Curling originated in the Highlands District in the year 1912, within a stone’s throw of this building, where the Highlands Curling Club operated on two sheets of ice. Fire destroyed the building in 1917. Three years later, suitable premises were located in the Exhibition Grounds1 where the Thistle Curling Club was formed in 1920.
During the depression years, the Club operated with a very limited membership. During the second World War, our building was taken over by the Royal Canadian Air Force. We continued to operate as a club of ten teams, on ice made available to us at the Edmonton Curling Club. With the loss of the Edmonton Club for war purposes, we moved to the Alberta Avenue Curling Club with only six teams and continued to curl there until our building was again available to us in 1945. Through the united efforts of these twenty-four members, we started our first season with a full complement of thirty-six teams. That membership grew until last season2, where we had a total of sixty teams.
In the fall of 1951, a committee was formed to promote a new curling rink and in June 1952, we were given a certificate by the Alberta Government to operate as a limited company and to arrange our own financing. Land was procured, plans drawn up, and early in August3, our Mayor4turned the first sod. Construction started and good progress was made until October, when winds of hurricane force blew down a considerable portion of the concrete block walls, overhead trusses and posts. Early in November, the local plumbers’ strike disrupted the installation of plumbing facilities. Finally, after these delays and prolonged mild weather, this new building was ready for occupancy and curling ice was available for our first draw on December 22nd5 with a full complement of eighty teams.
After thirty odd years, the Thistle Curling Club has come back to almost the same location from which curling originated in this district6. Back to an edifice proclaimed by some to be the best in Canada, but definitely the best in the West.
- The Highlands District of Edmonton; the Exhibition Grounds refers to the site of Edmonton’s Exhibition Grounds, and Northlands Spectrum (horse racing and gaming)
- 1952 Season
- August, 1952
- Mayor William Hawrelak
- December 22, 1952
- The Eastglen area of Edmonton