Title - Kevin Lajoie
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The wait is nearly over for the new Benson Centre
Kevin Lajoie

The wait is nearly over for the new Benson Centre
After years of discussion, the Benson Centre - as seen here in a Nov. 2010 aerial photo - is nearing completion.
PHOTO CREDIT - City of Cornwall

Cornwall - Feb. 23, 2011 - After years of deliberations and discussion, Cornwall's new multi-sport centre is almost ready to open its doors.

Barring any unforeseen issues, the Benson Centre - located west of the Brookdale Avenue traffic circle - will be up and running in the near future.

It's been a long road just to get to this point. I can remember Mayor Brian Sylvester's council discussing the need to build new ice pads to replace the aging Si Miller and Bob Turner arenas. That was eight-plus years ago. From what I hear, it will have been well worth the wait.

Driving by the facility, I can't help but think that this is a great time to have young children who are interested in sports. Between the aquatic centre and the Benson Centre, my son will be growing up in state-of-the-art sports facilities.

That's assuming he likes hockey (my fingers are already crossed).

For those who want to see more of the Benson Centre, the city has created an interesting page on its website featuring pictures of the facility at various stages of construction. You can see it here.

* * * *

How's this for bad luck.

For the past three or four years, I've been taking my father Dave to Colts hockey games on Thursday nights.

A tradition soon formed where we would each buy 50-50 tickets with the understanding that we would split the earnings if either of us won.

Tired of continually losing, I stopped buying the tickets several weeks ago. Bad timing, it turns out, as my dad hit the jackpot at last week's game. A whopping $511.

To make it worse, I was sitting right next to my dad and reading his ticket as the winning numbers echoed through the arena.

Seconds later, my semi-stunned father jumped out of his seat and headed off to collect his earnings.

I know one thing - my dad will be picking up the coffee for tonight's game.

* * * *

Kudos to the organizers of Winterfest for putting together a great slate of activities and events this past weekend.

A mild spell threatened to leave the winter festival without a key ingredient - snow - but the group still managed to pull it off. The rink in Lamoureux Park appeared to be in good condition and there was no shortage of people taking advantage of it. And the Sunday night fireworks display was definitely on par with the fireworks that we see at other events in the park.

Here's hoping for a bigger and better Winterfest in 2012.

* * * *

Apparently, Paul Emard and I aren't the only ones who still dream of having the Royals back in Cornwall.

I recently came across an interesting blog posting where the author discusses potential expansion locations for the Ontario Hockey League. Readers were asked to vote for the city that they'd like to see with an OHL team, and Cornwall nabbed 10 per cent of the vote.

Other cities in the poll were North Bay, Buffalo, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Brantford, Chatham, Newmarket, Toronto and Timmins.

I swear I did not cast a vote for Cornwall in this poll, however I can't vouch for Mr. Emard.

You can see the blog posting here.

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