Bowlers mourn loss of Ottawa 10pin last lane

Passionate bowlers are wondering what to do with their free time after Ottawa’s only 10-pin bowling alley announces its permanent closure.

McArthur Lanes, a staple in Ottawa’s Vanier neighborhood since 1962, announced on his Facebook page that it was shutting down after the owner sold the property. The owner declined an interview with CBC.

“There is no doubt that losing McArthur Lanes is the end of an era for Vanier,” said Nathalie Carrier, Executive Director of the Vanier Business Improvement Association (BIA).

It was so iconic in our community and throughout Ottawa.– Nathalie Carrier, BIA Vanier

Bowling was a landmark for the neighborhood as the BIA recently put its name on its T-shirts, Carrier said.

“It was so iconic in our community and throughout Ottawa.

For the past decade, Bob Kaminsky has played McArthur Lanes every Wednesday as part of a Winter Bowling League. He said he was sad to see it close because he prefers 10 pin bowling over five pin bowling.

“It’s the only 10 pin lane left in town, and being a former Montrealer that’s what I grew up on,” Kaminsky said. “It brought back memories of my childhood in Montreal, and now it’s gone.”

Denis Ste-Marie says there are no more 10pin lanes in Ottawa and he doesn’t know when he will be able to use his bowling ball again. (Hugo Bélanger / Radio-Canada)

Like Kaminsky, Denis Ste-Marie spent years 10-pin bowling at McArthur Lanes and was looking forward to returning this fall. The bowling alley has been closed for much of the pandemic.

Ste-Marie said he could go to Gatineau, Quebec, where there are 10 pin lanes, but would prefer another one to open in Ottawa.

“I just hope that somewhere someone can carry the banner and open something new somewhere in Ottawa,” said Ste-Marie, adding that he doubted that would happen anytime soon. “It’s only a hope.”

Louis Pizza shares a parking lot with McArthur Lanes. Louis owner Moe Saab said the two companies worked well in tandem. (Hugo Bélanger / Radio-Canada)

One of the neighbors in the bowling alley is also sad to see him go. Moe Saab, owner of Louis Pizza next to McArthur Lanes, said the two companies are complementary.

“All of our customers… they bowled there. They would come over for supper and they would go bowling,” Saab said.

For Kaminsky, the closure could mean finding a new weekly activity.

“We will have to make other plans on Wednesday nights from now on,” he said.


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