Arena Name: Kerrisdale Arena Capacity: 2762 Built: 1949 Address: 5670 East Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6M 3V2 Ice Surface Size: 180' X 80' Last Game: 1973
What's the Arena Like?
Kerrisdale Arena opened in the south Vancouver suburb of Kerrisdale in 1949 as a war memorial project, among other things. It was built with donations from local community groups, and was intended to be a second major arena for the city of Vancouver, supplementing the Vancouver Forum on the grounds of the Pacific National Exhibition. Hockey legend and area resident Fred "Cyclone" Taylor was part of the community group that spurred the building's construction, and after his death, the arena was renamed Kerrisdale Cyclone Taylor Arena.
In a Western Hockey League sense, to the best of my ability to determine, the only team that played here was the Vancouver Nats from 1971-73. The Pacific Coliseum opened the same year the WHL was founded, but the Nats had been a BCHL team playing at Kerrisdale Arena, and when they made the jump to the WHL they remained in their home. I don't know if they ever played at Pacific Coliseum or not, but I've only seen documentation that Kerrisdale Arena was their permanent home (contrary to what Wikipedia says). One would imagine that the fledgling NHL Canucks wouldn't have appreciated the competition anyway.
Kerrisdale Arena stands in a busy neighbourhood on the fringe between housing and a shopping district. I saw it in the driving rain of mid-autumn and didn't stick around too long on the outside, but what I found was a whitewashed building with a new arena marquee sign and the triangle roof common to postwar arenas. It looks quite a lot like Kelowna Memorial Arena from the outside, though without the military museum addition on the front lawn.
Inside, the arena is incomparably lovely. The seats are original wooden benches with backrests and are surprisingly comfortable. The wood is whitewashed timber. There really isn't much in the building that appears to have changed since 1949, from the seating to the concourse to the lack of a centre ice clock.
With no major tenant currently, there's actually very little sign of hockey in the building at all, but the arena is immaculately-maintained, clean and well-kept, and I see no reason why it shouldn't stay open for decades into the future. It's a lovely old barn, and well worth your time seeing it if you're in Vancouver.
Inside Kerrisdale Arena
What's the Arena Used for Today?
Kerrisdale Arena is still used by the community groups that Cyclone Taylor envisioned using it all those years ago. Surprisingly, Kerrisdale Arena was also once a well-loved concert venue, particularly in the punk and new wave eras, when bands from the Clash to the Jam to Devo played shows there. Setlist.fm indicates there hasn't been a show there since an EMF/Pop Will Eat Itself gig in 1991, but the rink has a lot of history there, and not just of the winter sports variety.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at and I'll update the guide.