Canadian Tire

GTA family fights rising costs of minor hockey

Every autumn, the Elbe family of Etobicoke goes hunting for deals on hockey equipment. The Elbes’ main stop is the “Big 60” event at National Sports Centre. It’s a 60-hour sale every November. The family never misses it. Brian and Lucy Elbe wade through the aisles with their two sons: Gabriel, 12, and Matthew, 9. Gabriel grabs a shiny green hockey stick off the shelf. “I want this one,” he says. “I like the colour!” His father checks the price tag: $299.99. “Me too!” Matthew shouts, unknowingly asking his father for an additional $300. “You guys aren’t getting those,” Brian Elbe says, handing the boys two other sticks to try. They grudgingly accept and it’s on to the next item. “You try and spend reasonably. … For an 11-year-old or 9-year-old, the top brand or the middle, it makes no difference.”

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Playground community already planning to rebuild

Jennifer Hamilton has been keeping it secret from her son for a week. “I haven’t told my son yet because I know he’d be upset,” she said. “I think (the damage) is a huge waste.” The castle at Jamie Bell Adventure Playground burned down early St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) morning. Hamilton’s five-year-old son Leith is fond of the playground.