The Gardens was built by Leafs managing director Conn Smythe in a six-month period during 1931 at a cost of $1.5 million. The site was purchased from The T. Eaton Co. Ltd. for a price said to be $150,000 below market value. Construction was partly funded through a public offering of 7% preferred shares in Maple Leaf Gardens Limited at $10 each (about $117 in 2006), with a free common share for each five preferred shares purchased.
The Toronto Maple Leafs moved out in 1999 to the Air Canada Centre. A use for the Gardens is still to be found.