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Maple Leaf Gardens Time Capsule: Newspapers From 1931, Ivory Elephant Unearthed

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MAPLE LEAF GARDENS TIME CAPSULE
What's in the box? A time capsule from 1931 buried at Maple Leaf Gardens was opened on Thursday. | Ryerson

TORONTO - A mysterious ivory elephant and Toronto newspapers from 1931 were among the items found in a time capsule at Maple Leaf Gardens today.

The time capsule, a copper box measuring 30 centimetres by 20 centimetres by 20 centimetres, has no external markings or writing and was found during a renovation of the historic rink.

Other items contained in the time capsule include a four-page letter from the directors of Maple Leaf Gardens describing the design and construction details of the new arena and three official hockey rule books.

The four newspapers — Toronto Daily Star, The Globe, The Mail and Empire and The Evening Telegram — are all dated Sept. 21, 1931.

The box was buried underneath a stone at the front of Maple Leaf Gardens when it was built by Conn Smythe in 1931.

The arena was home to the Toronto Maple Leafs until 1999.

Maple Leaf Gardens has been renovated to house a Loblaws grocery store and an athletic centre for Ryerson University and both are appealing to the public for insight into the meaning behind the ivory elephant.

"Maple Leaf Gardens holds a lot of special memories for millions of Canadians and, it turns out, it also held a few surprises from 1931 that were just waiting to be found," Sheldon Levy, president of Ryerson University, said Thursday.

Loblaws and Ryerson are seeking public input for a time capsule in the newly renovated building.

"We are curious to hear Canadians' ideas for the new time capsule," said Jane Marshall, vice-president of Loblaw Properties and Business Strategy.

The time capsule contents are on display to the public at Ryerson University.

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