Prime Minister Justin Trudeau predicts a monument in Ottawa to the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup will become a major attraction in the national capital.
In an interview Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada, Trudeau said the Lord Stanley Gift Monument will be part of what people want to see when they visit Ottawa.
The monument was formally unveiled at the corner of Sparks and Elgin streets on Saturday at a ceremony attended by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and local MP David McGuinty and members of the hockey community.
The federal government provided $2.15 million toward the cost of erecting the monument to the Stanley Cup, which was given in 1892 as a gift by Lord Stanley, Canada's sixth Governor General.
Officials previously described the installation as a 3.5-metre-high bowl, made of silvered aluminum bands, that frames views of the nearby National War Memorial.
Other features were to include a white paved “hockey rink” with embedded stainless steel lines evoking skate marks, granite discs engraved with the names of the Stanley Cup winners from 1893 to 2017 and a black granite bench in the form of a hockey puck.
The unveiling also coincides with Canada 150 celebrations and the 100th anniversary of the National Hockey League.
In the Hockey Night in Canada interview that was done in advance of Saturday's unveiling, Trudeau, wearing a No. 4 Jean Beliveau Montreal Canadiens jersey, said few symbols bring Canada together like the Stanley Cup.
"It has a weight of symbolism and strength of binding our country together that very few material symbols do," Trudeau said.
Trudeau also said it would be great if there were more NHL teams in Canada but he added it's not the federal government's role to "push hard" on professional sports.
Trudeau says his 10-year-old son Xavier has started playing hockey and loves it, so the prime minister says he is spending more time in arenas, but he never developed roots in hockey when he as a boy.
"Much more a skiing family than a hockey family, my dad wasn't a big fan of the arenas early in the morning on the weekends," Trudeau joked.
Federal officials say Saturday's unveiling was particularly timely given that the government is in the process of installing a family skating rink on Parliament Hill.
– With files from OBJ staff