When someone mentions Toronto and sports, hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs are probably the first thing that comes to mind. Although it has a long tradition in hockey, the city is also known today for the Toronto Raptors, who compete in the NBA in the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division.
Today, these two teams play host to their matches at the Scotiabank Arena.
Scotiabank Arena was the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs for a long time until 1995, when John Bitove Jr. brought the Toronto Raptors to the NBA. Namely, this arena has a multi-purpose role in addition to sports competitions.
Apart from sports competitions, this arena hosts concerts, political conventions, and video game championships.
- Scotiabank Arena: Key Facts
- Where Is Scotiabank Arena Located?
- The Best Way to Get to Scotiabank Arena
- Parking Near Scotiabank Arena
- The Best Restaurants Near Scotiabank Arena
- The Best Bars Near Scotiabank Arena
- The Best Hotels Near Scotiabank Arena
- The History of Scotiabank Arena
- Where to Get Tickets for Scotiabank Arena
- Does Scotiabank Arena Offer Tours?
Scotiabank Arena: Key Facts
- The arena is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE)
- The arena was formerly named the “Toronto Postal Delivery Building” and “Air Canada Center” from 1999 to 2018
- Home teams at the arena are the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL)
- The arena was reconstructed in 1997 and opened on February 19, 1999
- The maximum capacity of the arena is 19,800
Where Is Scotiabank Arena Located?
Scotiabank Arena is at the northwest corner of Lakeshore Blvd. West and Bay Sts. In downtown Toronto, Canada.
The Best Way to Get to Scotiabank Arena
Access to the Scotiabank Arena is straightforward as it is located in the downtown area. In addition, Toronto has a well-developed transit system that allows you to reach the desired location quickly. There are many notable buildings nearby that will help you locate the arena more easily.
If you decide to go by car, it is possible to get stuck in traffic, especially on the day of the match. However, if your car is still your only choice, reserve a parking space to save time before the game starts.
If you decide to walk, you must find Young Street, which runs from north to south, or Front Street, which runs from east to west. Once you find one of these streets, follow the signs to Scotiabank Arena.
The subway is another good option that works perfectly in Toronto. If you decide on this option, you should stop at Union Station. This station is also intended for regional trains. That way, you can reach the desired match even if you live in the suburbs or a more remote place.
Parking Near Scotiabank Arena
Finding a free parking space can be difficult, especially if you are looking for it on the day of your favorite game. Therefore, we will inform you about some useful information that we hope will help you find parking more easily and have enough time to enjoy before the match.
The parking lot at Scotiabank Arena
Many visitors ask if there is a parking space in the arena itself. There are actually two levels of parking at the Scotiabank Arena, but these spaces are reserved for employees, VIPs, and guests of the hotel. So your best bet is to park at 15 York St, which is right across the street. It’s important to make a reservation in time because there is a high probability that you will not find parking during the match.
Parking spaces for the disabled
The Scotiabank Arena has four handicapped parking spaces. Namely, if you decide on this option, it is best to book in time and not on the day of the match. The price of parking is $30. In addition, you must present your match ticket as soon as you arrive.
Parking lot suggestions
The parking spaces for the day of the match can be filled, and you can find yourself in a hopeless situation. Besides, there can be a lot of traffic on the street where the Scotiabank Arena is located. That is why it is important to reserve parking spaces in time.
Your best bet is to book in the parking lots located in close proximity to the arena. For this purpose, we have selected some of them that we hope will be suitable for you.
The Best Restaurants Near Scotiabank Arena
Whether you’re following sports or want an intimate place to have a good time in Toronto, we’re here to make your search easier. Therefore, we have selected some of the best and most renowned restaurants Near Scotiabank Arena that offer delicious food complemented by a pleasant atmosphere.
If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, your search stops here. This restaurant offers authentic Italian cuisine with carefully selected ingredients. Additionally, you can enjoy the matches with a glass of beer or wine. Also, the large selection of food that includes pasta, grilling, and pizzas will not leave you indifferent.
Craft beer never tasted better. This bar is always up to the task if you like craft beer. In addition, you can opt for versatile food that will make your stay even more enjoyable. Delicious burgers, chicken wings, and mac and cheese only add to the enjoyment of this place.
If you are looking for a restaurant near the Scotiabank Arena, you will definitely like this place. The Fox offers food that is similar to pub food. It offers a large selection of craft beers, cocktails, and other drinks that will satisfy your request.
Library Bar is another venue that is located near the Scotiabank Arena. This bar is widely known for its unique cocktails and delicious food. If you prefer something other than cocktails, you can choose from a large selection of spirits. In addition, if you love food inspired by Nordic cuisine, this restaurant offers food on large and small plates.
Don Alfonso 1890
If you want to enjoy a breathtaking view of Toronto, you will love this bar. Notably, Don Alfonso 1890 is located atop the Westin Harbor Castle and offers views of Lake Ontario and the city. Their exceptional attitude towards customers and food has been recognized, and they have been awarded one Michelin Star.
The Best Bars Near Scotiabank Arena
There are several places if you want to refuel before the game or if you get hungry after. To that end, we’ve picked some of the best bars that we hope you’ll like.
We know that no one can resist pizza. Therefore, this bar offers a wide selection of food to suit everyone’s taste. In addition, there are two sections in the bar. One, which is intended for casual dining, and a sports bar, which is intended for sports fans.
Located next to the Scotiabank Arena, this bar offers a complete treat for visitors. Similar to Boston Pizza, this place also has two parts that are intended for casual enjoyment and for sporting events. Besides, there is a large selection of local and seasonal food that matches the whole atmosphere of the bar.
The Cloak Bar
It’s a place that has a unique interior and a nostalgic feel. This is the perfect place if you are in the mood for top cocktails and a pleasant atmosphere complemented by selected music.
St. Louis Bar & Grill
If you’re in the mood for wings and ribs, this is the place for you. This bar offers top culinary surprises seasoned with a ton of delicious sauces. Additionally, this restaurant offers a large selection of tacos, burgers, quesadillas, and many other specialties.
The Roof at SOCO
If you want to enjoy the Toronto skyline, you’ll love this place. The Roof at SOCO offers a relaxed atmosphere that you can complement with frozen drinks or cocktails. Apart from these, you can order a meal that you can share with your friends. Whether you’re stopping by after the game or after work, this place will offer you peace and enjoyment tailored just for you.
The Best Hotels Near Scotiabank Arena
If you live outside of Toronto and want to see your favorite team at Scotiabank Arena, you’ll definitely need a place to stay. For this purpose, we have chosen hotels near the Arena, with excellent services and some with a great view of the city. Without saying much, these are the closest hotels to Scotiabank Arena.
One King West Hotel and Residence
If you like a blend of history and modern architecture, this hotel is the ideal place for you. Namely, One King West Hotel was built in 1914 and is considered one of the most recognizable places in Toronto. In addition to clean and well-maintained apartments, this hotel offers concierge service, delicious food, and a rooftop fitness room.
The Omni King Edward Hotel
It is the first luxury hotel located in the heart of Toronto. Known for its unique furniture design and luxurious suites, this hotel will make your stay in Toronto unforgettable. In addition, the hotel has a Consort Bar, Mokara Spa, and Victoria Cafe.
Le Germain Hotel Maple Leaf Square
This hotel is located just a 10-minute walk from the Scotiabank Arena. Namely, this hotel offers countless amenities that meet your needs. The apartments are equipped with LCD TVs, and you also have free internet access. Besides, the beds are comfortable, and the apartments have good sound insulation.
The St. Regis Toronto
If you crave elegance and comfort, this hotel is tailor-made for you. Namely, The St. Regis Toronto offers modernly furnished rooms with large TVs and free Wi-Fi. Moreover, it offers a fully equipped fitness center and a restaurant with a breathtaking view.
DoubleTree by Hilton Toronto Downtown
Spend beautiful moments in the heart of Toronto in a hotel with many amenities. DoubleTree by Hilton is a modern hotel with large bedrooms, large living rooms, and modern kitchens. What’s more, you can enjoy delicious food and drinks in the restaurant and bar within the hotel. In your free time, you can relax in the sauna, the indoor pool, or the fitness center.
The History of Scotiabank Arena
The beginnings of construction
The facility was initially planned as The Postal Delivery Building. The Federal Government commissioned this facility due to Toronto’s rapidly growing population.
The facility began construction in 1938 and was designed by architect Charles Dolphin. The construction was completed in 1940, but due to the Second World War, it was assigned to the Department of National Defense.
The period after the Second World War
After the war ended, the Department of National Defense gave the facility to Canada Post. To adapt the space for its purposes, Canada Post made certain modifications to the facility.
Such modifications consisted of installing the necessary machinery to sort the mail. Moreover, certain additions were made in the northeastern part of the building. Such buildings were intended for administrative offices and a cafeteria for the facility’s employees. These construction works ended in 1948.
In the 1970s, Canada Post encountered a problem related to the mechanization and interior of the facility. Namely, most mechanization needed to be updated, while the facility needed renovation. This renovation and replacement of outdated equipment were too much of a burden for Canada Post, so it decided to move to a new facility on Eastern Avenue. With that, the building remained abandoned.
The 1980s and the expansion of the real estate market
In the 1980s, the real estate market began to popularize, and Toronto began to resemble a modern city with skyscrapers and modern architecture. The Canada Post building was purchased by Bramalea Limited and Trizec, real estate developers, during this period.
Their goal was to renovate the building and use it for residential, business, and retail space. The onset of the recession in the early 1990s and numerous financial problems forced Bramalea Limited and Trizec to return the facility to Canada Post. Thus, the building remained unrenovated and, again, abandoned.
Founding of the Toronto Raptors
In 1993, the NBA decided to expand the league into Canada. For this purpose, the Toronto Raptors proved to be the most serious candidates. However, as a condition for inclusion in the league, the NBA requested conditions that included the arena itself.
Namely, the Toronto Raptors needed an arena easily accessible by public transportation or the subway to be in a downtown area and near the corporate core. In that way, fans would have easier access to the arena; on the other hand, the arena would attract many business people to invest in the team.
For this purpose, several facilities were considered, such as Exhibition Place, North York Centre, Bay & Dundas, Bay & Wellesley, and Canada Post building. Of all these buildings, the Canada Post building was selected as the most appropriate and accessible. With that, this building was bought for $60 million, which started the restoration of the building and its modernization and adaptation.
The renovation and the first matches
The renovation and adaptation were carried out in order to preserve the original reliefs of the building and to build a new part over the existing one. For this purpose, the eastern and southern elevations were renovated, and the original reliefs of the building were restored. In addition, the roof was built 40 feet above the original structure and had a flat hangar look. This approach allowed the building to have better acoustics and sound insulation.
All works related to conservation and restoration ended in 1998. Thus, the first hockey and basketball games were held in February 1999.
The facility was known for a long time under the name Air Canada Center until 2018. In 2018, the Air Canada Center was renamed Scotiabank Arena. Maple Leaf & Entertainment and Scotiabank signed a 20-year contract worth $800 million.
Where to Get Tickets for Scotiabank Arena
You can purchase tickets at the Ticket Office if you plan to attend a game at Scotiabank Arena. It is located at the west end of the Gallery and near Gate 1. If you cannot purchase at the Ticket Office, you can do so at any Ticketmaster store. Furthermore, if you wish to book online, just visit the official website of Ticketmaster Canada. You can also call Ticketmaster by phone and reserve a ticket.
Scotiabank Arena also caters to persons with disabilities. In that regard, reserved places are intended for this category of people. Just keep in mind that you need to reserve before attending the match.
You can enter the arena with a valid physical ticket from an authorized point of sale. Cards can be physical or “mobile.” You display mobile tickets on your mobile phone on the appropriate Ticketmaster application.
Printed tickets or picture tickets are not permitted. Also, remember that if you leave the arena in the middle of a match, you will not be allowed to enter the arena.
Does Scotiabank Arena Offer Tours?
Scotiabank Arena does not offer a tour service.