Fred "Cyclone" Taylor turning the first sod for the Hockey Hall of Fame building on the C.N.E. grounds, Toronto in 1960.
Foster Hewitt is standing at right.
The NHL and the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) reached an agreement to establish a new Hall of Fame building in Toronto, in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame located at Exhibition Place. The temporary Hockey Hall of Fame opened as an exhibit within the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in August 1958, and 350,000 people visited it during the 1958 CNE fair. Due to the success of the exhibit, NHL and CNE decided that a permanent home in the Exhibition Place was needed. The NHL agreed to fully fund the building of the new facility on the grounds of Exhibition Place, and construction began in 1960. The first permanent Hockey Hall of Fame, which shared a building with the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, was opened on August 26, 1961, by Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Over 750,000 people visited the Hall in its inaugural year. Admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame was free until 1980, when the Hockey Hall of Fame facilities underwent expansion.
By 1986, the Hall of Fame was running out of room in its existing facilities and the Board of Directors decided that a new home was needed. The Hall vacated the Exhibition Place building in 1992, and its half was taken over by the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. The building was eventually demolished — a portion of the building's facade was preserved as an entrance to BMO Field stadium. Development of the new location, the former Bank of Montreal at the corner of Yonge and Front Streets in Toronto, began soon after. The building, now part of Brookfield Place, was designed by Frank Darling and S. George Curry. The new Hockey Hall of Fame officially opened on June 18, 1993. The new location has 4,700 m2 (50,600 sq ft) of exhibition space, seven times larger than that of the old facility. The Hockey Hall of Fame now hosts more than 300,000 visitors each year