By Sean Tepper, Associate News Editor
Ryerson got a quick taste of what life was like in 1931, as the university, in a joint presentation with Loblaws Corporation, revealed the contents of the time capsule they discovered in Maple Leaf Gardens (MLG).
Ryerson’s President Sheldon Levy told the media on Thursday that construction workers were aware of the time capsule, which consisted of nothing more than a hand-made copper box, and were instructed to find it during the building’s renovations. The now rusted tin contained a total of twelve artifacts.
“I wonder if those that put the time capsule there in 1931 would have even imagined that 80-years later, it would be a great Loblaws store and a complex for a university that didn’t even exist,” said Levy.
Amongst the capsule’s contents were: a type written letter from the directors of MLG, a four-page stock prospectus for Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd., a 1930-31 official NFL rule book, the official 1931 rulebook of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and the 1930 Ontario Hockey Association rule book.
“What I found interesting is why they chose one object over another,” said Levy. “It was very clear that they believed there was some risk in this whole project and whether professional hockey would [catch on] because if you look at it, there’s so much amateur hockey [memorabilia].”
A red ensign flag, a small ivory elephant, a 1931 Toronto municipal handbook and Sept. 21 1931 copies of The Evening Telegram, The Globe, The Toronto Daily Star and the Mail and Empire were also discovered in the capsule.
While it is easy to explain the reasoning and historical context behind most of the items in the time capsule, no one seems to know the significance behind the tiny ivory elephant or why the words ““M.B. Campbell 124 Lindsay Ave 9/21/31” were engraved on the inner lid of the box.
“It’s a puzzle,” said Levy. “What did it represent? Who put it there?”
Levy also told the media that the time capsule’s contents will be put on display in the Gardens for the entire Toronto community to see, once construction is completed this spring.
“We are not building an entertainment venue or an athletic facility or a gymnasium or a weight room,” said Ryerson’s director of athletics Ivan Joseph. “We are building something that will richen the lives of the community around us.”
A number of Ryerson athletes were also on hand to witness the unveiling of the capsule’s contents and were enthralled with its contents.
“I was looking at the OHA yearbook,” said Andrew Buck, third-year left-winger for the men’s hockey team. “Even the newspapers and seeing what was going on at the time was pretty cool. I’m in [Arts and Contemporary studies] so I found it really interesting.”
It was also announced that Ryerson and Loblaws will place their own time capsule once construction on the Toronto landmark is complete.
“It will be very important that between Ryerson University and Loblaws Corporation that we place our time capsule into the building,” said Jane Marshall, executive, vice president, Loblaw Properties and Business Strategy, Loblaw Companies, Limited.
While the contents of the 2012 time capsule have yet to be decided, Joseph insists that Rams memorabilia will be prominent.
“Definitely something Rams related,” said Joseph. “There has to be something with the Rams logo [in there].”