Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Inductees

Explore the many achievements in sport in Richmond Hill through our Sports Hall of Fame Inductees from 1885 - 2019.

1885 Richmond Hill Young Canadians

1885 Richmond Hill Young Canadians team picture.

On June 4, 1885, Richmond Hill's "Young Canadians" Lacrosse team trounced Brampton in three straight games to win the Western Division Championship. The match took place on the village's "New Park Ground," before a grandstand "packed with ladies" and noisy Cornet Band that blared forth "during play stoppages"

The "Young Canadians" were obviously inspired by their new playing field. They were also better at playing lacrosse than at composing lyrics! Earlier that spring, at an April concert, the team had introduced its new song:

Playing on the New Park Ground

Come all you friends and neighbours,

Now lay aside your labours,
Come with us to the New Park Ground,
Which will sustain our fame
Playing on the New Park Ground.
Chorus
O hear the boys a singing,
There's music in the sound,
O see their sticks a swinging,
Playing on the New Park Ground.
Sport Category Year of Induction
Lacrosse Team 2004
1967 - 68 Richmond Hill Lions 

1967 - 1968 Richmond Hill Lions team picture.

The Richmond Hill Lions were a unique team. They were composed of local players from Richmond Hill, which at that time, had a population base of only 22,000 people. The regulations of the day allowed the team to draw players from within the boundaries of the City only. In their march to the premier Championships in Canada, they were able to defeat and eliminate teams from much larger centres including, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Boston. In the Quebec tournament, competing teams came from all over Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and the northeastern United States. In the Central Canada Championship, teams came from all over Ontario. Their exploits will never be duplicated due to changes in regulations now allowing additional players to be drawn from a wider area.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Team 2005
1972 Richmond Hill Dynes fastball team 
1972 Richmond Hill Dynes fastball team picture.
The Dynes Jewellers fastball team began its quest for a World Championship by capturing the Senior Elimination Tournament in 1971. The team then travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia as the Ontario representative to compete in the National Championships. The Dynes won six games to win the Canadian Championships, and in doing so, won the right to represent Canada at the World Championships in Manila, Philippines, in March 1972.
The Dynes had a record of 12 -1 and won the Championship by defeating the United States 1-0 in 11 innings.
Sport Category Year of Induction
Fastball Team 1997
1989 Richmond Hill Raiders Under 18 Girls 

1989 Richmond Hill Raiders Under 18 Girls team picture.

The 1989 Richmond Hill Raiders girls soccer team achieved youth soccer's highest possible Canadian honour by capturing gold at the Canadian Soccer Association's Under 18 National Championship Finals in Fredericton in October 2007. Gaining entry into the gold medal match with a 3-1 round-robin record, the Raiders scored on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute of overtime to claim the National Title in a 1-0 victory over Manitoba.

The 2007 National Championship capped an undefeated season and remarkable career for the team, which included three consecutive Ontario Youth Soccer League Championships from 2005 to 2007 and the Ontario Cup Championship in 2007.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Soccer, 
girls under 18
Team 2008
Douglas Raymond (Doug) Acomb 

 Portrait of Douglas Raymond Acomb.

Doug was born in Toronto and moved to Richmond Hill when he was six years old. He played through the minor ranks and his potential became apparent in his Bantam year playing for the North End Cleaners, who won the prestigious Riverside Tournament. After his Midget eligibility he went on play for the Toronto Marlboro organization from 1965 - 1969. He was a member of the Memorial Cup Team of 1966 -1967. In 1968 - 1969 he led the OHA in scoring with 55 Goals. During this time he also played with the Marlboro Senior "A" team on call up.

Doug played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1969 - 1970 and was sent to the Tulsa Oilers and further to the Phoenix Roadrunners in 1970 - 1971 in the World Hockey League. Doug finished up his fine career in 1975 -1976 with the Barrie Flyers in the OHA Senior League.

During this busy time Doug was able to graduate from Richmond Hill High School and York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in physical education. He attended teachers college at the University of Toronto. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Athlete 2003
Douglas Kenneth Laird Allen 

Portrait of Douglas Kenneth Laird Allen.

 Douglas Allen (1930-2020) was well known for his contributions to sport development in Richmond Hill.  Douglas was the founding president of the Richmond Hill Squash Club and a lifetime member of the Richmond Hill Canoe Club.  His athletic achievements include: 

  • Canadian Champion in Flat Water Canoe Racing in 1952 and 1953 
  • Ontario Provincial Masters' Squash Champion 1986, 1993, 1997
  • Canadian Masters' Squash Champion 2001
  • US Masters Squash Champion 1996
  • Member of the Thornhill Golf Club
  • Mountain Trekking, Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (1985), river rafting expeditions, scuba diving and skiing
Sport Category Year of Induction
Soccer,
Canoe Racing
and Squash
Athlete 2004
Blaine Angus

Sport: Hockey, Referee

Category: Official

Year of Induction: 2019

 Blaine Angus

Blaine Angus policed the ice for years, skating alongside many of the game’s greatest names from Gretzky to Lemieux to Sakic. 

He started his officiating career in a small Quebec Town of Shawville in 1976, where he picked up a finger tipped whistle at the age of fifteen. Blaine found his way to Richmond Hill at 19, when he took a job as an X-Ray Technologist. It wasn’t long before the local rinks became his second home.

From there, he worked hard in rinks all over North America, eventually spending 15-years as a professional hockey referee, working in the American Hockey League, International Hockey League and National Hockey League.

He officiated his first NHL game October 17, 1992 in Washington, eventually skating in 516 regular season NHL games, two playoffs and the the 2004 NHL All-Star Game in Minnesota. Prior to his NHL career he officiated the 1991 IIHF World Junior Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Angus is active on the ice and coaching younger officials in the Minor Hockey games in Richmond Hill as well as the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and the Ontario Hockey Association.

Learn more about Blaine in our video interview.

Bill Armstrong

Sport: Hockey

Category: Athlete

Year of Induction: 2019

 Bill Armstrong

Not many people can say they’ve won three of hockey’s most coveted championships – Bill Armstrong can.

A graduate of Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill, Armstrong was a rugged, stay-at-home defenceman who played professional ice hockey all over North America. Standing at a towering 6”5, he played in the Ontario Hockey League for five seasons. In 1990, while playing for the Oshawa Generals, he scored the game winning goal in double-overtime to capture the Memorial Cup – a remarkable feat given he scored just five others in close to 200 OHL games.

After being drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round, he would go on to play nine-seasons professionally in the American and International Hockey leagues.

Success would continue following Armstrong, as he won the Calder Cup (AHL Championship) in 1999 as an Assistant Coach. And, after climbing the ranks with the St. Louis Blues in the NHL he became the Blues’ Assistant General Manager and Director of Amateur Scouting, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2019. 

Learn more about Bill in our video interview.

William (Bill) Babcock 
Portrait of William Babcock.
Bill Babcock has dedicated much of his lifetime to the education, training and promotion of sports in the Richmond Hill community. After graduating from the University of Toronto and McMaster University with two teaching degrees, Bill went on to be a Phys Ed teacher at Richmond Hill High School from 1953 - 1968. While at Richmond Hill High, he spent numerous hours coaching basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, track & field, wrestling and gymnastics. He was also instrumental in introducing new sports, intramural programs as well as camping and outdoor education to the school system.

In 1955, Bill formed the Richmond Hill Track Club, where many notable athletes such as Marian Munroe and John Passmore got their start. In 1957, he began the Richmond Hill Day Camp for children. Later the day camp became known as 'Richildaca Camp' and served the children and youth of York Region. This was one of the first camps to provide programs for children with special needs.

As a founding member of the Society of Camp Directors and an honorary member of the Ontario Camping Association, Bill has had papers published in journals, magazines and manuals and has made an invaluable contribution to sports, both locally and in Ontario.

As a long time resident of Richmond Hill and a dedicated athlete and coach, Bill was an integral member of the committee that engineered the opening of Richmond Hill's Centennial Pool in 1967.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Basketball,
Football,
Volleyball,
Soccer,
Track and Field,
Wrestling and Gymnastics
Athlete,
Trainer,
Coach and
Sports Builder
2001
Elgin (Tubby) Barrow 
Portrait of Elgin Barrow.
Elgin Barrow or "Tubby" as he was fondly referred to by his friends, was a lifetime resident of Richmond Hill. Having a strong sense of community, Elgin believed that volunteering made his beloved Richmond Hill a better community to live in and raise a family. He was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 1977 for his community volunteer involvement.

In 1954, he was a founding member of the Richmond Hill Arena Association. This association spearheaded the installation of artificial ice to extend the skating season for the children of the community. He was a Board Member for 30 years and served as president from 1974 until his death in 1985. The "Elgin Barrow Arena Complex" was named in his honour in 1983.

Elgin was also a founding member and director of the Minor Hockey Association from 1954 to 1962, serving as president from 1958 to 1961.

As a volunteer, Elgin served as a firefighter, a Founding Member and Director of the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce, member of the Richmond Hill Centennial Committee and President of the Richmond Hill Curling Club.

As a successful business person, Elgin ran a general insurance brokerage firm in Richmond Hill since 1963. With a true heart for his community, he sponsored many local sports teams.

In 1945, he married Mary Short, who supported him in all of his interests. They had two children who are still very active members in the Richmond Hill Community.

Elgin's passions after his family and community were golf, boating and curling.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Sports
Builder
2006
Nathalie Bendavid 

Portrait of Nathalie Bendavid.

Nathalie's rugby career began in 1995 when she played her first game at Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill. Over the next 14 years, Nathalie would move on to play for the Aurora Barbarians, the University of Guelph, the University of Toronto, team Ontario, and team Canada - including representing Canada in the 2009 Rugby World Cup. Nathalie continues to give back to the community and the sport through teaching and coaching - she loves the game and loves sharing her passion with those new to rugby.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Rugby Athlete   2015

Learn more about Nathalie in our video interview

Josh Binstock

Sport: Beach Volleyball

Category: Athlete

Year of Induction: 2019

 Josh Binstock

Dr. Josh Binstock is one of Canada’s most decorated beach volleyball players of all time. He’s a two time Olympian (Rio 2016 and London 2012), winner of 11 Continental Tour medals, eight World Tour medals as well as 9th place at the 2015 World Championships. He attended the 2015 Pan Am Games and represented Canada at the Maccabiah Games, including in 2013 as Canadian flag bearer.

His gold medal at the FIVB World Tour event in Argentina was only the second Gold medal in Canadian history.

Dr. Binstock attended Richmond Hill High School, where he was first introduced to competitive volleyball. He lead the high school team into the Ontario Volleyball Association tournament circuit. He had his choice of universities (he picked U of T).   

His former coaches marvel at his desire to learn, his ability to accept criticism, and his willingness to improve his weaknesses.

As a retired National Team Athlete Dr. Binstock (a Chiropractor) now gives back to the community by making appearances in schools and volleyball clubs to inspire young athletes, coaches and parents.

Learn more about Josh in our video interview.

Russell Donald (Casey) Cripps 

Portrait of Russell Donald Cripps.

Russell Donald Cripps or "Casey" as he is also known, was involved with baseball for many years. He was a player in his early years in the 1930's through the 1940's. By 1960, Casey was now coach and manager of the Wimbridge Cleaners in the men's Intermediate "A" Fastball League with all Richmond Hill Players, such as Len McLean, "Sonny" Needham and Stan Thornington. They won the All Ontario Championship that year - a first for Richmond Hill.

In 1962, Vern Dynes offered Casey the position as coach and manager of the Dynes. After a few seasons of coaching the Dynes, they won the Senior "A" Championship in 1967. In 1968, they were semifinalists in the Nationals in St. Catherines, capping that with the National Championship in Nova Scotia. This gave the team the right to represent Canada in the World Championships in the Philippines in 1972.

The World Championships were a proud moment in Canadian Sports and the team lived up to expectations, beating the United States in the finals. A triumphant return to Richmond Hill was climaxed by the Mayor kissing 'Coach Casey' and the whole team meeting Prime Minister Trudeau in Ottawa. In the late 70's, Casey stepped down as coach of the Dynes. He served for eight years as president of the Richmond Hill Minor Ball Association.

Casey met and married his wife Carmen in Timmins and then moved to Richmond Hill in 1956. The two have no children of their own, but have touched and improved the lives of many children who came into their family through the game of fastball. Russell "Casey" Cripps was a loyal member of the Local Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #375, Richmond Hill for more than 40 years.

Russell Donald "Casey" Cripps passed away in March 2008. He was a colourful character, gruff and belligerent to some, overbearing, tough and opinionated, but had a warm and affectionate spirit.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Baseball Athlete
and
Sports Builder
2003
Ronald Vernor (Vern) Dynes 
Portrait of Ronald Vernor Dynes.
Ronald Vernor (Vern) Dynes has been an avid supporter of sport in Richmond Hill since moving to the City in 1955. Vern bought the jewellery store now known as Dynes Jewellers, and over the years has sponsored many sporting organizations, including:
  • Mercantile hockey, 1955-1959
  • Minor hockey, 1955-present
  • Minor baseball, 1955-present
  • Minor soccer, 1955-present
  • Dynes Jewellers Softball/Fastball, 1956-1980
  • Junior "B" Dynes Hockey, 1974-1979
  • Junior "B" Dynes Hockey, silver medal winners, Ontario Winter Games, 1977

Some of Vern's achievements include:

  • Ontario Bicentennial Award for Volunteers, 1984
  • Richmond Hill's Corporate Citizen of the Year, 1995 

The Dynes fastball teams won many championships, and through Vern's support, Richmond Hill continued to have a world class fastball team for many years. In 1972, the Dynes team won the World Championship in Manila, Philippines, becoming the only club team to ever win the World Championship. Over the years, the Dynes team gave the citizens of Richmond Hill the opportunity to be part of a high quality and entertaining sport. In fact, the rivalry between the Dynes, Newmarket Rays and Oshawa Tony's is legendary.

Vern has four children and 12 grandchildren. In his limited spare time he regularly visits Dufferin County, where he was raised and where he owns a farm, to attend community events and to renew old friendships along with harvesting potato crops.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Baseball,
Hockey
and
Soccer
Sports Builder
and Sponsor
2000
Bob Emerson 

Portrait of Bob Emerson.

Bob is a Junior Figure skating Canadian Champion (1967), a coach to multiple Canadian, Olympic and World champions and is the founder and Director of the Richmond Training Centre (RTC) - an international elite figure skating program in Richmond Hill.  Through coaching, mentoring, and founding RTC, Bob has shared his passion for skating and has helped develop some of the world's best figure skaters.  Throughout his career, Bob has made a significant contribution to the sport and continues to inspire and encourage young athletes to become the best they can be.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Builder  2015

Learn more about Bob in our video interview

Gianni Facchini

FacchiniGianni Facchini began playing soccer in Richmond Hill in 1981 with the Richmond Hill Soccer Club. Facchini began to referee with the Richmond Hill Soccer Club. From 1989 - 2014, Facchini earned the titles from the Ontario Soccer Association of District Referee, Regional Referee, Provincial Referee and received a National Referee certification from the Canadian Soccer Association. In 2014, Facchini was promoted to the Professional Referees Association. Facchini has officiated numerous Ontario Cup finals. Canadian National Cup Championships and acted as Assistant Referee to North American Soccer League Championships and several Major League Soccer matches. 

 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Soccer Sports 
Builder
2017

 Learn more about Gianni in our video interview.

Bernard Ford 
Portrait of Bernard Ford.
Bernard Ford, or Bernie as he is also known, has been involved in skating for many years. Bernie was a skater himself and has worked as a trainer and choreographer for many young skaters. Among them are a number of World and Olympic medallists, including Tracy Wilson and the late Rob McCall. Bernie was also instrumental in the development of skating not only in Richmond Hill, but around the world. Bernie has choreographed routines for skaters from Canada, Australia, England, Japan and the United States.

Sharing his expertise, Bernie has given seminars on skating techniques to coaches, judges and skaters around the globe. Bernie's contribution to the sport of skating has not gone unnoticed. In 1969, Bernie was honoured by the Royal Family of Great Britain and was appointed a Member of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As well, Bernie was inducted into the World Skating Hall of Fame in Colorado in October 1993.

Bernie has appeared in numerous television shows and traveling ice shows. After competing for Great Britain in the late 1960's, Bernie taught for two and half years at the Streatham Ice Rink in South London. Bernie was the British, European and World Ice Dance Champion from 1966-69 and World Professional Champion in 1969.

Bernie emigrated to Toronto in 1972 and began coaching skaters at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club. Over time, Bernie directed and choreographed the first Canadian traveling ice show - The New Ice Generation - which toured across the country. Throughout his career, Bernie has coached a number of skating champions including the first Canadian skaters to win an international trophy. Bernie was also one of three coaches who established the National Ice Dance Centre of Canada, located in Richmond Hill, which produced a number of word class champions. Later, Bernie was given the responsibility by Canadian Figure Skating Association to revise and introduce the now established Canadian Dance Test Structure.

Bernie says his 20 year association with Richmond Hill has provided him with many happy memories. Bernie currently lives in Edmonds, Washington, but he finds himself traveling around the world teaching athletes, coaches and officials the finer points of ice dancing. Richmond Hill is proud to be one of the many places that Bernie has called home over the past few years and we ate proud to be able to announce that Bernie is one of the first inductees into the Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame. Bernie has made a tremendous contribution to the sport of skating and is most deserving of this honour.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Athlete, 
Trainer
and 
Coach
1999
Rene Joseph Herman Fournier 

Portrait of Rene Fournier.

Rene and his family moved to Richmond Hill in 1963 and his impact upon the community and the sport of hockey was almost immediate. For over 30 years (1963-1994), Rene was involved in providing and developing hockey programs for the community - from coaching, teaching, officiating, and scheduling, he did it all. Rene was also instrumental in the development, instruction, and supervision of local referees, providing free clinics and training to young referees and was one of those unsung people that helped mentor and develop a whole generation of officials with little or no recognition.  

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey -
Referee
 Builder  2015

Learn more about Rene in our video interview.

Marion Fox 

 

Portrait of Marion Fox.

Marion Fox has a long-standing affiliation with baseball in Richmond Hill. Throughout her career, Marion was a role model for hundreds of ladies in women's softball. Here are some highlights from her outstanding career as a pitcher:

Ontario Championships

  • 1950 & 1951- pitched in the Ontario Championships 

World Championships

  • 1953 - at age 17, pitched 30 innings, facing 123 batters, allowing only 7 runs for a 0.23 Earned Run Average (ERA) with a 3 - 1 record and 19 strikeouts
  • 1955 & 1956 - winner of pitching trophy and a World Championship All-Star Selection
  • 1956 - pitched 32 innings, striking out 38 and giving up only 2 runs for an ERA of 0.62 and a record of 2-2
  • 1957 - pitched 27 innings and struck out 26 of 93 batters
  • 1958 - pitched 31 innings (93 batters), giving up 4 unearned runs for an ERA of 0.00
  • 1959 - pitched 28 innings (69 batters), had an ERA of 0.75 and .333 personal batting average
  • 1960 - faced 94 batters, striking out 40 for an ERA of 0.76 and had a .313 personal batting average
  • 1961 - pitched 41 innings and had an 0.17 ERA
  • 1962 - pitched 28 innings (91 batters) and had an 0.50 ERA
  • 1973 - led Richmond Hill intermediates to the semi-finals of the Canadian Women's Championships

Marion's athletic career was interrupted for a period of seven years. From 1963 to 1970 Marion was recovering from a serious, life-threatening accident and, miraculously, she returned to the game she loved. In November 1977, Marion was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Sports Association Hall of Fame.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Softball Athlete 2000
Candace Jones (Fraser) and Donald Fraser 
Portrait of Candace Jones and Donald Fraser.
Donald (also known as Don) and Candace Fraser (also known as Candy) began their pairs skating career together in 1974. Don, who was raised in Richmond Hill, was also a member of the Richmond Hill Figure Skating Club. This is a list of just some of Don and Candy's accomplishments over the years: 
  • Senior Canadian Pair Champions, 1975 and 1976;
  • Members of the Canadian World Team in Colorado Springs, USA, 1975;
  • Members of the Canadian World Team in Goteborg, Sweden, 1976;
  • Members of the Canadian Olympic Team in Innsbruck, Austria, 1976;
  • 3 World Professional Championships; and 
  • Won 14 International Proskate events including those in Japan and Africa.
They turned professional in 1978 and toured with Toller Cranston's The Ice Show. During the time they toured professionally, Candy also attended McGill University and attained her degree in Family Medicine.

Don and Candy married in 1980 and had two sons, Jesse and Matthew. While Jesse and Matthew are not involved in skating, their parents have instilled in them a love of sport and they enjoy playing a variety of sports. As well, Jesse and Matthew possess creative sides like their parents, and they enjoy arts, painting and poetry. Don shares their love of creating objects of art and has his own fine wood furniture business called Glassy Woods Furniture. While Don and the kids are busy creating things, Candy is practicing medicine at the University of Vermont, Fletcher Allen Health Centre.

Don and Candy were both honoured with lifetime memberships in the Richmond Hill Figure Skating Club after winning their first Senior Canadian Pair title in 1975. Although their skating career as a couple has likely come to an end due to Candy's leg injury, their lives together remain busy and full. They now live in Colchester, Vermont, enjoying life with their family. And they cherish the many fond memories they have of their time in Richmond Hill, and as one of Canada's premier figure skating pairs.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Athletes 1999
Lynton Friedberg 

Portrait of Lynton Friedberg.

Lynton Friedberg has often been referred to as the father of Slo-Pitch in Richmond Hill. For the better part of three decades he made Richmond Hill a field of dreams for himself and others like him.

Lynton grew up in Montreal, where he was heavily involved in organized recreation throughout his youth. In 1962, he was introduced to the game of Slo-Pitch or 'Lob' Ball, as it was often called. It didn't take long before he was hooked.

After graduating from the Recreation Leadership Program at the University of Guelph and Centennial College, Lynton moved to Sault Ste. Marie where he worked for the City as a Recreation Assistant. In his spare time, he started a Slo-Pitch League, that in eight years, grew from eight teams to 64 teams and still operates today.

In 1974, Lynton moved to Richmond Hill and became the City's first Superintendent of Recreation. He also continued organizing recreational leagues in his spare time. Richmond Hill had traditionally been a Fastball City, but Lynton wanted to create a Slo-Pitch League where anyone who wanted to play could play, regardless of ability. After all, Lynton himself was known much more for his passion and fierce competitiveness than his blazing speed around the base paths.

In 1977, he called a meeting of all people interested in playing Slo-Pitch. Only four people showed, but this wasn't game over. Interest increased when Fred Simpson, a sportswriter for The Liberal, began writing stories about the game. In 1978, 56 people enrolled, a draft took place and a four team, Sunday Night Recreational League was born. By 1980, the league had doubled to eight teams. In 2008, the league celebrated its 30th year and is the longest continually running Slo-Pitch League in Ontario.

Lynton was also instrumental in the creation of several other recreational Slo-Pitch Leagues in Richmond Hill, including the Triple X (30+) League, a Women's League and the Five Star League (50+) - all of which are all still operational today. In fact, to date, there are 125 teams playing Slo-Pitch in Richmond Hill.

In 1994, Lynton, now the City's Commissioner of Parks, Recreation & Culture, was appointed Secretary/Treasurer of the first Board of Governors of the Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame. He was instrumental in establishing the Hall, which opened its doors in 1997. As of 2009, the Hall, now located in the Tom Graham Arena Complex, boasts 29 of Richmond Hill's finest athletes, coaches and builders, among others, representing more than 25 sports.

Lynton retired from the City of Richmond Hill in January 2009. He now enjoys spending time with his wife, four children and their beloved dogs.

Lynton's influence on establishing the game of Slo-Pitch in Richmond Hill is indeed proof that, if you build it, they will come. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Slo-Pitch
(Lob Ball)
Sports
Builder
2009
Tom Graham

Tom Graham moved to Richmond Hill in 1955. Tom has been involved in local sports/arenas in Richmond Hill in a variety a capacities from 1964-present. Tom started his volunteer work in Richmond Hill as a coach and manager with the Richmond Hill Hockey Association, moved on to become President of the Richmond Hill Hockey Association (1971-1975), Director of the Richmond Hill Arena Association (1976-1985), and Chairman of the Richmond Hill Arena Association (1985-1997). Tom was also the founder of the Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and served as first Chairman of the Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame. Tom continues to contribute to local sports and community initiatives to this day.  

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Sports
Builder
2016

Learn more about Tom in our video interview.

Tommy Griffiths

Sport: Football

Category: Athlete

Year of Induction: 2019

Tommy Griffiths 

Tommy Griffiths started playing football on grassy fields in Richmond Hill while attending Alexander Mackenzie High School. Through hard-work, commitment and battling through adversity, his talents took him all the way to Canada’s highest pro-ranks.

After high-school, Griffiths patrolled the gridiron for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in Waterloo, Ontario helping them become one of the premier programs in the country. In his senior year, Griffiths switched from defensive to offensive lineman being named a conference all-star along the way and paving his way to the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was one of the few players in the country invited to the CFL combine.

Undrafted, he attended the Toronto Argonauts free agent camp and was signed to a contract. He joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and played in the last ever CFL game at Rogers Center (formerly Skydome) against the Argos.

Along with his elite athleticism, Griffiths coaches point to his intelligence, strength, leadership and care for his teammates and others in communities right across Canada, in which he did countless hours of community service.

Learn more about Tommy in our video interview.

Jim Hoult 

Portrait of Jim Hoult.

The name 'Hoult' is synonymous with excellence in 5 pin bowling. Richmond Hill native, Jim Hoult used his abilities as a bowler, coach and showman, to help build the sport at the Zone, Provincial and National levels.

Born in 1930, Jim began his bowling career as a pinsetter. He developed his skills playing in the pinboys league along with his brother, Billy and later through his work league at McLean Hunter and participation in the Toronto City Major League.

With the invention of the automatic pinsetter, the sport began to grow, and in 1957, Jim became somewhat of a bowling celebrity when he won the first O'Connor Open, which had a top prize of $1,000, an unheard of amount in those days. Jim's success as a player continued with wins at the Master Bowlers Association's Holiday Sweepstakes in 1966, the Northern Classics in 1967 and a gold medal at the Masters National Championship in 1974.

Jim's accomplishments on the lanes made him a natural selection for Hellewell's All-Stars, a group that toured Ontario for three years, losing only twice. Jim was quite the showman and his popularity led to the formation of the Jimmy Hoult Fan Club.

Jim also left his mark on the sport as a coach. As chief instructor for Double Diamond, a manufacturer of automatic pinsetters, he was part of a team that conducted clinics for more than 10,000 bowlers. Jim was also a charter member and chief instructor for the Master Bowlers Association, a group that would eventually deliver the instruction and coaching program both in Ontario and across Canada.

Jim was inducted into the Ontario 5 Pin Bowlers Association Hall of Fame as a Player in 1991 and a Builder in 2003. 

Married to Jean (Stark) since 1950, the two are enjoying their retirement with their three children and four grandchildren. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Bowling Athlete,
Coach and
Sports Builder
2007

Jamie Joslin

Jamie Joslin began skating at the age of three. Since then, she has gone on to make remarkable achievements in hockey. Earning a full scholarship to Robert Morris University to play NCAA Division I Hockey in 2009, Joslin quickly began making an impact. Joslin was named Rookie of the Year in 2009 and throughout her college hockey career, set program records for most goals and points by a defenseman.  She went on to win the CHA Conference Championships in the 2011/2012 season while being an Assistant Captain of the team.  In her last year at Robert Morris University, Joslin earned All Academic Team honour, proving she had continued success both on and off the ice. Upon graduation from Robert Morris University, Joslin went on to coach in the Central York Girls Hockey Association with the Midget AA Aurora Panthers and acted as one of the Assistant Coaches for the York University Women's Hockey Team.  Today she continues to serve as a Skills Coach for the Central York Girls Hockey Association in Aurora. 

 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Athlete 2017

Learn more about Jamie in our video interview.

Edward Kenny 
Portrait of Edward Kenny.
Ed Kenny was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and settled in Richmond Hill in 1966. He was active with the Richmond Hill Soccer Club for more than 20 years as a coach, manager, referee and administrator, including two terms as President. During his tenure, the historic Canadian National Railway Station was moved, restored and opened as the Headquarters of the Soccer Club and the Richmond Green Indoor Soccer Complex was developed. He travelled extensively with Richmond Hill teams in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe.

He and his wife Violet have a daughter, two sons who are active in the soccer community and six grandchildren.

In 1977 Ed was honoured as the "Man of the Year" by the Ontario Minor Soccer Association and was recognized by the City of Richmond Hill in 1983 for his community service. He served as Vice President, Finance of the 1996 Ontario Senior's Games. He is presently a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Soccer Centre in Woodbridge, Ontario.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Soccer Coach and
Sports Builder
2004
Michael and Doreen Kyte

Portrait of Michael and Doreen Kyte.

Michael started bowling in the 1960's and joined the Allencourt Lanes Youth Bowling Council in 1963.  For more than 40 years, he has coached numerous teams (including a 1981 Provincial Championship), held numerous administrative positions (including Program Director for the Youth Bowling Council and Tournament Director and Zone President for the York Simcoe 5 Pin Bowling Association), and has received numerous honours for his contribution to the sport (including numerous Zone awards and induction into the York Simcoe 5 Pin Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 2006). Doreen started bowling in 1972 at ABC Bowl in Richmond Hill and would soon compete at the provincial and national level (including the 1979 Ontario Open on the Ladies Provincial Team, the 1981 Teaching Ladies National Team, and the 1982 Ontario Open on the Mixed Provincial Team). In 1979, Doreen began coaching and has been Secretary of the Youth Bowling Council since 1986. She has contributed much to the York Simcoe 5 Pin Bowling Association since 1976 including overseeing Membership and Average Books, and has served as Lottery Chair and Tournament Director. For her contribution to the sport, Doreen has received numerous Zone awards and a 25 year service award from the York Simcoe 5 Pin Bowling Association. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
5 Pin
Bowling
Builders  2015
George Leary 
Portrait of George Leary.
Spanning nearly three decades, George Leary has proven himself to be one of the best International Style Marksmen in Canada. Throughout his career, George was the only Canadian to secure not one, but four quota positions for Canada to participate in the Olympics. Without these positions, Canada would not have been able to send a representative in this sport to the Olympics Games. As a proud representative of Canada and the Richmond Hill community, George competed on Olympic teams in 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996 and most recently in 2000.

George's success in shooting is indisputable and the number of championships he has won and titles he has earned is astounding. Following are just some of his accomplishments:

National and Provincial Achievements: 

  • 15 time Canadian Champion
  • 18 time Ontario Provincial Champion
  • Three time Quebec Provincial Champion
  • Canadian Record Holder in three separate categories - 295/300 32 grams, 296/300 28 grams and 123/125 24 grams

International Achievements:

  • World Cup de Suhl (East Germany) Gold Medal, 1986
  • World Cup of Australia (Sydney 2000) Silver Medal, 2000
  • Pan Am Games, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals, 1979, '91, '95, '99
  • Commonwealth Games, 3 Silver Medals between 1978 and 1994
  • Olympic Games best finish, 8th, 1996

George also competed in several North and South American, as well as European Championships, winning too many titles to mention. His skill and ability are unquestionable and his dedication to the sport has made it very clear that George Leary is one of Canada's and the World's top marksmen!

Sport Category Year of Induction
Trap
Shooting
Athlete 2001
Vanessa Marie Kreiner Ley 

Portrait of Vanessa Ley.

Vanessa started refereeing for the Richmond Hill Hockey Referees' Association at an early age.  She quickly progressed to referee at an elite level - officiating at a number of provincial and national championships (including the 2014 Hockey Canada Esso Cup, the 2015 Ontario Winter Games, and the 2015 Canada Winter Games) as well as at the local, provincial, collegiate, national and professional level (in the Canadian Women's Hockey League - considered the highest level of women's hockey in the world). Vanessa was also instrumental in the development of the RHHRA Mentorship Program and continues to develop the sport through mentoring, teaching and inspiring young referees as a supervisor for the OWHA.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey -
Referee
 Builder 2015

Learn more about Vanessa in our video interview.

Scott Mabley

Scott Mabley (1954 - 2003) was drafted to the Ontario Hockey League to the Oshawa Generals Major Junior "A" Team in 1972, then traded to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1973. In 1974, he was drafted #202 overall to the Washington Capitals in the National Hockey League and #192 over all by the Indianapolis Racers in the World Hockey Association. In 1975, he moved to the Ontario Hockey Association Senior A League with the Orillia Terriers. Besides his hockey career, Mabley was very involved with minor hockey in Richmond Hill; even sitting on the Richmond Hill International Midget Hockey Tournament committee, as the Vice-Chair.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Athlete 2017

Learn more about Scott in our video interview.

Ada Mackenzie (1891 - 1973) 
Portrait of Ada Mackenzie.
Ada Mackenzie won her first tournament at age 13 when she substituted for her mother. Her spirit, ability and passion for the game had her winning championships late into her golfing career. In 1969, the same year Ada celebrated her 78th birthday, she won the Ontario Seniors' title at the London Hunt Club.

During her golfing career, which lasted more than 60 years, Ada won the Canadian Open five times, the Canadian Women's Seniors' Golf Championship eight times, ten Toronto and District Ladies Championship, nine Ontario Ladies' Championships, two Ontario Senior Women's Championships, five Canadian Ladies' Closed Championships and two Bermuda ladies titles.

In 1924, Ada was the moving force in the opening of the Ladies' Golf and Tennis Club of Toronto. She initiated the Ontario Junior Ladies Championships and established the first golf course exclusively for women - which resulted in restricted hours for men, a reversal of the common policy of restricted hours for women! The Toronto Ladies' Golf and Tennis Club is located in Thornhill. In 1927 Ada Mackenzie Ltd., a women's clothing and golf apparel store was founded - a successful store situated in Toronto's exclusive Yorkville shopping district. Although she was born in Toronto, Ada made Richmond Hill her home from 1940 to 1973 in Highland Cottage, on Maple Sideroad, which was later renamed Major Mackenzie Drive.

Her spectacular golfing career served to improve women's golf (and women's golfing apparel) in Canada, earning her the titles "The queen of Canadian amateurs" and "First woman of Canadian golf." Ada passed away in 1973. Women's golf in Canada owes much to her innovations and long-term involvement in the sport.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Golf Athlete 2000
Jean McCron 

Portrait of Jean McCron.

In 1970, Jean became a member of the Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club and has won 24 District Championships, 3 Provincial Championships in 1992, 2002 and 2013 and a National Championship in 2003. Through administration, officiating, and coaching, Jean also has had a tremendous impact upon the growth and development of the sport of lawn bowling in the community. Jean served as President of the Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club from 1997 to 2008 and between 2005 and 2013, she coached Vivian Berkeley - a visually impaired lawn bowler - to win several national and international tournaments.  

Sport Category Year of Induction
Lawn
Bowling
Athlete
and
Builder 
2015

Learn more about Jean in our video interview.

Joanne McLeod

Joanne McLeod is the founder and former director of the York Region Skating Academy in Richmond Hill. Her many accomplishments as a figure skating coach include coaching at three Olympic Games (2002, 2006, and 2014), 17 World Championships, 10 Junior World Championships, four European Championships, and 17 Four Continents Championships. She has coached at numerous junior and senior national and international championships, where her skaters earned many medals. She was Central Ontario competitive coach of the year in 1999 and was named Skate Canada National Coach of the year in 2004. Joanne is a certified level-5 coach and currently coaches in Burnaby, BC. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Coach 2016

Learn more about Joanne in our video interview.

Doug Moore 
Portrait of Doug Moore.
Doug Moore, born in Richmond Hill, Ontario, was a founder and great supporter of the Richmond Hill Arena Association. He was a pioneer in the development of ice paint and water treatment systems for ice surfaces worldwide.

In his early years, he passed up a promising opportunity as a professional goaltender to pursue an engineering degree. While also carrying out his responsibilities as the Chief Engineer of Maple Leaf Gardens, Doug spent many hours at the local arena assisting operators in perfecting their ice surface. He was heavily involved in working behind the scenes, where hard work is often unrecognized and overlooked.

Doug was instrumental in forming the first association of the National Hockey League Facilities, opening the lines of communication between the League and the Building Operations Departments. He was appointed the National Hockey League's first Ice Consultant, a post he held until his death in 1996. The Ontario Recreation Facility Association recruited Doug to develop and teach the Advanced Ice Making Technology Program at the University of Guelph. He also wrote a chapter in the Icemakers Handbook, which is now in its sixth printing.

Doug's success was due to his simple love of the sport and kindly spirit of sharing his knowledge with others. He encouraged other rink managers through his many seminars and teaching clinics. He willingly and diligently shared his practical knowledge through hands on training and elevated the position of icemaker to the respectable level of professionalism it enjoys today.

Doug Moore's revolutionary ice making theories, technologies and practices remain standards of the ice making industry today.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Sports
Builder
2005
Ted Moritsugu 

Portrait of Ted Moritsugu.

Ted was instrumental in the introduction and growth of ringette in Richmond Hill and the development of the Richmond Hill Ringette Association. Throughout the 1980's Ted helped develop the sport through coaching, refereeing, as well as serving as President and Referee-in-Chief. Ted was inducted into the Ontario Ringette Association Hall of Fame as a Community Builder in 1987 and was inducted into the Richmond Hill Ringette Association Hall of Fame for his dedication and contribution to the development and growth of ringette in Richmond Hill in 2011. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Ringette Builder  2015 

Learn more about Ted in our video interview.

Marian Munroe (Snider) 
Portrait of Marian Munroe.
Marian Munroe (Snider) is an accomplished track and field athlete with many achievements to her credit. During her athletic career, Marian brought fame to Richmond Hill High School and the community, setting records and reaching goals. Marian set an example for other girls to follow through the excellence she achieved in both sport and academics. Marian was the girl's champion in the district for the 80-yard dash and broad jump, winner of the Myrtle Cook Trophy and named the Most Outstanding Canadian Woman's Junior Athlete. Upon graduation, a section of her school yearbook was dedicated to her and her many achievements.

Some of Marian's major sports accomplishments are as follows:

1957

  • Ontario Midget Girls Champ
  • Canadian Junior Track & Field Championships - two 1st  place finishes 
  • Canadian Midget Championship - new record 10.5 seconds, 60m hurdles
  • Canadian Individual Championship Trophy

1958

  • Richmond Hill High School Junior Girls Champ
  • Ontario Senior Girls Championship - new Ontario record, 80m hurdles
  • Ontario representative British Empire Game trials - two 2nd place and one 3rd place finish

1959

  • Member Canadian Pan American Games team
  • Canadian & Quebec Provincial and Dominion meet - set new Canadian juvenile record, 80m hurdles

1960

  • Tokyo Olympics bid - did not place due to an injury caused by a hurdle in an early heat

Marian was the first Richmond Hill resident to win a medal at the Pan American Games and to make an Olympic team. Marian now makes her home in Sacramento, California.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Track
and
Field
Athlete 2000
Frank Nigro 

Portrait of Frank Nigro.

His first pair of skates were a gift from a neighbour when he was two years old. At the age of five, he was playing organized hockey. He was a scoring wonder in his early house league years, scoring as many as 150 goals in one season.

Frank moved to Richmond Hill in 1968, when he was eight years old. He progressed through the minor hockey ranks and started to make a name for himself in Peewee and became the team's leading scorer in 1971. In the 1972 -1973 season he played for the Richmond Hill Bantam team that won the All Ontario Championship. At the age of fourteen, Frank was playing Provincial Junior "A", he was drafted by the London Knights of the OHL, when he was sixteen and scored 38 goals and 60 assists in his first year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted him when he was eighteen and Frank attended his first pro training camp in 1979. He was with the Leafs until 1983, but had suffered a vertebrae injury during his career and lost some of the agility and strength that had made him a top prospect. He had scored eight goals and eighteen assists in his abbreviated three years in the NHL.

In 1983 Frank headed for Italy and played until 1993 for Val Gardenia and Milan, winning three National Championships. He ended his hockey-playing career with the Italian National Team playing in the Olympics at Albertville, France. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Athlete 2003
Stan Pagonis

Stan Pagonis moved to Richmond Hill in 1985 and spent 29 seasons with the Richmond Hill Phoenix Baseball Club. Stan has held multiple positions in local baseball - including coach, umpire, President of Richmond Hill Phoenix Baseball Club, Baseball Ontario Board of Directors member, and Vice President at the York Simcoe Baseball Association. Stan has been an integral part of the growth of baseball in Richmond Hill and has contributed to the development of the sport, the coaches and athletes in Richmond Hill for 29 seasons. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Baseball Sports
Builder
2016

Learn more about Stan in our video interview.

Mary Anne Palmer

Mary Anne PalmerAt the age of 10, Mary Anne Palmer began her softball career playing in the Richmond Hill Minor Ball Association (RHMBA) then at the age of 16 becoming more involved by umpiring with the RHMBA. With her education in Recreation Facilities Management from Seneca College, Palmer earned a position with the Richmond Hill Arena Association as an Assistant Manager Trainee. During her time in Richmond Hill, she created the Richmond Hill Women's Slo-Pitch League and she has held the positions of League President, Equipment Manager, Team Representative and Tournament Coordinator. With the success of the Richmond Hill Women's Slo-Pitch League, she brought her experience and aided in the creation of the Ladies' Master League for women over 40. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Softball Sports
Builder
2017

Learn more about Mary Anne in her video interview.

John (Jack) and John S. Passmore 

Portrait of John and John Passmore.

Both Jack and John Passmore have been actively involved in track and field athletics and both gentlemen are inductees in the McMaster Hall of Fame. Jack and John Passmore have made significant contributions to the development of track and field related events, both at a local and national level. In his years as a student at McMaster University, Jack Passmore competed at the varsity level. He won his letter in football, hockey and track. Jack was considered one of Canada's best hurdlers and won the 1933 Chancellor's Medal for his all-round performance at track and field. After graduation, he continued his interest in Mac Athletics as a builder, playing an important role in the appointments of Ivor Wynne and Les Prince.

Jack continued to make an impact during World War II. In May of 1940, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was established in Canada. The plan was to train young men from Canada and various other countries as pilots, bomb aimers, wireless operators, air gunners, navigators and flight engineers. The main training base was located in Brandon, Manitoba with one hundred others across the country. Problems arose at the air bases when the men being trained had too much "restless" time after classes. Jack Passmore was assigned to provide recreational facilities and programs for all of the bases. He was asked to provide opportunities to the "overactive" trainees to help strengthen their bodies, build moral and prevent them from getting into trouble. Jack took charge of this enormous project involving 130,000 aircrew. He established sports programs, procured equipment and found adequate playing facilities. Moral was re-established and energies were redirected. Jack became a high ranking officer in the R.C.A.F. in the administration of these recreational programs and received many commendations for his efforts.

John's athletic career includes significant achievements at the high school and university level. He originally played football and basketball, but then moved on to track. He won the Richmond Hill High School All-Round Champion for several years. In 1951, he won the 120 and 220-yard hurdles Provincial Championship. In 1952, he was the Canadian High School Champion for the 220-yard high hurdles. In 1953, he was second in Olympic Trials for the 440 yard high hurdles. In 1954, John was offered a full scholarship to attend Michigan State University, but chose to go to McMaster University instead. In 1954, he was captain of the McMaster track team. In 1956, he won three events at the Ontario University Track Meet. In 1959, he was awarded the Hec Philips Memorial Trophy for top Ontario Track Athlete. John proceeded to anchor the 4 X 400 relay team, which in 1960, set a new Canadian native record. That year, he also captained Mac's championship track team and became known as one of Canada's premier hurdlers.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Track and Field,
Football,
Basketball
and Hockey
Athlete,
Sports Builder
and Trainer
2003
Richard Peirce 
Portrait of Richard Pierce.
Richard Peirce has a diverse background which includes music, acting and skiing. After spending the first 15 years of his life acting in film and television, Richard moved on to a career in skiing, competing as a member of Canada's National Freestyle Ski Team.

In 1985, Richard became the Junior World Champion in both Aerials and Acro. His trophy case holds a total of 19 World Cup medals, including gold in Acro from Lake Placid in 1988.

A seven time Canadian champion, Richard competed in Acro in two winter Olympic Games, finishing fourth in Calgary in 1988 and again in Albertville in 1992.

After retiring from competition, Richard coached the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, while also producing live events for skiing-related clients. He moved on to directing film and video in 1994.

In 2001, after spending time as a freelance writer/producer/director and three years at ICE, one of Canada's foremost communications companies, Richard and business partner, Neil Craig, founded their own production company, Chopper Pictures Inc.

Richard's experience as a member of Canada's Olympic Freestyle Ski Team has served him well in his broadcast work, helping him to create shows such as, Kokanee Kross Snowboarding (TSN), Skiers World (US), Accord Triathlon (TSN), Acura World of Golf (TSN) and Travel Magazine (worldwide syndication).

Richard's current sport of choice is sailing, which he enjoys with his wife Bonnie and their dog, Sydney.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Freestyle
Skating
Athlete
and Coach
2007
Peter Pendli

Peter Pendli officiated his first soccer match at the age of 13 at Richmond Green Sports Complex and from that point forward, Peter has made a career as a soccer referee. Pendli has refereed the 2008 Ontario Cup Final, Ontario University Athletics Final and Canadian National Championships. In 2013, Pendli was named to the National List of Officials where he officiated North American Soccer League matches. He has acted as a role model to Richmond Hill officials and continues to give back to this day. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Soccer Sports 
Builder
2017

Learn more about Peter in his video interview.

Phyllis Rawlinson

Residing in Richmond Hill, Phyllis Rawlinson (1912-1995) was one of the first five women to become involved in the sport of polo in Canada and became a champion five goal player. Phyllis was the captain of the team that won the Eglinton Hunt Club polo shield, the Polo Bending Race at the Eglinton Hunt Horse Show and scored four of the six goals for the winning team at the Richmond Hill Fair in May 1930. She also participated in steeplechases, fox hunts and show jumping and was an integral support for many Canadian horsing events, including setting up Olympic jumps for the Canadian Equestrian Team. In keeping with her love of farm life and interest in the conservation of rural landscape, her 82.5 acre farm called "Tentone" and its historic buildings became a gift of parkland to the City of Richmond Hill in 1995. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Polo Athlete 2016

Learn more about Phyllis in our video interview.

David Ross

David Ross is a five time Olympic coach (2000-2016) and was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2016 as coach of Canada's trampoline team and Gold Medal winner, Rosie MacLennan. To date, David has coached six Olympic medallists (including a Gold medal in 2012 coaching MacLennan) and has been the coach of the Canadian Trampoline Teams at every World Championship since 1976. David is the founder, president and coach of Skyriders Trampoline Place in Richmond Hill. He is the creator of numerous trampolines, corner springs, and bungee belt systems, and is a pioneer of trampoline sports in Canada. David was named Canadian Coach of the year in 2012.  

Sport Category Year of Induction
Trampoline Coach 2016

Learn more about David in our video interview.

Ed Sackfield 
Portrait of Ed Sackfield.
Ed Sackfield moved to Richmond Hill in 1951 and became an immediate asset to his new community, joining local community groups and getting involved in Curling and Minor Hockey.

Soon after his arrival in Richmond Hill, Ed became a member of the Lions Club and eventually its Treasurer. During the period from 1951 to 1959 he participated in the formation of the Richmond Hill Arena Association and was a co-founder of the Richmond Hill Curling Club by selling debentures for new facilities, including artificial ice for hockey and figure skating in the old curling club building.

Between 1954 and 1990, Ed either coached or managed at nearly every level within the Richmond Hill Minor Hockey Association (RHMHA). He also served as a Director for the RHMHA and was a co-founder and convener of the Richmond Hill House League Tournament and later the Richmond Hill International Pee-Wee Tournament, which donated many thousands of dollars to local causes, including this Sports Hall of Fame.

Ed Sackfield was a founding member of the Richmond Hill Rams Junior 'A' Hockey Club and also served for many years as Richmond Hill's representative with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA). In 1989, he was awarded the OMHA's highest award, the prestigious OMHA Honour Award.

For more than a decade, Ed served as the Ontario Representative for the Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament. During this time, teams that he managed had a winning record on five occasions, including 1968, the first and only time a "B" team won the Grand Championship.

In 1969, Ed served as a Board Member of the Richmond Hill Arena Association and from 1971 until his retirement in 1990 was the Administrator of the City's arenas.

Ed Sackfield's dedication and commitment to community involvement had a great impact on the development of sports and particularly Minor Hockey in Richmond Hill. In 1991, the Ed Sackfield Arena was named in his honour.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey 
and Curling
Coach and 
Sports Builder
2009
Emanuel Sandhu

Trained and raised in Richmond Hill, Emanuel Sandhu is a two-time Olympian (2002, 2006), a three-time Canadian Champion (2001, 2003, 2004), the 2004 ISU Grand Prix Final Champion and the 2004 and 2005 Skate Canada Champion. Known for his power, grace and innovation, Emanuel was the first figure skater to complete a triple/triple/triple jump combination in competition and is the inventor of the "Sandhu Spin" (aka A frame). Emanuel currently gives back to the sport of figure skating through coaching and mentoring young skaters. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Athlete 2016

Learn more about Emanuel in our video interview.

Ed Santi

Sport: Hockey

Category: Builder

Year of Induction: 2019

Ed Santi

It’s hard to imagine where Richmond Hill minor hockey would be today without Ed Santi. Immigrating to Canada in 1958, Santi’s family found their way to Richmond Hill and Santi found his way to hockey.  

He was a member of the Richmond Hill Hockey Association (RHHA) from 1984-2005. He convened house league hockey and was a VP of Richmond Hill rep teams for almost 20-years. In 1990 he was instrumental in changing the Richmond Hill hockey mascot/competitive team name to Jaguars. He was President of the RHHA from 2003-05 and President of the Coyotes AAA Hockey Group from 2007-2017.

Santi was known as an outstanding individual who was a positive influence on countless people from young to old. His peers say not only was he a builder of hockey in Richmond Hill, but a builder of character.

In addition to his involvement in youth hockey, he helped establish a golf tournament for York Central Foundation, raising close to $800,000. He was a York Central Crime Stoppers Director and served for a time on the Richmond Hill Public Library Board. 

Learn more about Ed Santi in the video interview with Ed's son Paul Santi.

Fred Simpson 

Portrait of Fred Simpson.

Fred joined the Richmond Hill Liberal in 1965 after having written for the Woodstock Sentinel-ReviewLondon Free PressSudbury Star and Kingston Whig-Standard. For the majority of those years at the Liberal, Fred was the sports editor, and the only employee in that section. Not only did Fred do the writing he was also responsible for the layout of the pages. Fred wrote a weekly column on local sports for more then 30 years.

During those years, he covered or wrote about minor and adult sports in the Richmond Hill area. In particular, Fred was on hand for the debut of the Richmond Hill Legion Midget Tournament and subsequent years it was in existence. Fred wrote extensively about the Dynes Jewelers fastball team, which won a number of Ontario and Canadian titles culminating in winning the World Championship in 1972.  As well, he wrote about the Richmond Hill Rams/Dynes Jewelers junior hockey teams.

Awards and Achievements: 

  • Best Sports Page, C.C.N.A. Canadian Better Newspapers' competitions, 1976
  • Ministry of Culture and Recreation Sports, Honorary Mention for the article Bowling Alley Sports a new Look, 1981
  • Inducted into the Vaughan Sports Hall of Fame for "Outstanding Corporate Support", 1983
  • Royal Canadian Legion Media Award for performing valuable service to the Royal Canadian Legion branches, zones, districts or commands in support of their work within the community
Sport Category Year of Induction
Not Applicable Sports
Writer
2000
Elvis Stojko 
Portrait of Elvis Stojko.
Elvis Stojko, who has been skating since he was five, burst on to the international figure skating scene at the 1991 World Championships in Munich.  While still a teenager, Elvis performed the first-ever quadruple toe loop, double loop combination in competition. In 1997, Elvis again made history by becoming the first and only man to perform a quadruple toe loop combination jump in a competition. Amongst his many skating achievements, Elvis is a three time World Champion, two time Olympic silver medallist and five time Canadian Champion.

Elvis has performed in many ice shows and hosted a few of his own, including the Elvis Tour of Champions, Campbell Soup's 1995 World Figure Skating Champions - Tom Collins TourStars on Ice '93 and the Elvis and Friends Tour, a "pre-season" tour. As well, he has performed on and starred in a variety of television shows, like Hot Summer Ice/Too Hot to Skate (CBS), Blame it on the Blues - Brian Orser's latest TV special, Fox's Rock and Roll Skating Championship and Elvis Airborne. In addition to a very busy training schedule, Elvis also makes time to participate in charity events and in the summer of 1994, Elvis was chosen as the first "Kids Ambassador" for Ronald McDonald Children's Charities. Elvis has also supported the United Way, Variety Village and the Hospital for Sick Children in their fundraising efforts.

Among his many achievements, Elvis received the 1996 Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal and was named the 1995 Canadian Athlete of the Year. As well, his television special Elvis Airborne garnered a Gemini Award. Most recently, in August 1998, Elvis was named the sole recipient of the Governor General's Meritorious Service Cross for outstanding service to Canada.

Elvis' interests lie not only in the sport of skating, but martial arts as well, where he earned a black belt at the age of 16. Elvis is also a big dirt bike enthusiast; just ask his neighbours and friends. No matter where is around the world or whatever he is doing, which includes his older brother Attila, sister Elizabeth, mother Irene and father Steve are never far from his heart.

One of the biggest profile athletes in Canadian history and a long-time resident of Richmond Hill, Elvis Stojko has always been, and will continue to be, in the hearts and minds of the people of Richmond Hill, Canada and beyond.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Athlete 1999
Louis Stong 
Portrait of Louis Stong.
Louis Stong was born on April 19, 1941, in the farmhouse of his maternal grandparents, located on Oxford Street (Bathurst Street and Elgin Mills Road) in Richmond Hill.

He spent his young years attending Paterson Public School, which was then located on Bathurst Street, near what was then known as Maple Side Road. When he was 12 years old his mother took him to see a performance of the Ice Follies at Maple Leaf Gardens and he become hooked on the beauty and speed of figure skating. There were no figure skating clubs in Richmond Hill, so Louis' mother took him to meet Margaret Hyland, a coach who worked at the Unionville Skating Club. Ms. Hyland saw great potential and eagerness in this young man as he quickly advanced through the Canadian Figure Skating Association's (now Skate Canada) test program and encouraged him to compete. In 1960, at the age of 18, he competed at the World Championships in Vancouver. He was ranked as the #3 male skater in Canada and finished 11th overall against skaters from all over the world.

At the age of 19 he began coaching at the Unionville and Oakville Skating Clubs. From there he moved on to become the Head Coach and Director of Skating at the Granite Club in Toronto. In 1963 he married his childhood sweetheart, Marijane Lennie from Weston, Ontario, and they became a very successful coaching team. Louis coached skaters at four winter Olympic Games and managed and coached the careers of World Champion Pairs Skaters, Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini in 1984, as well as Men's World Figure Skating Champion, Kurt Browning in 1993. Marijane Stong also coached many Olympic medallists, including Canadian Ladies Champion, Ms. Jose Chouinard.

Louis is currently employed by Skate Canada as the Director of Skating Development.

In 2003, as part of their 40th wedding anniversary, Louis and Marijane travelled to Europe to research their ancestry. The Stong paternal ancestry immigrated from Germany. Louis' ancestor, Hans Jacob Stang, left there for Pennsylvania in 1703 and eventually the family arrived in York as United Empire Loyalists. They also found that branches of the family still live in the area. In North America, the spelling of the family name was changed to Stong. The rest is history.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Athlete
and Coach
2006
Marijane Stong

Marijane Stong is a six-time Olympic figure skating coach (1976-1998) and coached at the World Championships from 1969-1995.  Marijane has coached numerous national and international junior and senior champions and medallists, including winning an Olympic bronze medal in Ice Dancing in 1988 coaching Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall.  Among her many accomplishments, Marijane was named Female Coach of the year in 1992, has been a Skate Canada National Coach Consultant since 1999, and was inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2008.  Marijane has 56 years coaching experience, including coaching at the National Ice Dance Centre at Elgin Barrow Arena in Richmond Hill from 1981-1988. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Coach 2016

Learn more about Marijane in her video interview.

Jane Toporowski 

Portrait of Jane Toporowski.

Born in Montreal, Quebec in 1960, Jane Toporowski enjoyed success in track & field both in Canada and the United States.

As a youth, Jane won several medals at provincial Canadian Legion track & field events, including gold in Bantam Javelin (1974), silver in Bantam Discus and Shot Put (1974) and gold in Midget Discus (1975 and 1976).

Jane was a model of consistency throughout her career, remaining a highly ranked athlete with the Ontario Track & Field Association (OTFA) in Discus, Shot Put and Javelin from 1975 to 1982. Her OTFA highlights include a gold medal in Discus in 1976.

At the National level, Jane competed in the Canada Games winning a bronze in Discus in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1977 and silver in Discus in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1981.

After graduating from Richmond Hill High School, Jane's love for both art and sport would see her accept a fine arts and track & field scholarship to Drake University in the United States in 1979. In only one year at Drake, Jane put up some impressive numbers and remains (as of 2007) among the University's All-Time Best Performers in Indoor Pentathlon (first - 3,500 points), Discus (third - 153ft, 6in) and Shot Put (third - 41ft 10 1/2in).

Jane received a Bachelor of Technology from Ryerson University in 1984 and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto in 1999. She has enjoyed a long career as a print/media broker and also volunteers at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Married to William Goldie since 1989, the two enjoy golf, kayaking and camping.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Track
and 
Field
Athlete 2007

Tracey Wainman

Tracey Wainman is a two-time Senior National Figure Skating Champion, three-time World Figure Skating Competitor, has won eight Senior International Medals, won the title of Youngest Female Canadian Championship and was awarded 1981 Canadian Athlete of the Year. Retiring from competitive figure skating in 1999, Wainman focused her talents as a full-time figure skating coach. Over the years, she has coached skaters at three Junior World Championships, two Junior Grand Prix Finals, ISU Four Continents, two Canadian National Team Members and has coached skaters who have won international and national titles. She is currently the Director of the York Region Skating Academy and coaches athletes to this day. 

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure Skating Athlete, 
Trainer 
and Coach
2017

Learn more about Tracey in her video interview.

Bob Wall 
Portrait of Bob Wall.
In 1956, with only a few games left in the season, Bob Wall played his very first organized hockey game for the Lake Wilcox team. Scoring the only three goals in the game, and the last one with only a second left to play, Bob played like a star! After that very first organized game against Newmarket at age 14, Bob proved that he had the skill and ability to play professional hockey.

Some of the major highlights of Bob's hockey career are as follows:

  • played bantam hockey in Aurora and helped win an O.M.H.A. Ontario Championship, 1957
  • drafted by the Hamilton Tiger Cubs major junior club and named "Rookie of the Year", 1959 - 60
  • named Best Defensemen by the Hamilton Red Wings (previously the Tiger Cubs) for three consecutive seasons, 1960 - 62
  • won the Memorial Cup with the Hamilton Red Wings, 1961 - 62
  • turned professional with the Detroit Red Wings and was loaned to the Montreal Canadians for one year, 1963
  • played in the Stanley Cup Finals for Detroit with Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio, 1965 - 66
  • claimed from Detroit by the Los Angeles Kings with the 2nd pick in the NHL expansion draft, 1967
  • became the first Captain of the Los Angeles Kings, 1967
  • played on several NHL teams including, the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians and the Los Angeles Kings, 1968 - 77
In 1977, after retiring from a successful career in professional hockey, Bob returned to his roots in the Richmond Hill area, later settling in Aurora and finally in Holland Landing. To this day, Bob still finds it hard to believe that he played in the NHL when there were only six teams!
Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Athlete 2001
Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall 

Portrait of Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall.

Tracy Wilson and Rob McCall started skating together in 1981. While Tracy was from Port Moody, British Columbia, and Rob from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, their on-ice partnership began in Richmond Hill at the Elgin Barrow Arena. They trained year round in Richmond Hill in preparation to represent Canada in seven World Championships and two Olympic Games.

Their career highlights in the sport of ice dance include:

  • Seven time Canadian Champions, 1982-88
  • Three time World Bronze medallists, 1986-88
  • Olympic Bronze medallists, 1988
  • World Professional Champions, 1989
  • Awarded the Order of Canada, 1989 

After winning the Olympic Bronze Medal in Calgary, they toured extensively as professionals. Rob was also much sought after in the sport as choreographer, working with Brian Orser and Kurt Browning. The world of figure skating was deeply saddened when Rob passed away in 1991 from AIDS-related illnesses. He is remembered by friends and skating fans, not only for being an immense talent, but for his fun loving sense of humour and warm personality.

After the Dream Skate Tour in 1991 the Rob McCall Foundation for AIDS Research was founded. Rob's death strengthened Tracy's commitment to AIDS awareness and she has worked hard to share information about the disease.

Tracy went on to a career in sports broadcasting, appearing on both Canadian and American programs.

Sport Category Year of Induction
Figure
Skating
Athletes 1999
Bill Woloski

Bill Woloski co-founded Richmond's Hills very first Power Skating School in 1967 to better serve the Richmond Hill community. He ran this school from 1967-1997 acting as a place where up and coming athletes could train for competition. Being heavily involved in giving back to his community, Woloski advocated for the youth sport community as a dedicated volunteer. Woloski also acted as the General Manager for the Dynes Jeweler's Junior Hockey Club beginning in the mid 70's until the mid- 80s. Woloski has played a critical role in providing the example on how to give back to the Richmond Hill community.  

Sport Category Year of Induction
Hockey Sports 
Builder
2017

Learn more about Bill in our video interview.

Allen Workman 
Portrait of Allen Workman.
Allen Workman first became interested in speed skating in 1948 at the age of 14, and after receiving a pair of skates from his uncle, he quickly became "the young man to watch." Winning several competitions throughout the 50's, including two world records in 1952, Allen went on to use his great talent in speed skating to train and coach many up and coming athletes. Allen often housed Olympic hopefuls for months at a time while training them to become strong athletes.

Allen dedicated his time to helping athletes develop their skill, as well as the sport of speed skating at international, national, provincial and local levels. Upon moving to Richmond Hill in 1982, Allen was instrumental in developing the first speed skating facility, which by 1967 attracted more than 100 members. Utilizing his knowledge of the sport, Allen then went on to assist the Canadian amateur Speed Skating Association with the writing and production of a Speed Skating Technique booklet. Not only did Allen volunteer his time as a member of numerous associations, he also provided direction as coach of the Canadian Speed Skating Team at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan and as Director of the Olympic Development Committee for the Eastern Zone in 1973.

Tireless in his efforts to promote and participate in the sport he loved, Allen was coordinator for the Ontario Winter Games for Thunder Bay in 1974 and in 1975, he was appointed to the International Skating Union as the first official North American ISU Starter.

Allen's life long passion for competing, training, coaching and promoting speed skating show a devotion that is unsurpassed! From the time he first became involved in skating, Allen dedicated himself and his time to helping athletes from Richmond Hill, Ontario and all of Canada.

Today, Allen and his family still live in Richmond Hill and after almost 40 years in this community, they still think it's a great place to call home!

Sport Category Year of Induction
Speed
Skating
Athlete
and Coach
2001
Richmond Hill Arena Association 

The Richmond Hill Arena Association logo.

The Richmond Hill Arena Association was incorporated in 1954 as a non-profit organization. Founded by a group of Richmond Hill citizens, its initial purpose was to provide artificial ice in a natural ice arena, which had been built in 1923. In the years following, the Arena Association advocated for additional arena facilities to accommodate the growing community. The Association's mandate was to manage and operate City-owned arena facilities on behalf of the municipality and to provide ice time equitably to local organized groups at competitive rates.

For 56 years, the Arena Association members generously volunteered their time and through their work, made a significant contribution to the community.

 

President/Chair Manager/Administrator Directors & Appointees
1954-1957 William Hall 1954-1957 Mac McDerment Alan Bales Al Cromb Floyd Perkins
1958 - Elgin Barrow 1957-1961 Bill Walder Graeme Bales Pat Deciantis Don Plaxton 
1959-1960 Dalton Hicks 1961-1963 Ben Knight William Barker Al Duffy Ed Sackfield 
1961 - Brydon Ellis 1963-1966 Bill Mabett Dave Barrow William Ellis Tom Simpson 
1962-1963 Harold (Bud) Jones 1966-1973 Dick Verbeek Diane Barrow Lynn Foster Cam Smith 
1964-1965 George Chassie 1971-1990 Ed Sackfield George Battaglini Frank Gallant Walter Smith 
1966-1967 Elgin Barrow 1989-1989 Jules Spillebeen Shawn Beggs Eric George Marg Southwell 
1968-1969 Jack Hollowell 1990-2010 Mary Anne Palmer John Birchall George Gilchrist Vito Spatafora 
1970-1973 Bill McVean   Jack Blythe William Gilchrist Norm Taylor 
1974-1985 Elgin Barrow   Tom Broadhurst Bill Lazenby  Stan Tinker 
1986-2007 Tom Graham   Jim Cade Cecil Mabley Kenneth Tomlin 
2008-2010 Rick Sackfield   Bob Cage Janet Mabley Lou Wainwright 
    Anna Caporiccio Dave MacDonald Alan White 
    Eric Charity Dr. Hugh Mackay Bryon Wilfert 
    Alex Clarke Steve Mills Elizabeth Wilfert 
    Ross Clarke Iris Murphy James Wilson 
    Mac Clement Rick Murphy Jim Wilson 
    David Cohen Tom Murphy Peter Youtoff 
    William Corcoran Nick Papa  
 
Sport Category Year of Induction
Not Applicable Sports Builder 2010