June 10, 2006 the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame held its Grand
Opening. The new location of the Hall is at Legendary
Motor Car in Halton Hills, Ontario. Several Hall of Fame inductees
were on hand including Mark Rotharmel, Wallie Branston, Ross de
St. Croix, Francis Bradley, Bert Strauss, John De Gruchy, Bryan
Stewart, Warren Coniam, Bob Slack and Bruce Mehlenbacher.
The Hall has signed a 3-year lease agreement with Legendary Motor
Car and is now working toward raising funds for a permanant facility,
that will be owned by the Hall. A Hall-owned facility will bring
much-needed stability. The Hall has been leasing its space since
the beginning. It was originally located in the basement of the
Sports Hall of Fame on the CNE grounds. It moved to the corner of
Bay and College Streets in downtown Toronto in 1995. It left that
location after a few years and stayed briefly with the Warplane
Heritage Musuem in Hamilton. The Hall had spent the last few years
in the space that had been previously occupied by the Hockey Hall
of Fame at the CNE. The construction of the new soccer stadium on
the CNE grounds meant it was time for the Hall to move again.
Nate Salter was the event chairman and host. Also speaking were
Thom Dickinson (President of the Board CMHF), Ross de St. Croix
(past president), Gordon Krantz (mayor of Milton), Norris McDonald
(Toronto Star), Bill Merkley (Director of the Canadian Street Rod
Association) and Ted Woloshyn (CFRB morning man).
The second part of the event was a reunion of drivers who raced
at the CNE,
Park. There were a large number of former drivers in attendance.
The drivers were introduced by former Pinecrest announcer Ernie
Martin. I missed a few but the list included Don Roberts, Ken Weisbrod,
Doug Warnes, Howie Scannell, Tom Milligan, Simon Biersteker, Ron
Stoughton, Ralph McDonald, Dave Boon, Norm Yates, John McIntyre,
Al Mason, Arlene Bailey, Jack Fraser, Don Goodall, Betty Carcone,
Ross Thompson, Fred O'Hara, Ken Graham, Diane Warnes, David Brooks,
George D'Antimo, Lorne Whittaker, Pete Kelly, Bob Keen, Jack MacDougall,
Vic Parsons, Russ Rose, Joan Howard, Dan Rosie, Alf Carter, Bill
Freeman, Cliff Gordon, Norm Hopper, Doug Syer, Bob Harrop, Larry
Anthony, Roger Spies, David Rose, Ross Devlin, Bill Burrows, John
Shirtliff, Gary Dowling and Debbie Martin.