stanley’s Gift Memorial Monument, a non-profit, announced its selection out of eight finalists for the monument Monday.

The group says the winning design was inspired by the simple silver bowl that was donated by Lord Stanley to recognize the “champion hockey team in the Dominion.”

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Visitors will be able to walk through the monument, which is designed to frame views of the nearby National War Memorial.

Other features include:

– A white paved “hockey rink” with embedded stainless steel lines evoking skate marks;

– 39 granite discs engraved with the names of the Stanley Cup winners from 1893 to 2017; and

– A 1.4-metre-diameter black granite bench in the form of a hockey puck.

The design was prepared by artist Linda Covit, landscape architect Bao-Chau Nguyen and senior design architect Joseph Moro of NORR Architects. The team also prepared a video that shows the monument in various seasons.

“We believe that this design magnifies and abstracts the Stanley Cup’s original, modest form, giving it a glittering and iconic presence,” said George Hunter, the chair of Lord Stanley’s Gift Memorial Monument.

The structure is expected to be one of several new focal points in the immediate area next year as tourist visits increase to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary. Across the street, the National Arts Centre is undergoing a dramatic facelift while Ottawa’s former downtown train station is being renovated to accommodate the Senate during work on Centre Block.

Lord Stanley of Preston, the sixth governor general of Canada, donated the now-famous cup at the Russell House Hotel in Ottawa – located on the site of today’s Confederation Square – in 1892.

Since then, the trophy has evolved into a national icon that’s been won, drank from, left in a snowbank, stolen and found again, dented and even drop-kicked into the Rideau Canal, though the latter incident occurred more than a century ago.

Historian Paul Kitchen told OBJ in 2010 that Lord Stanley observed a game of shinny for the first time at a Montreal winter carnival not long after arriving in Canada in 1888.

Lord Stanley liked the furious pace so much that six of his sons and a daughter eventually took up the sport.

Lord Stanley, Mr. Kitchen explained at the time, was a shareholder in one of the first indoor ice rinks in the country, the Rideau Canal Skating Rink, which opened in 1889 on the site of the current Faculty of Arts building at the University of Ottawa.

His sons would then form a competitive hockey team called the Rideau Rebels, who played out of the Rideau facility.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for March 18, 2017 – 125 years to the day of Lord Stanley’s original gift.

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