Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
Get your tickets now for the 2017 Ontario Sports Hall of Fame Induction Gala, before they sell out! Enjoy a great evening out, rubbing elbows with sports celebrities.
Tickets cost $300 plus HST. You can pay using PayPal or your credit card.
Penny Oleksiak had record-setting Olympic debut at Rio 2016 on several fronts. The 16-year-old became the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at a single summer Games. Those four medals also tied her with Victor Davis as Canada’s most decorated Olympic swimmer of all-time. She set an Olympic record in tying for gold in the 100m freestyle, making her Canada’s first Olympic champion in swimming since Barcelona 1992 and the first woman to earn that title since Los Angeles 1984. She was also Canada’s youngest Olympic gold medallist ever. Anchoring the 4x100m freestyle relay to bronze, Oleksiak and teammate Taylor Ruck became the first ever Olympic medallists born in the 21st century. They added another bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay and Oleksiak also won silver in the 100m butterfly. At 15, Oleksiak had an outstanding performance at the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships, bringing home six medals. Three of those were individual silvers, won in the 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle. In the latter she shared the podium with gold medallist teammate Ruck. Oleksiak also contributed to three relay medals, highlighted by gold in the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay. She also competed at the Australian Age Group Championships in 2015, tallying eight medals, including five gold (100m and 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m IM).
Born in Toronto in 1945, Howard Starkman has spent four decades as an executive with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was initially hired as director of public relations on July 4, 1976 and he served in that capacity until 1998. In that role, he was in charge of media relations, broadcasting, travel and team publications. He was also responsible for the club’s “Name the team” contest prior to the inaugural season that resulted in the Blue Jays name.
Starkman also played key behind-the-scenes roles in the Blue Jays’ first games at Exhibition Stadium and the SkyDome and in their playoff and World Series appearances through 1993. He also doubled as a public relations official for Major League Baseball for 15 World Series and 10 All-Star games. For his efforts, he was presented with the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Robert O. Fishel Award in 1995, an honour that’s bestowed annually for excellence in public relations. Six years later, he was honoured with a 25-year service award from Major League Baseball.
In 1999, Starkman was elevated to vice-president of media relations with the Blue Jays, before transitioning to vice-president, special projects from 2002 to 2014. Widely respected by his colleagues and the media, Starkman has twice (1980, 1996) been honoured with the Good Guy Award by the Toronto chapter of baseball writers and in 2012, he received the President’s Award from Sports Media Canada for his career accomplishments.
In 2014, the Blue Jays established the Howard Starkman Award and named Starkman the first recipient. This award is handed out annually to the Blue Jays Employee of the Year “who best exemplifies the values of integrity, innovation, accountability, team work and a passion for winning.”
Trish Stratus is a fitness icon, entrepreneur and actress. Recognized as one of WWE's all-time greats, Trish is a seven-time Women's Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. Trish has dedicated her life to health and fitness and upon retiring from WWE, she parlayed her success and passion into her fitness lifestyle brand, Stratusphere. In 2010, she launched a line of retail products which includes yoga and fitness equipment and a line of fitness DVDs. She further expanded her offerings with a line of wellness teas.
Trish lives in Toronto with her husband and high school sweetheart Ron, and their two children Max and their newest addition, Madison.
Initiated in 1859 by the then president of the Toronto Turf Club, Sir Casimir Gzowski, the Queen's Plate was inaugurated on June 27, 1860, at the Carleton racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, with the prize of 50 guineas awarded by Queen Victoria. In 1902, the year after Victoria's death, the race became the King's Plate, after her successor, Edward VII. It became the Queen's Plate again when Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952.
Woodbine Racetrack hosted the race in 1876 and 1881 and then continuously from 1883 to 1955. The Queen's Plate has been running at Woodbine since 1956.
With 10,600+ races won and over $286 million in earnings, John Campbell holds a rock-solid place in the history books. He is one of only two Canadian drivers with American horses to win Sweden’s prestigious Elitlopp and has won every major US race, most of them multiple times.
Born in London, Ont., in 1955, Campbell grew up on his family’s farm in the tiny rural area of Nairn, near Ailsa Craig (northwest of London). He recorded his first driving victory at London’s Western Raceway, June 2, 1972, at age 17. In the mid-1970s, John moved on to Windsor Raceway. There, he trained a stable and drove regularly until January of 1978, when he moved to The Meadowlands. He has been in New Jersey ever since.
John Campbell was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal in 2000 for his commitment to the sport of harness racing by the Right Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Canada's Governor General. He was the youngest driver ever elected into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame, at age 35. He is also an honoured member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Marnie McBean is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians. In her two Olympic appearances she captured four medals, including three gold, making her one of just two Canadians to be a triple gold medallist at the Summer Games. The other is Kathleen Heddle, McBean’s partner in the coxless pair at Barcelona 1992 and in the double sculls at Atlanta 1996. They were also members of the champion eights crew in Barcelona and won bronze in the quadruple sculls in Atlanta.
After her incredible rowing career, during which she won a total of 12 World and Olympic medals, McBean was hired by the Canadian Olympic Committee as a specialist in Olympic Athlete Preparation and Mentoring. She has worked closely with the last four Canadian Olympic Teams, including Vancouver 2010 and London 2012, and is currently involved with preparing athletes for Sochi 2014. Her job is to ensure the best performance possible by preparing them emotionally and psychologically.
McBean is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal and has been given the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was also appointed an Officer to the Order of Canada. McBean earned her degree in kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and has been given three honorary doctorates.
In his heyday, Bobby Allan was in a class by himself, the finest lacrosse player in Canada. His consummate skill, agility and adroitness in faking a move made him one-of-a-kind. His backhand shot was a prototype move.
Allan won three scoring titles, three league MVP awards, and the Mike Kelly Award. His record of 89 goals in 29 games in 1956, in British Columbia, still stands. He played on four Mann Cup championship teams and another four Mann Cup finalists. The Mann Cup championship teams were Peterborough in 1954, Nanaimo, BC, in 1956, New Westminster, BC, in 1962 and in Peterborough again in 1966.
Later Bob moved into coaching, first with box lacrosse teams in Peterborough and Philadelphia, PA, and then as head coach of the Canadian National Field Lacrosse Team. His Peterborough teams won a Canadian Semi-Pro Title in 1969, a Mann Cup in 1973, and were Mann Cup finalists in 1970. His Canadian National Field team won the world championship in 1970 in Manchester, England. Bob was elected to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1974.
Paul Coffey was born in Weston, Ontario. He played in the Toronto minor hockey system and moved up to the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. Coffey was drafted in the 1st round, 6th overall in 1980 by the Edmonton Oilers. By his second season, Coffey had emerged as one of the premier offensive defenseman in the NHL. He was a fast and graceful skater with an amazing knack for scoring points. He scored over 100 points five times in his career, including two 40+ goal seasons in Edmonton.
Coffey's stay in Edmonton was short-lived as he was unable to re-negotiate his contract in 1987. He was traded along with Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp to the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing on an emerging offensive powerhouse featuring Mario Lemieux. He led the Pens to their first every Stanley Cup championship in 1991 but was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings the following season. Paul Coffey would play in LA for one more season before being dealt to the Detroit Red Wings.
In the twilight of his career, Coffey was no stranger to trades and signings as he made his way around the league playing with the Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes, and the Boston Bruins. Even though he played more games with teams other than the Edmonton Oilers, Paul Coffey is still associated with the high scoring Oiler teams of the early 1980s.
Coffey is currently the highest scoring defenseman in NHL history and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. The Edmonton Oilers retired Coffey's number 7 during a ceremony held at the Rexall Centre on October 18, 2005.
John Hiller grew up in Scarborough, Ontario and was a former left-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers.
After suffering a heart attack in 1971, he returned to the team and recorded 38 saves in 1973 – a major league record until 1983, and a team record until 2000. He also set an American League record by winning 17 games in relief, against 14 losses, in 1974 which was later equalled by Bill Campbell who went 17-5 in 1976. His 125 career saves ranked fourth in AL history and were the seventh most among all left-handers when he retired, standing as a team record until 1993. His 545 career games pitched ranked ninth among AL left-handers at the end of his career, and remain the Tigers franchise record.
He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, and into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.