The Toronto Sport Hall of Honour celebrates the exceptional contributions and accomplishments of those who have inspired and/or brought recognition to Toronto through sport.
The Toronto Sport Hall of Honour Selection Panel reserves the right to only select nominees who meet Toronto Sport Hall of Honour criteria, as outlined below in About the Program.
The Toronto Sport Hall of Honour is located at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, a legacy of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
Athlete of the Year is awarded to an individual who has achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrated exemplary values and/or personal characteristics, and made a defining contribution to his/her sport and/or community.
The Builder award recognizes an individual or organization who has made a meaningful contribution to amateur sport as a leader, advocate or agent of change.
The ‘City of Sport’ – Lifetime Achievement award recognizes the outstanding contribution of a sport leader or organization who exemplifies sport values as demonstrated by groundbreaking organizational leadership, innovative practices, influential communications, cutting-edge sport marketing or positioning of the sport sector.
Coach of the Year is awarded to a coach in amateur sport who has achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrates exemplary values and/or personal characteristics, and makes a defining contribution to his/her sport and/or community. This person possesses the qualities associated with performance excellence and sport achievement.
The Community Sport Volunteer Awards recognize adults and youth who have made a significant impact on community sport in Toronto through their ongoing volunteer efforts as a coach, official and/or sport administrator.
The Corporate Builder award recognizes an organization/corporation that has made a meaningful contribution to amateur sport as a leader, advocate, change agent or builder.
This award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual, group, organization or volunteer that has made a significant impact in sport by fostering an inclusive culture and/or creating opportunities for Toronto’s diverse communities. This award is granted for contributions in the areas of capacity building, policy development, partnerships and engagement with underserved communities that use sport to advance the principles of access and equity.
The Sport Legend award recognizes an individual who, by their achievement and example are considered to have had the capacity to inspire Torontonians. An individual, who through extraordinary sporting accomplishments, has left an indelible mark on the fabric of sport in Toronto.
Team of the Year is awarded to any two or more individuals competing as a single entry in amateur sport who have achieved outstanding and extraordinary success, demonstrated exemplary values and/or admirable characteristics, and made a defining contribution to their sport and/or community.
Pierce LePage started track and field with the triple jump and moved to the decathlon at age 17. He broke the Canadian junior decathlon record in 2017. After winning silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia, Pierce competed in his first season with the York University Lions. He had outstanding performances at the U SPORTS Track & Field Championships, capturing two gold medals for the 60m hurdles and the long jump, one silver with a strong start in the 4 x 200m relay and one bronze for the high jump. He was named the U SORTS Male Field Events Athlete of the Year and Male Athlete of the Championships.
In his first decathlon of 2019, Pierce scored a personal best 8453 points to achieve his fist international win at the Decastar Talence meet in June. In August, he won bronze in the decathlon at the Pan American Games in Lima. In October, he made his debut at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar where he finished fifth overall.
He followed this incredible year of performances by representing Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, finishing in fifth place, and bringing home silver at the 2022 championships in Oregon, finishing with a score of 8701.
Brittany Crew first tried shot put at the suggestion of her high school coach, Paralympian Shane Risto. Within the first six months of competing, she had qualified for the Barcelona 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics. Her career highlights include winning bronze at the 2015 FISU Summer Universiade, followed by gold in 2017; gold at the CIS Championships in 2015 and 2016; and bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Britany made history at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, finishing sixth in the shot put, and becoming the first Canadian woman ever to qualify for the final in her event. After recovering from an ankle injury in 2018, she returned to competition.
At the OUA Championships in 2019, Brittany brought home gold in shot put and weight throw and was named Championships Most Outstanding Performer and Field Events Most Valuable Performer. She followed up at the U SPORTS Championships by again winning gold in shot put in weight throw, and was named Field Events Athlete of the Year. At the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, she broke the 19m mark for the first time, pushing the Canadian record to 19.07m and bringing home silver. She increased the national mark to 19.28m at the ISTAF World Challenge Berlin before finishing eighth at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Erin Latimer started skiing at the age of two at Craigleith Ski Club in Collingwood, Ontario. Erin was born with a limb difference of her right arm but grew up competing in able-bodied ski racing until she was introduced to Para-alpine in 2012 by Gwen Binsfeld from ParaSport Ontario. Erin began training and competing with the Canadian Para Alpine Ski Team (CPAST) shortly after.
During her six-year career with CPAST, Erin competed in two Paralympic Winter Games (2014 and 2018) and had six World Cup podium finishes. At the Pyeong Chang 2018 Paralympics Winter Games, her second Paralympic appearance, Erin competed in five Para-alpine skiing races at, downhill, Super Combined, Super G, slalom and giant slalom, finishing in the top ten for four out five events. She retired from high performance sport in the spring of 2018 to complete her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto and continues to be actively involved in the ski community.
Josh Cassidy is a successful wheelchair racer, 31-time Canadian champion and three-time Paralympian. He came into the world fighting Neuroblastoma, a non-congenital cancer that primarily affects children. While Josh beat the odds and survived, damage to his spinal cord left his legs partially paralyzed.
His early interest in athletics lead him to the Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He won the 2010 London Marathon, the 2012 Chicago Marathon, and the 2012 the Boston Marathon, with an incredible record-breaking showing, finishing with the world’s fastest wheelchair marathon time of 1:18:25. He took home three silver medals at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games for T54 800m, 1500m and 5000m.
2019 was a year of incredible performances for Josh. Despite his wheelchair snapping in half less than twenty four hours before the start of the race, Josh won the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon. He placed sixth in the Tokyo Marathon and finished at the Swiss Nationals in Arbon with personal bests in the 800m, 1500m and 5000m. He brought home three gold medals at the Montreal 2019 National Championships.
Rachel Cohen was introduced to Special Olympics through the Choices for Adult Living Program at the Geneva Centre for Autism and began competing in 2005. Through sport, Rachel has found a community, developed meaningful friendships with fellow teammates, and had the opportunity to become a true leader. She participates in a range of sports including swimming, floor hockey, kayaking, bowling, track and field, soccer, and softball.
Rachel has won numerous medals at major competitions, including two gold medals and one bronze medal in swimming at the 2009 Ibero-American FIDES Special Olympics in Bogota and a silver medal in floor hockey at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. She won three gold medals and one bronze for kayaking at the 2019 Canadian Sprint Canoe Championship and another silver at the 2022 event.
While Rachel participates in a range of sports, her specialization is long distance swimming. She has completed two open water swims, each at a distance of 3.8 kilometres, to raise funds for Variety Village. She is planning to swim across a large lake in the future to raise awareness for adults and children living with autism as well as the need for more autism support services. She is currently the captain of the Variety Village Sunshine Swim Team in Scarborough.
Michael Bandler is a powerlifter from Toronto who competes with Special Olympics. He can bench 330 pounds, squat 474 pounds and dead lift 518 pounds. Michael won three gold medals at Provincial Games and four gold medals at National Games.
He headed to his first Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019 determined to have fun, do his best and win. Michael did just that, returning home to Toronto with two gold and two silver medals. In addition to being a successful athlete, Michael is an incredibly encouraging and supportive team mate. He is an enthusiastic and frequent public speaker who promotes the benefits of Special Olympics and participation.
Michael credits Special Olympics with having had a tremendous impact on his life – “Special Olympics has instilled a never-give-up attitude inside me. I’ve met friends and achieved goals I’ve set for myself. Special Olympics helps me persevere and focus on what I want to accomplish.” Michael currently has his sights set on the 2023 Special Olympics World Games to be held in Berlin.
Established in 1995, the Toronto Raptors are the only Canadian-based team in the National Basketball Association (NBA) league. In the 2019 playoffs, the Raptors defeated the Orlando Magic in five games followed by the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games. With the score tied and only seconds remaining, Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors to a 92 to 90 victory with the first-ever Game 7 buzzer-beater in playoff history.
They went on to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. After losing the first two games, Toronto went on to win four in a row, their first berth in the NBA Finals to face the Golden State Warriors. As two-time defending champs, the Warriors were favoured to win. The series began at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, marking the first time in league history that a NBA Finals game was hosted outside of the United States. With their defeat of the Warriors four to two, the Raptors marked another first as the only non-American team to win the NBA title and the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
Throughout the season, the team also regularly demonstrated their commitment to effecting change for Toronto communities with events such as Kyle Lowry’s annual Thanksgiving Assist for vulnerable families and the annual weeklong Raptors clinic for youth.
Nick Nurse joined the Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach in 2014. He is credited with significantly improving the team’s offensive play during the 2017-2018 season, increasing passing and three-point attempts, and earning the Raptors a franchise record breaking 59 wins. Nick rose to head coach, leading the Raptors through a 58 – 24 season to the 2019 NBA Finals, the first-ever in franchise history.
With the Raptors defeat of the Golden State Warriors in Game 6, Nick became the first head coach to win both the NBA and NBA G League titles. After this historically successful season, he was appointed head coach of the Canadian men’s national team heading into the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Nick was the NBA All-Star Game Head Coach and named NBA Coach of the Year in 2020.
Nick Nurse has raised the profile of basketball in Toronto, and across Canada, not just as a NBA and national coach, but by supporting the next generation of local players. Each year, Nick hosts the Raptors Clinic Series to provide youth with a unique opportunity to advance their basketball skills.
John Gardner grew up playing hockey in what was then the Toronto Hockey League. On his return to Toronto after university, he became re-involved in hockey as a coach, a referee and an administrator. In 1975, he was elected to the Board of what would become the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). In 1980 he became the youngest President in the history of the league and remained in that position until his retirement in 2015.
John also served as a director of the Ontario Hockey Association, the Chair of the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) Minor Hockey Council and the chair of two Hockey Canada Committees. He worked tirelessly year-round to raise the game’s profile and making it safer for young players. In 2004, he and Dr. Charles Tator formulated the first return to play concussion policy for players in the GTHL and John implemented the first set of penalties specific to illegal contact with an opponent’s head. He was instrumental in the formation of the GTHL’s Aggressive Play Policy in 2008, which led to incremental suspensions for repeated infractions throughout the OHF and Hockey Canada.
John received numerous awards in recognition of his over 40 years of service, including the Government of Ontario Special Achievement Award, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Hockey Canada Order of Merit.
Doug Philpott was a strong tennis advocate, promoting the sport as a competitive player, umpire, referee and coach. While involved in the sport across all levels of play, he was particularly dedicated to developing junior programming at the community level. Doug recognized the financial barriers to participation and generously supported young players. His contributions to building the sport were recognized in 1993 by the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame.
The Doug Philpott Inner-City Children’s Tennis Fund was established in 1991 to continue his legacy. Each year, the fund provides free tennis lessons from qualified coaches and instructors to over 6,000 children in priority neighbourhoods across Toronto. Lessons are provided at 17 outdoor locations throughout the summer and year round at three indoor locations. The charity also provides a free certification program for youth to become tennis instructors and job opportunities for successful candidates. Today, many of the organization’s coaches were once students in the tennis program and are now giving back to their community by working at the same locations where they grew up learning the game.
Savoy Howe was originally drawn to boxing as a form of self defense and, once she started coaching, quickly developed a following. Initially making use of small spaces she rented in men’s gyms, Savoy expanded to a large dedicated location in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood in 2006. Toronto’s Newsgirls Boxing Club, the first all-female boxing club in Canada, opened its doors in 1996.
Savoy delivered recreational and amateur programs as well as a free ‘Shape Your Life’ program for women and trans survivors of violence. Through Newsgirls, Savoy was able to introduce people to boxing who otherwise may have been too intimidated to participate in traditional masculine environments. The club was wheelchair accessible and all equipment was height adjustable. Newsgirls was also the first Canadian boxing club to implement a trans inclusion policy.
For 24 years, the club was more than just a gym; it was a safe and inclusive space in the community and a refuge for many. Savoy’s leadership and contributions have been recognized through several awards and honours including the 2013 Steinert and Ferreiro Award for LGBTQ Leadership and the 2018 Inspire Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Egerton Marcus was born in British Guyana and immigrated to Canada in 1973. His family included several boxing enthusiasts, notably his mother, Joyce Fraser who performed exhibitions in Guyana. However, Egerton did not start boxing until he enrolled at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre in his teenage years. In 1985, Marcus won the Canadian Amateur Middleweight Championship and held the title for the next two years.
Egerton represented Canada at the Seoul 1988 Olympics under the coaching of TSHH alum Adrian Teodorescu. He won his first two bouts by knocking out his opponents. Then, despite competing with a broken right hand, he defeated another two athletes before losing to Henry Maske from East Germany. Egerton brought home the middleweight silver medal to Canada. He began his professional career the following year with his first two bouts ending in less than a minute when he knocked out his opponents. He won the North American Boxing Federation Light Heavyweight Title in 1992, defending it until 1994. Egerton retired in 2001, except for a brief return to the ring to defeat Carl Gathright in 2007, with a professional record of 17-4-1.
Afterwards, he remained active in the boxing world, operating Egerton Marcus Boxing Academy and coaching across all levels of the sport, from grassroots to professional athletes.
At age nine, Abby Hoffman became a cause célèbre when she and her parents advocated to the minor hockey establishment in Toronto for her right to play hockey in the existing boys league, as no teams for girls existed at the time. She eventually focused on track and field, particularly the 800m.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, she represented Canada at four Olympic Games, four Pan American Games, two Commonwealth Games and two Summer Universiades, bringing home eight medals including three gold. Abby earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science from the University of Toronto and has had an influential career in public service including over 25 years experience in senior positions with Health Canada. She was the first women to be selected to the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee of Canada in 1981 and the first to head up Sport Canada, a post she held for ten years. Abby has also served in many capacities for World Athletics for 30 years.
Abby has campaigned vigorously for gender equity in track and field and continues to play leadership roles in the fight against doping in sport, athletes rights and integrity in sport practice and governance. She holds three honorary doctorates, is an Officer of the Order of Canada and received the Canada 125 Medal in recognition of her efforts.
Andy Higgins graduated from the School of Physical and Health Education at the University of Toronto (U of T) in 1959. He went on to develop the first formal coaching certification program in Canada in 1970. Andy founded the Canadian Professional Coaches Association (now Coaches of Canada) and the Coaches Association of Ontario (CAO). He served as the first Director of the National Coaching Institute for the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario from 1999 to 2012.
As Head Coach, he was instrumental in the formation of the U of T Track Club in 1971, as well as the expansion to include a women’s program in 1974. Over his 25 years in this role, he led the Varsity Blues to 21 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) track titles, six Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (now U SPORTS) titles and 21 national cross country medals. Andy introduced the first ‘shared-coach’ model in Canada which evolved into the country’s first high performance track and field training centre.
He coached many athletes in international competition, including Michael Smith, Massimo Bertocchi and Dave Steen. Andy’s contributions to coaching have been widely recognized, including by the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame as well as the eponymous CAO Lifetime Achievement Award.
Amreen Kadwa played rugby for her high school team and a local sport club, saying: “It shaped me into the individual I am today and taught me so many valuable life skills.” Recognizing the positive impact of sport, Amreen founded Hijabi Ballers, a Toronto-based volunteer run, non-profit organization that celebrates Muslim girls and women in sport and empowers them to get involved.
As the founder and Executive Director of Hijabi Ballers, Amreen has led the delivery of free programming that offers a safe and inclusive space to engage in sport, including drop-in basketball programs, sports festivals, tournaments and summer camps. She organized a community-based conference to provide an inclusive space for community members to learn about and support Muslim female athletes in Toronto, while working to broaden opportunities for them. She also inspired the Toronto Raptors to produce a Nike branded hijab, the first team in the NBA to offer an athletic hijab.
David Black has been a leader and advocate for Toronto baseball over several decades. He has served as president of the Toronto Baseball Association since 2008 and is now the longest-serving president in the organization’s history. In this role, David has guided the organization through several challenges, notably responding to the explosive growth in demand for baseball programs in recent years. In addition to his work with the Toronto Baseball Association, David has served as president of the Select Ontario Baseball Association since 2007, played an instrumental role in the organization’s merge with Baseball Ontario in 2015, and continues to serve as Select Commissioner.
His efforts building the association into a success have been honoured by Baseball Ontario, his colleagues, and the athletes that he has impacted over the years. David champions youth participation in the sport and advocates for select baseball as an important opportunity for young players to participate at their individual level. This emphasis on participation rather than winning has been embedded into the game rules adopted by Select Baseball, and David widely promotes this philosophy through his roles as an executive, tournament host and speaker.
Shauna Bookal is passionate about sport in her careers as both an academic and community sport leader. She earned a Bachelor of Sport Management from Brock University, a Sport Business Management Graduate Certificate from Durham College and a Master of Science in Sport Management from West Virginia University. She teaches sport and event marketing at George Brown College. She is currently the Executive Director of Field Hockey Ontario and on the Board of Directors for the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC).
Shauna is a Registered Basketball Coach and Learning Facilitator and has dedicated over twenty years to volunteering with the Ontario Basketball Association, including five years supporting their Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program. She has held senior leadership volunteer positions for many sporting events that have taken place in Canada, including the Pan Am Games, Invictus Games, North American Indigenous Games and the Ontario ParaSport Games. She was the Games Coordinator for the twentieth anniversary Canada 55+ Games in 2016.
Shauna is a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion in sport; she volunteers with the CAC’s Black Female Coach Mentorship Program and is an active member of the Black in Sport Business organization. Shauna has received numerous awards recognizing her efforts, including the Governor General Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
Scott Russell joined CBC Charlottetown as a reporter in 1985 and began to focus on sports coverage the following year. Now a CBC veteran of over 25 years, Scott has covered 15 Olympic Games for the network and numerous other international events. He also provided rink-side reporting for 14 years on CBC’s iconic Hockey Night in Canada. In addition to his efforts on the air, Scott promotes and advocates for sport in a range of other capacities. He taught a course on Canadian sports history at Centennial College and has authored two books on hockey (Ice Time: A Canadian Hockey Journey and The Rink – Stories from Hockey’s Home Towns) and a book on grassroots curling (Open House: Canada and the Magic of Curling).
He is an active to numerous Canadian sport organizations, including as a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Education Committee, the Advisory Panel for the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, the Public Policy Forum on Value-Based Sport, the advisory board of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at Western University, and CBC’s Sports initiative on women in sports. Scott has been a prominent supporter of the Toronto Sports Hall of Honour since its inception in 2016, as a both valued member of the selection panel and the incredible host of the annual induction ceremony.