The Town of Mimico, from the Ojibwa word meaning,” the home of the wild pigeon”, located on the border of Toronto, was a popular summer vacation destination, close to Lake Ontario and its westerly beaches. Originally settled as a farming community, it was developing into a hub of activity for new industry; and the ever-expanding railway and heavy manufacturing. Like Toronto, Mimico experienced steady growth during this time, and residents began to settle in the area to work in the local factories, or they were within a short commute to the downtown core.
In those days, you worked for the Railway, Goodyear, Campbell’s Soup or Anaconda Brass.
While the township developed into a bustling suburb of Toronto, the Mimico Lacrosse Club started to churn out some great lacrosse players, builders and teams. Field Lacrosse was played in the early years on pitches bordering Wesley and Portland Streets, as well as, at Memorial Park on Hillside Avenue.
In 1931, when the Canadian Lacrosse Association chose the Box game as its new form of play, the Mimico Lacrosse Club built an outdoor box at the corner of Church Street (Royal York) and Drummond Street, where the game has been played continuously until today. It was known across the province as the “Drummond Street Bowl” which included a dirt floor, and old railway boxcars for dressing rooms. Outdoor games at night in front of thousands were the norm for our sport in the golden age. The roar of the crowd and the announcer’s call of the game could be heard all over town.
The Mountaineers brought recognition to the town more than any other sports team with Mann Cup wins in 1932 and 1942, and Eastern Canadian Senior titles in 1943 and 1947. In WWII, Conn Smythe's 30th Light Anti-aircraft Battery, dubbed "The Sportsmen's Battery" included every member of the Mimico Mountaineers who won the 1942 Mann Cup.
Minto Cup victories were recorded in 1938 and 1951, with Eastern Canadian supremacy logged in 1941 and 1946. Mimico minor lacrosse teams also shared in the success of the Junior and Senior teams with provincial titles earned as well.
At one point in time, the Southern Etobicoke area boasted thriving lacrosse associations in Mimico, Long Branch and Alderwood, all within minutes of each other. The 1970 Lakeshore Maple Leafs and their Minto Cup win was a combined team from these associations.
Participation in lacrosse dwindled in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. The Junior A Mountaineers last season was in 1978. A short list of dedicated volunteers kept the club afloat, putting in long hours at the arena, with various fundraising activities, and driving kids to games and tournaments, keeping the pride and history of Mimico Lacrosse alive.
With the advent of professional box lacrosse, there seemed to be a renewed interest in the game and membership was on the rise. In 1993, the Mimico Jr. B Mountaineers returned to the ranks of junior competition, when a group of former players decided that it was time for our players to stay at home to play the game. The new team embraced the history of Mimico Lacrosse, honoured past greats from the club, and broadcast home games on Rogers Cable. Interest in this new team and the sport of lacrosse in our community continued to grow.
Mimico Minor Lacrosse continues to enjoy much success, as one of the largest associations in Ontario with a thriving Houseleague Box program and two Rep Box teams at each age division. Mimico’s field program has grown rapidly over the past few seasons, with two teams per division in the spring season, fall field and the introduction of the Girls Field program in 2010.
Mimico Lacrosse today owes so much to those that came before and laid the foundation for 120 years of memories. There are so many great players, coaches, volunteers and builders of the game from our community, who contributed at the provincial and national level, and each has their own story. Some of these greats have been recognized with inclusion into the Canadian and Ontario Lacrosse Halls of Fame. We appreciate their contribution and we hope that we honour them with the Mimico Lacrosse Club as it stands today.