Top 10 Athletes Born in T.O.

Over the years, Toronto, Hamilton and Etobicoke have produced a number of incredible athletes. From hockey to basketball, and football to baseball, young girls and boys have honed their craft in Southern Ontario. To recognize them and to highlight some of their phenomenal accomplishments, we are posting a series of Top 10 Lists!

To start it off… we are counting down the Top 10 Athletes Born in Toronto.

Check out our picks for the Top 10 Athletes Born in Toronto below! We selected the athletes based on a combination of their individual achievement and impact in their sport. Please note that the list is not structured in any particular order.

1. Penny Oleksiak, swimming

It might seem a little early to anoint Penny Oleksiak as a top 10 athlete born in Toronto, but is it? Last summer at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, Oleksiak became the youngest gold medalist in Canadian history and the first Canadian to win four medals in the same Summer Games. She also set an Olympic record in the women’s 100-metre freestyle. Not bad for a 16-year-old!

2. Elvis Stojko, figure skating

Figure skating legend Elvis Stojko was born just north of Toronto in 1972. A two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time World Champion, Stojko is best known for being the first man to land a quadruple jump in combination. Stojko was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

3. Jamaal Magloire, basketball

While Vince Carter may have had the biggest influence on the current generation of Canadian basketball players, Magloire is widely considered the best basketball player ever born in Toronto. Magloire attended Eastern Commerce high school and the University of Kentucky. In the NBA, Magloire had a successful 12-year career including an All-Star appearance in 2003-2004.

4. Daniel Nestor, tennis

Daniel Nestor is among the most decorated Canadian tennis players of all time. Best known for his success in men’s doubles (including 85+ titles) Nestor won a Gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics, eight Grand Slam doubles titles and four Grand Slam mixed double titles.

5. Silken Laumann, rowing

Silken Laumann is an Olympic rower born in Toronto in 1964. Winning three medals across three Olympic games, Laumann will be remembered for her heroic effort at the 1992 Olympics, where she recovered from a training accident (including five surgeries) to win a bronze medal in Barcelona. Laumann was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

6. Angela James, hockey

Angela James is a pioneer of women’s hockey. Leading Canada to four World Championships, James was one of the first two women ever inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. James is considered by many to be the first superstar of women’s hockey!

7. Dale Hawerchuk, hockey

Dale Hawerchuk is the best male hockey player born in the 6ix. Hawerchuk played in the NHL for 16 seasons, winning the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year in 1982. His NHL career culminated with his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001. His 1,409 career points land him in the top 20 in NHL points.

8. George Chuvalo, boxer

George Chuvalo was best known for his toughness and ability to take a punch. A two-time world heavyweight title challenger and five-time Canadian heavyweight champion, Chuvalo was reveled for his “great chin”. Facing Muhammed Ali twice throughout his career, Ali famously quipped, “he’s the toughest guy I ever fought.”

9. Lela Brooks, speed skating

Known as the “Queen of the Blades”, Lela Brooks dominated women’s speed skating throughout the 1920s and 1930s. She won over 65 championships and set several world records throughout her illustrious career. In 1972, she was inducted into both the Canadian Speed Skating Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

10. Marilyn Bell, swimming

Marilyn Bell was a long distance swimmer and the first person to swim across Lake Ontario. Born in Toronto in 1937, Bell has won virtually every possible athletic award: Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s Athlete of the Year (1954); Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canadian Female Athlete of the Year (1954); Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1958); Ontario Sports Hall of Fame (1997); and the Order of Ontario (2002).

Did we miss someone? Share your top picks by posting in the comment section below or tweeting at us on Twitter (@truenorthcamps)!

Looking forward to having the next generation of future stars join us this summer in Toronto at our many Summer Camps!

Gabriel Diamond
Gabriel is one of the Co-Founders of True North Sports Camps. He coached AA and AAA baseball at North Toronto Baseball Association from 2006-2013. Currently, Gabriel works full-time in real estate investments and has a passion for sports writing.