Granite Club History
The first recorded curling game in Canada took place in 1871 near Quebec City and 11 years later the game reached Kitchener-Waterloo. The Waterloo Curling Club organized in 1882 on a rink on Peppler Street, while the Kitchener Club started operations on Gaukle Street 1 year later. The K-W Granite Club was established by an amalgamation of the 2 Clubs in 1927.
The new Club purchased land for $2,500 and then purchased 3 adjacent properties for $6,800 at 69 Agnes St. in Kitchener. The original building consisting of 5 sheets of ice, a lounge, dining room, boardroom, locker room, furnace and ice equipment room was constructed at a cost of $32,000. For an additional cost of $30,000, artificial ice was installed for the 1928-29 season.
As the Club grew over the next few years additions were required including a one story wooden structure (dining room area) built to facilitate public skating before and after curling season to generate additional revenues for the Club. To provide more services for the expanding membership, badminton courts were later added at a cost of $24,000.
Bad luck hit the Club on May 8th, 1955- FIRE! The badminton section was gutted while the northeast corner of the curling club was damaged for a total loss of approximately $200,000. The rebuilding of the badminton club and major alterations to the curling club, including 3 additional sheets, a new kitchen and dining room were constructed and paid for through the insurance claim. In 1967, roof modifications and improvements to the ice shed were made at a cost of $41,000.
A milestone occurred at the Club in 1948 when the Ladies Curling Section was formed. Twenty-five women were welcomed to the Club. The cost to join was $10 if their spouses were shareholders, otherwise they had to purchase a full $50 share.
69 Anges St. served the Club well but eventually the size and age of the building as well as ever increasing utility costs made it uneconomical to operate. At the same time The City of Waterloo had a vacant “Rink In The Park” which formerly housed the K-W Skating Club, which had moved to RIM Park. A hard fought RFP process ensued, the result being the K-W Granite Club entering into an 8-year licensing agreement with The City of Waterloo to operate with 6 sheets of ice from “Rink In The Park.” The Club took possession August 1st, 2003 and with a spectacular volunteer effort, “Rink In The Park” was ready for Open House and Curling in mid September. Click here for pictures of the “Rink in the Park” before the renovations. Click here for pictures of our October 2003 Opening Ceremonies. The first season tents were used as change rooms but there was warmth on the way. During the summer of 2004, thanks to a stellar fundraising effort and long hours from staff and volunteers, a new lounge and change rooms were added at a cost exceeding $300,000. Click here for pictures.
69 Anges St. was sold in October 2003 to The Paintball Arena who signed a long-term lease with the new K-W Badminton Club (the former Granite Club Badminton Section.)
Along the way The K-W Granite Club has hosted or co-hosted a number of high profile curling events. The World Junior Championships were held in 1980, The Brier in 1962 and 1986, The Scott Tournament of Hearts in 1994 and 2003 and the Canadian Mixed Championships in 1969 and 1975. Most recently the Club hosted the sold out 2004 M&M Meat Shops $100,000 Skins Game.
Our new home at Rink In The Park has brought renewed enjoyment and enthusiasm for the growing number of curlers in our community!