Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Eric Veale Memorial Arena renovation

We're renovating the arena!                                                                                       give now

A history of the Eric Veale Memorial Arena

The Eric Veale Memorial Arena is a favourite campus feature for many students, alumni, and the Newmarket community. It is affectionately referred to as "The Barn," with the coldest ice in town. The arena was built thanks to the fundraising efforts spearheaded by Eric Veale of the class of 1931, who was also a faculty member, assistant headmaster and acting headmaster. It was when he was acting headmaster that he brought the arena to life – and Pickering College students have benefited from this space ever since. We are grateful to the many Veale family members fellow alumni who have contributed to the Eric Veale Memorial Arena fund to maintain the rink for more than 50 years.

Since it was built, the arena has been home to thousands of practices, games, tournaments, skating lessons, and lots of fun on and off the ice. Some students have had their very first skating lesson here. For others it was a place where they developed their passion for figure skating or hockey. Alumni come back each year for Hockey on the Hilltop to meet up with old friends and play a friendly game of hockey.

 We have had two championships brought home to the arena, first with the 1986 hockey team. Most recently, the 2024 Senior Hockey team played what would be the last game on this ice – and won the Championship game to a packed crowd of students, parents, alumni and staff. 

Looking forward

While the arena has served us well, it is at the end of its life, with a cracked pad and the need to update the refrigeration system. To ensure the continued legacy of the Eric Veale Memorial Arena, the Pickering College Board of Directors has approved a working budget of $8 million for the renovations.

This project includes replacing the cracked pad, new pipes, insulated walls, and upgrading the refrigeration system. A multi-purpose gym complete with a rock climbing wall will be added to the south end of the building.

To date we have raised over $7 million with a fundraising goal of $1 to $1.5 million. Thank you to all the generous donors who made a gift by April 30 to ensure your gift was doubled by a matching gift; your support has made a tremendous impact!

We are part of a very special community here at Pickering College, and places like the arena make for memories for both students and alumni, as well as the Newmarket community. You can learn more about the arena, the impact it has had on our students, and the plans for the renovation in this video. If you are interested in making a gift, please visit our giving page or get in touch!