Barrie lawyer flush with glee over Leafs toilet purchase

Local sports memorabilia collector and Toronto Maple Leafs fan Jim Vigmond, of Barrie, Ont.,...

Local sports memorabilia collector and Toronto Maple Leafs fan Jim Vigmond, of Barrie, Ont., recently acquired a toilet from the Maple Leafs Gardens dressing room in an online auction. (Mark Wanzel/QMI Agency)

CHERYL BROWNE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:34 PM ET

Vigmond was the winning online bidder in the Historical Hockey Memorabilia Auction for the Artifacts of the former Maple Leaf Gardens.

But what was the item he took home from the historic hockey shrine?

While others tapped away on their keyboards to bid on on hardcore Leafs items, such as the change-rooms doors, penalty boxes and a time clock, Vigmond bought the dressing room toilet.

"It's nostalgia from an iconic building from an iconic time," Vigmond said Tuesday after he carried his antique privy to his sports memorabilia room — or man cave — in the basement.

"We bleed blue and white in this house," he said with a laugh, pointing to several framed hockey jerseys on the wall.

Although it sounds like an odd object to covet, let alone spend $5,300 on, collectors of sports memorabilia say they can understand Vigmond's fascination with the traditional white ceramic bowl.

"The standard saying in the collectors' world is that it's only worth what somebody will pay for it. This is a relatively unique item. I'm guessing a lot of famous Maple Leafs took a break there, so there's a huge value there," said Icebox Cards and Collectibles owner Wayne Frazer.

"It's a one-of-a-kind conversation piece, with an incredible amount of history attached to it," the local businessman added.

"Well, the obsession with the toilet is that a lot of famous asses sat on that," joked auctioneer of the Maple Leafs artifacts, Hersh Borenstein.

Borenstein also said Johnny Bower told him he used to run down to the washroom to sneak a cigarette before the game, and that Terry Sawchuk told him he used to throw up in that throne before every game.

A large grocery store now stands in the place of the original Maple Leaf Gardens on Carleton Street which was home to the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1931 until 1999.

The white ceramic Canadian commode with the black split-seat was handed to Vigmond with a letter of authenticity from Maple Leafs organization.

While he admits he's frustrated waiting for the current National Hockey League lockout to end, when it does he said he's ready for the jokes about the Leafs john on Saturday nights to begin in earnest.

"I've been told I've got s**t for brains today," he laughed. "But to me, it's pure history."

cheryl.browne@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @cherylbrowne1


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