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!
Last time we posted about Hamilton’s best athletes. Today, we are counting down the Top 10 Athletes Born in Etobicoke!
Etobicoke has a unique and accomplished athletic community, including it’s own sports Hall of Fame. Although Etobicoke might be best known for producing several NHLers, the list of famous athletes also includes an MLB MVP and several Olympic competitors.
Check out our picks for the Top 10 Athletes Born in Etobicoke 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. Joey Votto, baseball
MLB All-Star. National League MVP. Lou Marsh Trophy. There are very few awards that Joey Votto hasn’t won over his 10 year career. Votto grew up playing baseball for the Etobicoke Rangers and Richview Collegiate, and is just the third Canadian to win the MVP award in major league history. An on-base machine, Votto will have a case for the Hall of Fame if he can remain healthy.
2. Brendan Shanahan, hockey
The current President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Shanahan was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1987 and went onto to win three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 1998, and 2002. Shanahan was known for his unique combination of skill and toughness, as he’s the only player in NHL history to score 600 goals to go along with 2,000 penalty minutes. Voted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, Shanahan also competed for Team Canada culminating in a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
3. Alexandra Komarnycky, swimming
Alexandra Komarnycky reached the highest level of swimming for Canada, participating at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2012 Olympics in London. Although she fell just short of winning a medal, Komarnycky competed in the freestyle and medley events.
4. PK Subban, hockey
PK Subban is amongst the most recognizable players in the NHL. The charismatic defencemen won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defencemen in 2013 and has represented Canada several times on the world stage, wining gold at the World Juniors in 2008 and 2009 as well as the 2014 Winter Olympics.
5. Lisa Bentley, triathalon
Lisa Bentley is one of the most successful Ironman athletes ever, with an astounding 11 career wins all over the world. Originally racing at Olympic distances, Bentley switched her focus to Ironman events in 1997. From 2000 to 2007, Bentley had at least one Ironman victory each year, including 5 straight in Australia from 2002-2006.
6. Paul Stalteri, soccer
Paul Stalteri is among the best Canadian soccer players of all-time. He holds the National Team record with 84 appearances over his career, winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000. Spending most of his professional career in Germany, Stalteri also had stints with Tottenham Hotspur and Fullham of the English Premier League.
7. Molly Killinbeck, track
Molly Killingbeck is a sprinter who specialized in the 4×100 m and 4×400 m. Winning a silver medal in Los Angeles, Killingbeck competed in two consecutive Summer Olympics in 1984 and 1988. In addition, Killingbeck also won gold twice at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the Pan Am Games.
8. Randy Cunneyworth, hockey
Next to Shanahan, Cunneyworth had the longest career of any Etobicoke born forward in the NHL. Playing just a few seasons shy of 1,000 games, Cunneyworth had over 400 career points with six different teams.
9. Loreen Passfield, swimmer
Loreen Passfield dominated distance swimming in the 1970s and 1980s. Between 1975 and 1979, Loreen was ranked in the top five by the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation, earning the number one ranking in 1975 and 1979. Although she didn’t win the award, Passfield was a final ballot nominee for the Lou Marsh Trophy in 1979 for Canada’s Athlete of the Year.
10. Manny Fernandez, hockey
Manny Fernandez was a serviceable back up goalie for the Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, and Boston Bruins for 15 years. In addition to playing over 300 NHL games, Fernandez helped Team Canada win gold at the 1994 World Junior Hockey Championships.
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 at Rosethorn Junior School!