We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Behind the scenes the Motordrome was plagued with trouble from the beginning as management changed hands and the revenue sometimes only just covered the expenses. Hasha’s body flew into the stands, killing him instantly. The Early, Deadly Days of Motorcycle Racing Photographer A.F. Where the Motordrome sat there are two apartment buildings.

Racers played rough and dirty elbowing and kneeing to get to the head of the pack. BikerLizard155 October 19, 2020.

Joslin, 3: Don Barclay; 4. He developed housing on Stanton, Parkfield and Sawden and other nearby streets. Subsidized Housing! Before 1914 this brickyard was Canada’s largest, but that year owner Joseph Russell subdivided his holdings. He competed at the newly built Toronto Motordrome board track, rode in hillclimbs and raced on mile and half-mile dirt tracks, winning the Ontario, Manitoba and Canadian championships. He didn’t consult management. Second heat – Won by Leonard; 2, Henikman; 3, Carslake.

W. Main 1417 PRICES 25c, 50c, 75cToronto Star , May 20, 1914. At the top of the track only a wire fence separated the racers from spectators on bleachers. Oh yes! In the mile she fell and lost 50 yards, but gamely scrambled to her feet and set sail after the leaders. Eddie Hasha’s Indian motorcycle spun out, crashed along 100 feet of railing, striking the heads of the spectators in the bleachers. The crash killed four other spectators, three of them children. Three-mile free-for-all, first heat – Won by Leonard; 2, Don Barclay, Denver; 3, Joslin. This was back when Lake Cliff was an amusement park — it also had a “shoot the chutes” water ride, a café, a theater and a roller rink. The top riders were paid up to $20,000 per year – but they certainly earned their money. There was a serious accident even before the Motordrome opened. Roberts was hit on May 22 by Sayer, a motor-paced rider from Bright Beach, while cleaning glass from the track.

Ernest Roberts, caretaker of the Motordrome, Greenwood avenue, died in St. Michael’s Hospital yesterday morning. Gross; 3, F. Martin. The oil reservoir was so heavy that it caused the bike to weave in the corners, and he stopped after one lap to lighten the load. MOTORDROME Greenwood & Queen East. Manager Hughes stated that it was purely an accident. People came here from all over Toronto for watch bicycle races, baseball, rugby, boxing and other sports too. It had a 15 degree pitch and was 12 feet wide. Walker happened with the most dangerous accident a race rider can have – a front tire blew out while he was riding at full speed at the top of the track. Oak Cliff was home to early 20th century bicycle racing as well as the renowned Big D Cycles motorcycle shop and racing team. Floyd A. Macfarland, 2nd from left, standing. Two weeks later, as New York newspapers were dubbing short-track motorcycle racing arenas “murderdromes,” the guy from St. Louis started building one here. Greenwood Court at 1328 to 1338 Queen Street East is a CMHC-owned building built after World War Two as housing for returning veterans. Paramedics were called from all over the city. There was to be an intimate connection between the wall of death at Motordromes and the circus and particularly sideshows. Drivers Eddie “The Texas Cyclone” Hasha and John Albright were killed as well six fans, three of whom were young teenage boys. S. Weston was second in the quarter and mile, while Miss I. Gordon was third in all three events. A meeting of the creditors will be held this week.

They boasted that it was the best rink in Toronto. They now buzzed like multi-coloured bumblebees around the saucer. These were spectacularly dangerous races that drew crowds numbering in the thousands. The wooden track was already in need of major repair. Motordrome Toronto Sunday World, June 3, 1914. “Bob Dibble Night” at the Motordrome Saturday evening was a huge success. ( Log Out /  A horrendous crash suffered during that race would shock the world with its gory and tragic aftermath. 1,000 candlepower nitrogen bulbs lit the saucer. The new track was opened in the spring. Time, 1.23 3-5. WORLD’S MOTORCYCLE SERIES TONIGHT – Fifty-mile race. His machine skidded along the track nearly a hundred and fifty yards before it stopped. Here, in 1912, a disastrous crashing killed fans and riders. Bob Dibble Sweepstakes. MacFarland opened a string of saucers across the US. MacFarlane was a star athlete, saloon owner, coach, manager and the biggest promoter of motordromes. MOTORCYCLE RACING VINTAGE ‘Murderdromes’: The wooden road to death. He was 61 and had run his own auto repair and service station since retiring from racing in 1915. Two-mile bicycle handicap – First heat, won by Bounsell; 2, J.

Recently one of Baribeau’s granddaughters got in touch with me, a very pleasant surprise. Major Taylor (1878-1932) “Born November 26, 1878, in Indianapolis, Indiana, cyclist Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor began racing professionally when he was 18 years old. ( Log Out /  On Saturday, May 23, 1914, Toronto’s quarter-mile track opened with all 7,000 seats full and many more standing. He played rough, mean and dirty. His motorcycle burst into flames and sprayed burning gasoline over the stands. He set a record for the mile, averaging 95 miles per hour. Note the steeply banked walls and rows of spectators. The Motordrome at Greenwood and Queen was the only one ever built outside the United States. She is Miss Ruby Weston. cyclespast@vermontel.net Take some wooden planks, a bunch of daredevils on stripped-down motorcycles, and a crowd high on gasoline fumes – and what have you got? He was second to Lloyd Leonard in a two-mile heat, ridden in1: 21 2-5 (four second under the Canadian record), and in the final stalled off the latter’s last-lap rush, and won by a whisker. The guiding hand was gone. He covered an extra two miles to be sure of the record and then had to be lifted off the bike, so exhausted he couldn’t speak.

Liddiard took a spectacular dive through the air and landed onto his head, but ws uninjured, although he was stunned. Macfarlane stalked over in a rage ordering his men staff to tear down the ads. The Wall of Death, Revere Beach, MA, c. 1929http://selvedgeyard.com/2009/12/05/the-wall-of-death-daredevils-lions-riders-fairs-oh-my/ accessed Feb. 26, 2016. MOTORDROME GREENWOOD AND QUEEN EAST. Before the start of the Dibble Sweepstakes, Mrs. Brownie Carslake, on behalf of the track riders, presented Dibble with a silver-mounted cane. DEVIL WAGONS AND THE MURDERDROME: Queen and Greenwood, Toronto. The fans threw bottles and trash at any racer they thought was fixing a race by holding back. Miss. Although their number was on their jackets, spectators could not always tell who their hero was. Final heat – Won by Leonard; 2, Carslake; 3, Don Barclay. The tracks were banked so that when racers got up to high speeds, they could go near-horizontal along the walls. Moto Racing News, Photos, Videos and More! HOLIDAY MATINEE – Thrilling Free-For-All. The largest market was teenage boys and young men. The rider brough up over a hundred feet from where he started out, and lay for an instant in a heap in the infield before he arose. Refuelling was done at close to 60 mph by Joe grabbing a can of gas from another motorcycle that ran on the track beside him. It was a “wall“ or “the wall of death”. These early tracks were built without any engineer involved or much concern for safety. A French driver by the name of Henri Ayrault was one and had the distinction of being the first rider to have a spill at the Motordrome in July. The last two — in Coney Island and the Bronx — disappeared before 1950. Motordrome http://rustyknuckles.blogspot.ca/2011/12/wall-of-death-history-and-film-by.html accessed Feb. 26, 2016, 1915 July 15 Motordrome Sat. “Racist” hardly seems adequate to describe Macfarland. King cars to Greenwood Ave. Toronto Star July 15 1915, The Bicycling World and Motorcycle Review, 1915. The biggest week of the Motordrome season will be this weekly period at Saucer Park, Greenwood avenue. In future children will be admitted for half-price, and, as usual, Tuesday nights will be ladies’ nights, when the ladies will be admitted free if accompanied.

The motorcycle then dropped back into the arena and killed another racer.

Night 8.30 The Grand Prize of Toronto FRANCESCO on a Cyclone. Now only circuses and sideshows offer spectators the thrill of motorcycles on a wall of death. & Ludlow, KY. – Episode #19 Deadly Dave’s Blog – Sharing the lost stories of early American motorcycling http://dlmracing.blogspot.ca/2013/11/motordrome-racings-darkest-days-newark.html, Cartoon, Detroit News, 1913 from article by John Sanderson, http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com/autoracing.aspx?id=2128&Type=9 accessed Feb. 26, 2016. A panorama from Oct. 13, 1912 shows part of the quarter-mile motordrome at Lake Cliff Park. Time 3.54 4-5. There were about 75 trained cyclists at the Motordrome where the CWA was to meet and organize the corps. Since he was a paid factory rider, Joe was listed as a professional in the newly created racing category of the Canadian Motorcycle Association. Here, in 1912, a disastrous crashing killed fans and riders. MOTORDROME GRAND OPENING May 23 8:30 p.m. and May 25 8:30 p.m. Star Riders From All Parts of the World Will Appear Limited Number of Reserve Seat Tickets at Moodey’s, 33 King. Brian Pratt, “THE TORONTO MOTORDROME – THE ONLY BOARD TRACK IN THE COMMONWEALTH?” Accessed Aug. 5, 2015 at http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/oldtimespeedway/message/3438. Johnson was killed instantly as well a fan, but eight more died of burns and injuries over the next few weeks. The one in Oak Cliff was a quarter of a mile.

Promoter of the races was a guy named Al Kraemer (or Kreamer depending on who type-set the name back then). He had tried earlier in the summer but his engine seized, so he waited for cooler weather. In January 1914 he brokered a deal with Joseph Russell to open the Motordrome. Thousands poured through the entrance to the Motordrome at the north east corner of the quarry off of Greenwood Avenue and took their seats high on the bleachers overlooking the track or took more expensive seats on the flat area within the oval. The big three were Carslake, Leonard and Henikman but the promoter would try to bring in others to break up their domination. One night 15 bands played everything from waltzes to the top hits of the day (presumably not at the same time). His bike rode the rail for some 100 feet, killing a boy who had been leaning over to watch the race. Miss Weston is ready to meet any lady skater in the city, and Mange Randall, of the Motordrome, will put up a cup for the events. Toronto’s Motordrome was a joint enterprise with the Federals Baseball League, an American professional baseball league that operated from 1913 to 1915. There, on July 30, 1913, Oden Johnson was speeding high up on the track when he lost control and hit a light pole. Walker might well have been killed. Johnson’s widow subsequently devoted years of her life to having board track banned. On hot summer nights in 1914 and 1915 thousands crowded into a wooden saucer at Greenwood and Queen to watch motorcycles race, and sometimes crash and burn only inches from the bleachers.

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