A look at 10 firsts in Canadian motorcycling history

To celebrate Canada Day this month we took a look back at some interesting highlights of Canada’s motorcycling history and some of the influential times for motorcyclists across the country. Motorcycling is an important part of our driving culture, and a symbol of freedom. In this article we celebrate some of the firsts in Canadian motorcycle history that have shaped our past.

 

1908: The Toronto Police Department purchased their first motorcycle. They department paid $230 for the motorcycle manufactured by Brown Brothers Limited of Great Eastern Street, in London, England.1

 

1910: The oldest motorcycle dealership in Canada, Sturgess & Sons Motor Cycles opened in Hamilton, Ontario.2

 

1911: There were 264 motorcycles registered in Canada.3

 

1911: A World Record for 100 miles on a flat track was set in October by “Wild” Joe Baribeau, one of the Manitoba Motorcycle Club founding members and Canadian Hall of Fame Historic Inductee.4

 

1911: The Manitoba Motorcycle Club (MMC) is the oldest motorcycle club in Canada and is reported to be the 4th oldest in the world. MMC was founded on February 21, 1911.5

 

1912: The first completely designed Canadian motorcycle was made by Joshua Hill of Essex, Ontario. There were less than five machines produced.6

 

1914: Sadie Grimm became the first Canadian woman to win a motorcycle competition. The race was open to men, and she was the first rider to make the trip from Winnipeg to Winnipeg Beach, at a time when there was an almost complete absence of navigable roads.7

 

1949: The first Canadian district of Motor Maids was created. Now called the Atlantic Canada Motor Maids, their district includes the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.8

 

1967: The only Canadian Motorcycle Grand Prix took place on September 30, 1967 at Mosport.9

 

2001: Lawrence Hacking was the first Canadian to finish the Dakar Rally, the longest and most challenging rally of its kind and is considered to be the pinnacle of achievements in the off-road racing world.10