Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame celebrates 24th annual induction dinner

Sports Nov 13, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Two Stanley Cup wins, a World Junior Championship gold medal, a Memorial Cup, and last, but not least, induction into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame (ESHOF).

At just 31, Dave Bolland has already achieved levels of sporting greatness only dreamed of by most — feats for which the speedy forward said his hometown hockey upbringing in Mimico deserves much of the credit.

“I feel fortunate that I grew up in Mimico, as there was — and still is — a great community atmosphere in the area,” Bolland told a ballroom full of Etobicoke sports supporters last week at The Old Mill.

“I played minor hockey and lacrosse at Mimico Arena. Everything I needed to start the process of where I am today was within walking distance of my house.”

From his early days with the Queensway Canadiens and Mimico Mountaineers, Bolland went on to be celebrated with not one, but two parades through the streets of his childhood following his Stanley Cup wins with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and 2013 — the latter after scoring the Cup-winning goal.

The Father John Redmond grad was just one of four inductees honoured last Thursday night during ESHOF’s 24th annual induction dinner, whose other honourees included Toronto Sun sports columnist Steve Buffery, record-breaking Woodbine Racetrack jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva, and Etobicoke-Lakeshore Coun. Mark Grimes, known to many as city hall’s “unofficial sports councillor.”

An Etobicoke native, Buffery studied journalism at Humber College before going on to a career at the Toronto Sun that has won him three Dunlop Awards, a National Newspaper Award nomination and the 1996 Sports Writer of the Year Award from the Sports Federation of Canada.

It was during his pre-Sun career as a sports reporter for the Etobicoke Guardian, however, that he said he learned the “power of journalism.”

It was the late ’70s, and the Etobicoke Board of Education had to close one of two high schools — Buffery’s rough-and-tumble alma mater, Vincent Massey Collegiate, or its well-to-do neighbour, Silverthorn Collegiate.

“They closed Massey, but the good thing was, when I got the job at the Etobicoke Guardian, it was the last year of Vincent Massey’s existence, so I put their sports teams — the football, the hockey, everything — on the front page every week,” he laughed.

“And that’s even though I don’t think Massey won a single game that year, because they only had, like, 300 students left. It was a lesson I learned in the power of journalism.”

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, da Silva said his first visit to Etobicoke’s Woodbine Racetrack — where he now holds the records for purse earnings, money finishes and starts — in 2003 was love at first sight.

It was at Woodbine that da Silva won back-to-back Queen’s Plates in 2009 and 2010 and had an audience with Queen Elizabeth II; there that he won both the Breeder’s and Prince of Wales Stakes in 2013, and logged a victory in the 2016 Woodbine Oaks; and it was also at the Hwy. 27 and Rexdale Boulevard track that just last year, da Silva logged 202 wins from 795 starts and won more than $10 million in purse winnings.

“I want to thank Woodbine Entertainment; they are so wonderful people and I feel like they are part of my family,” da Silva said.

“It is wonderful to be in Etobicoke. For me, this is a different world. I came from a very, very poor place, Brazil ... I want to congratulate you guys because you are building this beautiful community.”

Last, but not least, Grimes was recognized for advocating a wide range of sport-boosting projects during his 14-year tenure as the representative for Ward 6 on Toronto City Council.

Grimes is credited with bringing the four-pad MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence to Etobicoke-Lakeshore, as well as championing the construction of BMO Field and the BioSteel Centre on the Exhibition Grounds.

He was the city’s lead on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, and helped bring three Grey Cup finals (2007, 2012 and 2016) and the 2016 NBA All-Star Game to Toronto.

Despite all those high-profile accomplishments, however, the New Toronto native said the projects that rank among his most satisfying are the ones he brought to fruition in his own backyard — the Sam Smith Skating Trail, the Eighth Street Skate Park, Ken Cox Community Centre, and the artificial turf and dome at Lakeshore Collegiate.

“It was my dad that taught me the importance of giving back. He was always the first to step up whenever anything was needed in the neighbourhood and I learned from him,” Grimes said during his induction speech, lamenting that his successes have come at the cost of family time with beloved wife Anne and their five children.

“They support me in everything I do, so I’m going to continue the work I love to do.”

Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame celebrates 24th annual induction dinner

Stanley Cup champion Dave Bolland among honourees

Sports Nov 13, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Two Stanley Cup wins, a World Junior Championship gold medal, a Memorial Cup, and last, but not least, induction into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame (ESHOF).

At just 31, Dave Bolland has already achieved levels of sporting greatness only dreamed of by most — feats for which the speedy forward said his hometown hockey upbringing in Mimico deserves much of the credit.

“I feel fortunate that I grew up in Mimico, as there was — and still is — a great community atmosphere in the area,” Bolland told a ballroom full of Etobicoke sports supporters last week at The Old Mill.

“I played minor hockey and lacrosse at Mimico Arena. Everything I needed to start the process of where I am today was within walking distance of my house.”

From his early days with the Queensway Canadiens and Mimico Mountaineers, Bolland went on to be celebrated with not one, but two parades through the streets of his childhood following his Stanley Cup wins with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and 2013 — the latter after scoring the Cup-winning goal.

The Father John Redmond grad was just one of four inductees honoured last Thursday night during ESHOF’s 24th annual induction dinner, whose other honourees included Toronto Sun sports columnist Steve Buffery, record-breaking Woodbine Racetrack jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva, and Etobicoke-Lakeshore Coun. Mark Grimes, known to many as city hall’s “unofficial sports councillor.”

An Etobicoke native, Buffery studied journalism at Humber College before going on to a career at the Toronto Sun that has won him three Dunlop Awards, a National Newspaper Award nomination and the 1996 Sports Writer of the Year Award from the Sports Federation of Canada.

It was during his pre-Sun career as a sports reporter for the Etobicoke Guardian, however, that he said he learned the “power of journalism.”

It was the late ’70s, and the Etobicoke Board of Education had to close one of two high schools — Buffery’s rough-and-tumble alma mater, Vincent Massey Collegiate, or its well-to-do neighbour, Silverthorn Collegiate.

“They closed Massey, but the good thing was, when I got the job at the Etobicoke Guardian, it was the last year of Vincent Massey’s existence, so I put their sports teams — the football, the hockey, everything — on the front page every week,” he laughed.

“And that’s even though I don’t think Massey won a single game that year, because they only had, like, 300 students left. It was a lesson I learned in the power of journalism.”

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, da Silva said his first visit to Etobicoke’s Woodbine Racetrack — where he now holds the records for purse earnings, money finishes and starts — in 2003 was love at first sight.

It was at Woodbine that da Silva won back-to-back Queen’s Plates in 2009 and 2010 and had an audience with Queen Elizabeth II; there that he won both the Breeder’s and Prince of Wales Stakes in 2013, and logged a victory in the 2016 Woodbine Oaks; and it was also at the Hwy. 27 and Rexdale Boulevard track that just last year, da Silva logged 202 wins from 795 starts and won more than $10 million in purse winnings.

“I want to thank Woodbine Entertainment; they are so wonderful people and I feel like they are part of my family,” da Silva said.

“It is wonderful to be in Etobicoke. For me, this is a different world. I came from a very, very poor place, Brazil ... I want to congratulate you guys because you are building this beautiful community.”

Last, but not least, Grimes was recognized for advocating a wide range of sport-boosting projects during his 14-year tenure as the representative for Ward 6 on Toronto City Council.

Grimes is credited with bringing the four-pad MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence to Etobicoke-Lakeshore, as well as championing the construction of BMO Field and the BioSteel Centre on the Exhibition Grounds.

He was the city’s lead on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, and helped bring three Grey Cup finals (2007, 2012 and 2016) and the 2016 NBA All-Star Game to Toronto.

Despite all those high-profile accomplishments, however, the New Toronto native said the projects that rank among his most satisfying are the ones he brought to fruition in his own backyard — the Sam Smith Skating Trail, the Eighth Street Skate Park, Ken Cox Community Centre, and the artificial turf and dome at Lakeshore Collegiate.

“It was my dad that taught me the importance of giving back. He was always the first to step up whenever anything was needed in the neighbourhood and I learned from him,” Grimes said during his induction speech, lamenting that his successes have come at the cost of family time with beloved wife Anne and their five children.

“They support me in everything I do, so I’m going to continue the work I love to do.”

Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame celebrates 24th annual induction dinner

Stanley Cup champion Dave Bolland among honourees

Sports Nov 13, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Two Stanley Cup wins, a World Junior Championship gold medal, a Memorial Cup, and last, but not least, induction into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame (ESHOF).

At just 31, Dave Bolland has already achieved levels of sporting greatness only dreamed of by most — feats for which the speedy forward said his hometown hockey upbringing in Mimico deserves much of the credit.

“I feel fortunate that I grew up in Mimico, as there was — and still is — a great community atmosphere in the area,” Bolland told a ballroom full of Etobicoke sports supporters last week at The Old Mill.

“I played minor hockey and lacrosse at Mimico Arena. Everything I needed to start the process of where I am today was within walking distance of my house.”

From his early days with the Queensway Canadiens and Mimico Mountaineers, Bolland went on to be celebrated with not one, but two parades through the streets of his childhood following his Stanley Cup wins with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and 2013 — the latter after scoring the Cup-winning goal.

The Father John Redmond grad was just one of four inductees honoured last Thursday night during ESHOF’s 24th annual induction dinner, whose other honourees included Toronto Sun sports columnist Steve Buffery, record-breaking Woodbine Racetrack jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva, and Etobicoke-Lakeshore Coun. Mark Grimes, known to many as city hall’s “unofficial sports councillor.”

An Etobicoke native, Buffery studied journalism at Humber College before going on to a career at the Toronto Sun that has won him three Dunlop Awards, a National Newspaper Award nomination and the 1996 Sports Writer of the Year Award from the Sports Federation of Canada.

It was during his pre-Sun career as a sports reporter for the Etobicoke Guardian, however, that he said he learned the “power of journalism.”

It was the late ’70s, and the Etobicoke Board of Education had to close one of two high schools — Buffery’s rough-and-tumble alma mater, Vincent Massey Collegiate, or its well-to-do neighbour, Silverthorn Collegiate.

“They closed Massey, but the good thing was, when I got the job at the Etobicoke Guardian, it was the last year of Vincent Massey’s existence, so I put their sports teams — the football, the hockey, everything — on the front page every week,” he laughed.

“And that’s even though I don’t think Massey won a single game that year, because they only had, like, 300 students left. It was a lesson I learned in the power of journalism.”

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, da Silva said his first visit to Etobicoke’s Woodbine Racetrack — where he now holds the records for purse earnings, money finishes and starts — in 2003 was love at first sight.

It was at Woodbine that da Silva won back-to-back Queen’s Plates in 2009 and 2010 and had an audience with Queen Elizabeth II; there that he won both the Breeder’s and Prince of Wales Stakes in 2013, and logged a victory in the 2016 Woodbine Oaks; and it was also at the Hwy. 27 and Rexdale Boulevard track that just last year, da Silva logged 202 wins from 795 starts and won more than $10 million in purse winnings.

“I want to thank Woodbine Entertainment; they are so wonderful people and I feel like they are part of my family,” da Silva said.

“It is wonderful to be in Etobicoke. For me, this is a different world. I came from a very, very poor place, Brazil ... I want to congratulate you guys because you are building this beautiful community.”

Last, but not least, Grimes was recognized for advocating a wide range of sport-boosting projects during his 14-year tenure as the representative for Ward 6 on Toronto City Council.

Grimes is credited with bringing the four-pad MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence to Etobicoke-Lakeshore, as well as championing the construction of BMO Field and the BioSteel Centre on the Exhibition Grounds.

He was the city’s lead on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, and helped bring three Grey Cup finals (2007, 2012 and 2016) and the 2016 NBA All-Star Game to Toronto.

Despite all those high-profile accomplishments, however, the New Toronto native said the projects that rank among his most satisfying are the ones he brought to fruition in his own backyard — the Sam Smith Skating Trail, the Eighth Street Skate Park, Ken Cox Community Centre, and the artificial turf and dome at Lakeshore Collegiate.

“It was my dad that taught me the importance of giving back. He was always the first to step up whenever anything was needed in the neighbourhood and I learned from him,” Grimes said during his induction speech, lamenting that his successes have come at the cost of family time with beloved wife Anne and their five children.

“They support me in everything I do, so I’m going to continue the work I love to do.”