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Vancouver History: Cyclone Taylor

March 18th, 2008 @ 1:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was recently inspired to write another post of this nature based on how I was able to enlighten folks to the fact that there was much more to Joe Fortes than an oyster bar.

Whenever I hear the ad for Cyclone Taylor Sports on morning radio it gets stuck in my head for the better part of the day. Cyclone Taylor’s is one of those local stores that is rooted deep in Vancouver history and has managed to avoid being bought up by the giga-multi-plex sports retail outlets over the years. However, there’s much more to Cyclone Taylor than mouth guards, elbow pads and hockey sticks as Fred “Cyclone” Taylor was on the last Vancouver hockey team that raised the Stanley Cup over their heads.

Fred “Cyclone” Taylor Sr. was one of professional hockey’s first superstars. While Fred was playing for the Ottawa Senators in 1907, Canada’s Governor General was so impressed with his incredible Speed that he coined the name of Cyclone, and it stayed with him the rest of his life. Cyclone Taylor played in 4 Stanley Cup series during his 18 years of professional hockey. He won the cup in 1909 with Ottawa and in 1915 with the Vancouver Millionaires. The other two series Cyclone played in with the Vancouver Millionaires they lost to Toronto in 1918 and to Ottawa in 1921. Cyclone passed away in 1979 at the age of 94. [CycloneTaylor]

Taylor’s speed, skating abilities and scoring skillfulness lead him to 198 goals in 180 games and as noted on the Hockey Legends blog, “After playing eighteen years of hockey Taylor claims he never once got a scar or lost a tooth. The two biggest factors that contributed to that was his skating ability and that he wasn’t a rough or dirty player.”

You can find out more in the BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place or the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton.

As for the stores, they were established by Cyclone’s son Fred in 1957 and are still going strong as Western Canada’s largest independent retailer.

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6 comments

  1. paredown says:

    not so much this, but your blog is great. woke up this AM, feeling homesick for things Vancouver (probably because the 16th was my b’day and the 18th is my mom’s)–and stumbled onto your blog–a bright articulate young canadian who like hockey (ironically or not??)–what a concept!! Say “Hi” to the city for me when you are “oot and aboot.”

  2. Terry says:

    Rebecca

    Many years ago, I went to the cemetery, in Burnaby, that is Southwest of the corner of Willingdon, Imperial and W 49th. You know the corner across the road from the Central Park Pitch n Putt. A friend was looking for her grandparents’ grave. I wandered around with her wishing to be anywhere else.

    Then below my feet I saw Fred “Cyclone” Taylor on a modest bronze plaque with the dates and such. I sat down and cleaned the bits of grass off his marker and contemplated this remarkable find of an unexpected treasure. What was looking to be just another day in the life turned out to be a moment I will forever remember.

    Ciao,

  3. Fred Taylor was the best hockey player to ever wear Vancouver colours. Only Pavel Bure, for a short period, ever could have earned a nickname like Cyclone. And Fred had something Bure always lacked: class.

  4. […] that have put Vancouver on the map in many different realms, from First Nations literary works, legendary hockey skills, to helping children learn to swim in English Bay. Vancouver’s history is made by its people, […]

  5. Paul says:

    I agree! Cyclone Taylor is a Vancouver hockey legend.. would have been quite a thrill to see him speed around the ice in the old Denman arena ;)

    CTV Ch 9 news did a great story on him and the new reproduction Millionaires sweater being donated to the BC Sports Hall of Fame!

  6. […] One thing I love more than local history is local hockey history, from towel power to the earlier years with Cyclone Taylor. […]

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Thursday Morning Link Fest: Long Weekend Warmup
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Monday Afternoon Link Fest: Video Rant Edition