toronto hockey

The lost hockey teams of Toronto

Hockey in Toronto isn't all about the NHL. Kids in Toronto have been playing Canada's game on frozen ponds and home-made rinks for more than a century.

These pictures, taken from around 1910 to the mid 1960s show school, city park, and recreation centre teams, usually in the east end, and feature young players across a range of ages. Some have uniforms, others play in plain clothes with cricket pads and gloves as their only measure of protection against slapped pucks.

toronto hockey

One picture captures the touring "Fast Ojibway Indians" and the "Great Cree Indians" teams, who visited Toronto in 1928 during a 2,200-mile cross-country motor coach tour.

toronto hockey

From the professional world, there's the Toronto Arenas a short-lived Stanley Cup-winning precursor to the Toronto St. Patricks, who became the Maple Leafs in the 1920s, and some images of the Army Daggers and Royal Canadian Air Force teams from the 1940s.

Those squads feature players whose wonderful names could only be from the wartime period, who all sound like friends of your grandparents: Buddy Glover, Buck Jones, Lloyd Finkbeiner, Herb Mortimer.

The handful of action shots capture the scrape and clatter of pick-up games at Christie Pits Park (when there still were pits,) Riverdale Park, and the University of Toronto campus.

You can almost feel the pinch of the crisp winter air. Not long now.

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Hockey at Christie Pits

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Adam Beck - playground champions

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Earl Grey school

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East Riverdale boys

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East Riverdale girls

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Ice rinks at Riverdale Park with the General Steel Wares Building in the background

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Essex playground team

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Hodgson's championship team

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Hughes

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Keele school juvenile champions

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University of Toronto players

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McCormick

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Moss Park

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A match outside the St. Clair car barn

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North Toronto

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Osler playground

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The Royal Canadian Air Force team celebrates a win

toronto hockey

Strathcona

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TTC's Danforth barns team

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Wilkinson

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Women's hockey

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Buddy Davis of the Army Daggers

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Buddy Glover from the Daggers

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The Toronto Arenas

toronto hockey

The Toronto St. Patricks

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Toronto Maple Leafs

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: City of Toronto Archives


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