Vote in our MLB jersey Madness poll!

July 2021 - MLB Jersey Madness - We started with 64 MLB jerseys and every day we reduce the field by one - it's MLB Jersey Madness! VOTE HERE

Monday, August 23, 2010

Toronto Maple Leafs - Franchise, Team, Arena and Uniform History

Almost all of the actual original watercolor paintings used in this poster are available for sale – see Section 5 of this blog.

Fall 2023: To purchase a reasonably priced 8" x 24" plaqued mounted version of the Leafs poster that's ready to hang on your wall, please visit Heritage Sports Stuff.


1. Toronto Maple Leafs – The Franchise History
This franchise was established (by established we mean the year of the franchise’s first game) in 1917. The franchise has been known as:
Toronto Blue Shirts and Torontos 1917-18
Toronto Arenas 1918-19
Toronto St. Patricks 1919-1927
Toronto Maple Leafs 1927-Present

Please note: There is a bit of controversy and confusion surrounding Toronto's team nickname in their inaugural 1917-18 season - a season that they won the Stanley Cup! I rely on a great 40 page book and research published by John Morrison and Doug McLatchy in 1996 called "The Toronto Blue Shirts aka The Torontos - Stanley Cup Champions 1917-18". Allow me to quote from their great work: "After extensive and exhaustive research we are now certain that in the 1917-18 season the hockey team in Toronto was known as The Torontos or the Toronto Blue Shirts. Both these names were commonly used by the newspapers of the day but nowhere have we been able to see any reference to The Toronto Arenas until the 1918-19 season. However, all modern records, stats and reference material [incorrectly] refers to The Toronto Arenas for the 1917-18 season." The authors go on to explain that the confusion stems from the very muddled ownership situation of the Toronto franchise in this period of time.

I have a 4 page pdf document with more details that I'd be happy to share if you fire me an email at

2. Toronto Maple Leafs – Championships/Great Accomplishments
Thirteen Stanley Cup Championships:
1917-18 defeated Vancouver Millionaires 3 games to 2
1921-22 defeated Vancouver Millionaires 3 games to 2
1931-32 defeated New York Rangers 3 games to 0
1941-42 defeated Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 3
1944-45 defeated Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 3
1946-47 defeated Montreal Canadiens 4 games to 2
1947-48 defeated Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 0
1948-49 defeated Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 0
1950-51 defeated Montreal Canadiens 4 games to 1
1961-62 defeated Chicago Blackhawks 4 games to 2
1962-63 defeated Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 1
1963-64 defeated Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 3
1966-67 defeated Montreal Canadiens 4 games to 2

3. Toronto Maple Leafs – Home Arena History
The Leafs have played in the following three home arenas:

1. Arena Gardens (named Mutual Street Arena in 1932), Toronto
1917 – 1931
Arena Gardens Toronto 1917-1931

2. Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto
1931 – 1999
Maple Leaf Gardens Front Entrance Facade
Above: Maple Leaf Gardens Facade view

Maple Leaf Gardens Aerial View Circa 1930

Above: Maple Leaf Gardens - Circa 1930

Maple Leaf Gardens Aerial View Circa 1999

Above: Maple Leaf Gardens - Circa 1999

3. Air Canada Centre / Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
1999 - Present

Air Canada Centre Facade view - Circa 2000

If you are wondering about the sculpture at the west entrance... When the Air Canada Centre was being built, the owners commissioned Toronto-born steel sculpture artist John McEwen to create an art fixture to welcome fans into the arena. The resulting three-column steel sculpture is inspired by a quote from author Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977) "God, if you wish for our love, Fling us a handful of stars." For more on John McEwan, click here.

Air Canada Centre Aerial View Circa 2000

Above: Air Canada Centre - Circa 2000

Scotiabank Arena Aerial View Circa 2020

Above: Scotiabank Arena - Circa 2020

4. For more information on the Leafs, you should visit/bookmark these great websites:

A. I personally think Wikipedia keeps getting better and better with each passing year – here is the Leafs Wikipedia site:

B. For a great season-by-season summary of each Leafs season:

C. These guys do a great job of team (and player) stats for all active and defunct franchises

D. For some good info about arenas past, present and future, visit this site (and don’t be fooled by the their name – even though it’s ballparks dot com, they do a good job on hockey arenas too):

E. For great stats on past and present players and prospects, these guys do an amazing job:

5. Celebrate the Leafs' jersey history by owning a famous piece of jersey artwork:
If you love the Toronto Maple Leafs and the history of the Leafs franchise, you might really love to own an original piece of artwork celebrating the team's historic jerseys as seen in the poster at the top of this blog - you can actually own one of those original pieces of art! There are only 17 pieces of original art available for sale, and when these 17 are sold, that's it, they're all sold out.

These original watercolor paintings would make a great gift (birthday gift, anniversary gift, retirement gift, Christmas gift, etc.) for someone you love or even a great gift for yourself (one of these framed pieces would look fantastic in your home or office). Each piece can be bought one of three ways:
1. As unframed art that you could have framed or mounted yourself (the one on the left)
2. Framed in our "Classic" framed version (the middle version)
3. Framed in our "Deluxe" framed version (the version on the right)

If you would like more information about this great artwork including the three ways you could purchase each piece, please visit our Toronto Maple Leafs YouTube video at or go directly to the artwork website where you can see and purchase the artwork.

And if someone you know loves the history of sports uniforms (but maybe another team) and loves great art, please let them know that we have over 1500 pieces of great original artwork for sale at (all NFL teams, all MLB teams, all NHL teams, all CFL teams, select NCAA football teams) or check out each team's video at the Heritage Sports Art YouTube Channel .

6. The original pen and ink drawings of the arenas shown above are also for sale.
Please note that the actual original, highly detailed, hand-drawn pen and ink sketches used for the 7 arena images shown above are available for sale as a complete collection to one Leafs fan. If you are interested in being the one and only owner of this complete and original collection of Toronto Maple Leafs arena images, please contact me by email and I can explain how they can all be framed in one beautiful piece.

This initial text was written by Scott Sillcox and posted August 24, 2010. There have been periodic updates since then. I have tried to ensure the accuracy of the information, but I am human and can make mistakes. If you believe I have made a mistake, please let me know by email at !

Many thanks!!!


  1. Hi Scott,

    Why was it decided that the franchise was started in 1917 when the Blueshirts won The Stanley Cup as early as 1914?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


Thank you for taking the time to add a comment - all input is welcome, especially the constructive kind! All the best - Scott