The Ontario Sports Hall of Fame is an association dedicated to honouring athletes and personalities with outstanding achievement in sports in Ontario, Canada. The hall of fame was established in 1994 by Bruce Prentice, following his 15-year tenure as founder and president of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (CBHF). The inaugural class of honoured members was inducted in 1994.
The OSHOF currently lists 115 inductees, including 101 players and 14 sports personalities. Each year the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame also honours recipients of the Brian Williams Media Award, the Sandy Hawley Community Service Award, the Ferguson Jenkins Heritage Award, and the Syl Apps Athlete of the Year Award.
With support from Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, the OSHOF is in the process of building a permanent home at the Ricoh Coliseum.
The Ontario Sports Hall of Fame was established through the efforts of Bruce Prentice, the founder and former President of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (CBHF). Noticing a void in the Canadian Hall of Fame scene, Prentice realized that Ontario was the only province in Canada without its own sports Hall of Fame. Originally called the “Ontario Sport Legends Hall of Fame”, its role on behalf of all Ontarians is to ensure that time will not diminish the nature of our legends' deeds for generations to come.
Initially, some of the board of directors who took on the role of developing the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, were Dr. Al Fruman, Marcia Vandenbosch, the late Mark Dailey, George McConnachie, Nao Seco, John Brossard, Ian Smith and others were added later. As the "Hall" began to grow in prominence and stature, the inaugural induction event, in 1995, was held in Toronto's Metro Convention Centre, with Paul Godfrey as honorary chairman; 1996 with Bruce Simmons as honorary chairman in the Pickering Recreation Centre; and 1997 saw the event return to the Convention Centre in Toronto, with Richard Peddie the honorary chairman.
In partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the OSHOF will have a permanent location in the outer gallery of the Ricoh Coliseum. Centrally located on the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds, the new Hall of Fame will draw on a built-in audience of over a million visitors per year. The state-of-the-art facility will feature displays that preserve Ontario’s sporting heritage. Visitors will be able to view trophies, memorabilia and equipment worn by players during special games. The Hall will have interactive zones that are meant to be educational and entertaining.