Supriya Ghosh

Ontario Rugby Football Union

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The Ontario Rugby Football Union (ORFU) was an early amateur Canadian football league with teams in the Canadian province of Ontario. The ORFU was founded in 1883 and in 1903 became the first major competition to adopt the Burnside rules, from which the modern Canadian football code would evolve.

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During the Second World War, the military teams in Ontario played in the ORFU filling the gap during the suspension of play by the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union. (Toronto Navy - H.M.C.S. York played out of Varsity Stadium using the Toronto Argonauts equipment and uniforms.) The Toronto RCAF Hurricanes were the last amateur team to win the Grey Cup in 1942. Many from the ranks of the military teams in the ORFU became stars in the CFL after the war.

The ORFU champion challenged for and won the Grey Cup in its early decades, but by the 1950s their challenges proved to be perennial failures against the stronger professional interprovincial leagues, the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union and the Western Interprovincial Football Union. The ORFU withdrew from Grey Cup competition in 1954 in a move that heralded the start of the modern era of Canadian football. The ORFU ceased to operate as a true senior league after 1960, but continued play at the intermediate level. Eventually the word "senior" came to replace the word "intermediate." By 1974, the ORFU had ceased to exist.

Notable teams

  • Toronto Football (1883–1894) Toronto Argonauts (1898–1906)
  • Toronto Athletic Club TAC Lornes (1895–1897)
  • Hamilton Tigers (1883–1906, 1948–1949)
  • Ottawa Football Club (1883–1897) Ottawa Rough Riders, (1898–1906)
  • Ottawa College (1885–93)
  • Kingston Granites (1899–1901)
  • Hamilton Alerts – 1st Grey Cup Champions of the ORFU in 1912 (1911–1912)
  • Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers – 2 time Grey Cup Champions: 1927, 1930 (1924–1957)
  • Sarnia Imperials – 2 time Grey Cup Champions: 1934, 1936 (1928–1955)
  • Toronto Amateur Athletic Club – ORFU Champion 1908 & 1910
  • Toronto Rowing and Athletic Association – ORFU Champion 1915, 1919 & 1920
  • Hamilton Wildcats – Grey Cup Champions: 1943 (1941–1947)
  • Toronto Indians (1941–1948)
  • Toronto RCAF Hurricanes – Grey Cup Champions: 1942 (1942–1943)
  • Ottawa Trojans (1943–1947) ORFU Champion 1947
  • Windsor Royals/Rockets (1945–1952)
  • Brantford Redskins (1952–1953)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen (1953–1959) ORFU Champion 1954–57
  • London Lords (1956–1972)
  • Sarnia Golden Bears ORFU Champion 1958–59
  • Bramalea Satellites (1967–1972)
  • Most ORFU championships

  • 12- Sarnia Imperials (1929, 1931–39, 1951–52)
  • 10- Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers (1924–27, 1930, 1940, 1945–46, 1950, 1953)
  • 8- Hamilton Tigers (1890, 1897, 1903–06, 1948–49)
  • 5- Ottawa College (1885–89)
  • 4- Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club (1909, 1913, 1921–22)
  • 4- Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen (1954–57)
  • 3- Toronto Argonauts (1883–84, 1901)
  • 3- Ottawa Rough Riders (1898, 1900, 1902)
  • 3- Toronto Rowing and Athletic Association (1915, 1919–20)
  • 3- Hamilton Wildcats (1941, 1943–44)
  • 2- Osgoode Hall (1891–92)
  • 2- Queen's University (1893–94)
  • 2- University of Toronto (1895, 1896)
  • 2- Toronto Amateur Athletic Club (1908, 1910)
  • 2- Hamilton Alerts (1911–12)
  • 2- Hamilton Rowing Club (1914, 1923)
  • 2- Sarnia Golden Bears (1958–59)
  • Imperial Oil Trophy – Most Valuable Player

  • 1934 Norm Perry - Sarnia Imperials
  • 1935 Hugh "Bummer" Stirling - Sarnia Imperials
  • 1936 Syd Reynolds - Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
  • 1937 Ormond Beach - Sarnia Imperials
  • 1938 John Ferraro - Montreal Nationals
  • 1939 Eddie Thompson - Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
  • 1940 Nick Paithouski - Sarnia 2/26 Battery
  • 1941 Al Lenard - Hamilton Wildcats
  • 1942 Bill Stukus - Toronto RCAF Hurricanes
  • 1943 Bob Cosgrove - Toronto RCAF Hurricanes
  • 1944 Joe Krol - Hamilton Wildcats
  • 1945 Arnie McWatters - Ottawa Trojans
  • 1946 Frank Gnup - Hamilton Wildcats
  • 1947 Bob Paffrath - Toronto Indians
  • 1948 Frank Filchock - Hamilton Tigers
  • 1949 Don "Sleepy" Knowles - Sarnia Imperials
  • 1950 Carl Galbreath - Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
  • 1951 Bruce Mattingly - Sarnia Imperials
  • 1952 John Pont - Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
  • 1953 Dick Gregory - Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
  • 1954 Bob Celeri - Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
  • 1955 Bob Celeri - Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
  • References

    Ontario Rugby Football Union Wikipedia


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