Officials break ground on Stanley Cup monument at Sparks and Elgin

Officials break ground on Stanley Cup monument at Sparks and Elgin

The man whose name is synonymous with hockey glory would have no qualms with the location chosen for a monument in his honour, according to Canada's Governor General.

"Lord Stanley would be so pleased to see us here at the corner of Sparks and Elgin streets in Ottawa," said David Johnston, one of a number of dignitaries who gathered there Saturday morning to mark the start of construction on the long-planned monument to the Stanley Cup.

"The heart of Canada's capital is a fitting place for this monument," Johnston said.

Johnston made his remarks while being flanked by youth hockey players and the actual Stanley Cup itself — which is on a four-day tour of the nation's capital in celebration of its 125th anniversary.

Montreal team to design monument

Last year, the Montreal-based Covit/Nguyen/NORR design team beat out seven other teams in a competition to design the tribute to Lord Frederick Stanley's eponymous silver bowl. 

Once completed, the monument will resemble a large chalice, made of silvered aluminum bands that people can walk through.

It will sit on a small white paved rink embedded with stainless steel lines designed to evoke skate marks, as well as 39 granite discs engraved with the names of the Stanley Cup winners from 1893 to 2017.

There will also be a large black granite bench in the shape of a hockey puck. 

A jury of art and hockey experts, as well as writers — including Roch Carrier of The Hockey Sweater fame and former NHL goaltender and MP Ken Dryden — evaluated the entries, which ranged from a giant version of the cup to a realistic sculpture of Lord Stanley himself. 

The $2.8-million monument is expected to be completed by December 2017 — potentially in time for an outdoor NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens.

Sparks and Elgin was not the original location for the monument, however. It was only chosen after plans to build it at Rideau Street and Sussex Drive fell through.

The relocation forced Territorial Prerogative, a bronze sculpture of a mother bear that had stood at the intersection since the 1990s, to be relocated to the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe streets.