Curling club makes way for Queen’s Centre

The intramural curling league hits the ice at the Royal Kingston Curling Club in 2002.
Image supplied by: Photo courtesy of James Bradshaw
The intramural curling league hits the ice at the Royal Kingston Curling Club in 2002.

One of the last major hurdles in the construction of the Queen’s Centre was cleared in August, when the University and the Royal Kingston Curling Club struck a deal to relocate the club to a new facility on Days Road.

The club, whose current home is on Clergy Street behind Jock Harty Arena, was one of the last pieces of land to be acquired by the University before it can begin building its new student life centre. The Clergy Street building will be demolished.

The club has members from both the community and the University, and hosts the intramural curling league. Club manager Graham Weatherby said the rink is also popular with students, who have played into early hours of the morning.

The new, west-end Kingston location means curling will be inaccessible to most students by foot.

“The move is a trade-off,” said John McFarlane, chair of athletics and recreation. “Students won’t be able to walk across the street to play curling, but that has to be balanced with having better facilities.” He said the new rink might be a boon to the varsity team, who are already bused to another rink. They will now have two clubs to choose from located in the same area.

McFarlane said the intramural league will receive transportation to the new curling facilities “without a doubt.

“The intramural program is as important as our varsity program,” he said.

Weatherby said the deal offers new opportunities for the club. The more modern facility being built will have access to better parking and present greater visibility to the public. Despite its new home, the club is hoping not to distance itself from the University, he said.

“I hope that our great relationship with students and faculty continue at our new facility,” Weatherby said.

The curling club is the oldest continuously operating club in Canada, according to its president, Nick Brown. The club was founded in 1820, and its Clergy Street building is more than 80 years old. The club was also home to Mike Chernoff Sci ‘59, University alumnus and Brier Cup Champion in 1978.

—With files from the Queen’s Alumni Review

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