An elderly friend mentioned that he remembers watching Olympic-style ski jumping at a facility in the Don Valley
An elderly friend mentioned that he remembers watching Olympic-style ski jumping at a facility in the Don Valley. What’s the story?—Louise Clayton, York Mills
In its 1930s heyday, ski jumping enjoyed a popularity that to-day is reserved for hockey games and monster truck rallies. Competitions drew huge crowds and were often held in such big venues as Chicago’s Soldier Field and the Hollywood Bowl. In 1933, the Toronto Ski Club decided to bring Hogtown in on the action by constructing a 65-foot-tall launch tower in the valley—directly behind where the Ontario Science Centre now stands. The Thorncliffe Ski Jump became the site of several elite international competitions, regularly drawing upward of 10,000 fans (many of whom snuck down into the valley to avoid buying tickets). By the early ’40s, however, Toronto’s jump was junked. With a war being fought overseas, recreational thrill seeking suddenly seemed unnecessarily flighty.