The Howard Darwin Centennial Arena will be named at a ceremony on Friday at the former Merivale Centennial Arena on Merivale Road.
Mr. Darwin, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 78, founded Howard Darwin Jewellers and Ottawa Cablevision – the company that inspired the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient John Kelly to found his ahead-of-its-time technology company NABU Network Corp. Cablevision, which Mr Darwin started in 1965, was the first cable television provider in the city. It was purchased by Rogers Cable in 1995.
He was best known, however, for establishing the Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club and the Ottawa Lynx Baseball Club.
In 1967, Mr. Darwin purchased the franchise for the Ottawa 67’s with four partners and managed the team. He brought triple-A baseball team Ottawa Lynx to Ottawa in 1993 after lobbying for the construction of the Lynx Stadium (initially named JetForm Park, then later Ottawa Rapidz Stadium and now Ottawa Baseball Stadium). The team eventually moved to Allentown, Pa. after their 2007 season.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Mr. Darwin earned a spot in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
The naming of the Howard Darwin Centennial Arena was through the city’s commemorative naming policy, which honours individuals demonstrating excellence, courage or exceptional service to people in Ottawa, Ontario and/or Canada.