One athlete and one athlete/builder were inducted into the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 17th. A Lifetime Contribution and Athlete of the Year Award were also handed out on an evening to honour and celebrate sporting excellence in the community.
Hall of Fame inductees
Tim Ampleford (Baseball and Hockey Athlete)
Tim Ampleford was born and raised in Leaside and excelled in both baseball and hockey. As both a pitcher and fielder, Ampleford played with the Leaside Baseball Association (LBA) from the ages of 11 to 19. In 1972 he was chosen to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates farm team, the Bradenton Pirates in the Florida Gulf Coast League, and in his two years with the team, put up an impressive ERA of 2.05. Ampleford was an outstanding player with the LBA and was selected as MVP in his age group four times, the best pitcher four times and the leading hitter four times. In 1971 he led the league in home runs. He was a member of the Leaside team that won the CNE Peewee tournament in1965, a tournament which Leaside did not win again until 2022. In 1971 his team won the Ontario Junior AAA Championship. As a hockey player, Ampleford was a prolific scorer in the Metro Junior B Hockey League, the Ontario Junior Hockey League, York University, the International Hockey League, the Continental Senior A Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey Association at both the Intermediate and Senior levels.
David Chambers (Athlete/Builder – Hockey)
While a student at Northlea and Leaside High, Dave Chambers excelled in multiple sports including football, baseball, track and hockey. His success on the ice translated into a successful career as both a player and a coach. Chambers played in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) for the Guelph Biltmores and the St. Michael’s Majors. He went on to play hockey at the University of Toronto (where he also played varsity football) and the University of British Columbia (UBC). As a coach, Chambers spent 14 years behind the bench at the university level. In his eight years at York University, he coached the team to three OUAA titles and the team’s first CIAU championship and was named the OUAA coach of the year in the 1976-77 season. At the NCAA level, Chambers still holds the title of the winningest coach by percentage at Ohio State University and led his team to the CCHA Championship in 1972. Internationally, Chambers coached the Canada National Junior Team to gold at the World Juniors in 1988, Team Canada to gold in the Spengler Cup in 1987, and the Canadian Student National Team to silver at the World Student Games in 1985.
He coached in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars and the Quebec Nordiques and then in Switzerland for an additional 15 years.
Chambers has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at York University and UBC, and has authored six hockey books, two of which have been translated and published by the Russian Sport Federation.
Lifetime Contribution Award Barry Samuel
As a youth, Barry Samuel played baseball for both Leaside and North York and as an adult, medaled while representing Canada at the Maccabi games in Mexico in 2019 and in Israel in 2022. For many years, Samuel has been an active supporter of the Leaside community and a strong advocate for youth mental and physical health awareness. He volunteers with both Leaside Baseball and Hockey and served for many years on the Leaside Gardens Arena board of management. As a champion for youth wellness, Samuel initiated the annual Spring Into Action Walk/Run in 2006 and to date, the extremely popular event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities supporting youth mental and physical health.
Lifetime Contribution Award Eleanor Voykin
A graduate of Northlea Public and a current student at Birchmount Park, Leasider Eleanor Voykin has been a hugely successful athlete in the sports of track and cross country running as well as soccer. On the pitch, Voykin is a rep level soccer player with the North Toronto Nitros and in 2022 qualified to play with the Ontario team. In the 2022-2023 school year, she placed first in the Ontario cross country finals more than a minute faster than the second-place runner. In the National finals, Voykin placed third among all females in the U18 category and first in her age category. At the 2023 Ontario Indoor U16 & U20 Athletics Championships, she smashed the Ontario track records in her age group in both the 1,200- and 2,000-metre distances. This school year, Voykin placed first in the TDSB and first in the Ontario cross country finals.