Author Archives: Kate Silver

Cranking it up to 12 on January 20!

Toronto Roller Derby 10th season

We’ve gone way past 11! Season 12 opens on Saturday January 20 at the Bunker in Downsview Park, with the doors opening at 4pm, and the first whistle sounding at 5. Our first doubleheader of the season starts with a classic matchup as The Gore-Gore Rollergirls take on the defending champs, the Chicks Ahoy! Then, at 7pm, it’s the Smoke City Bandits taking on last year’s runner-ups, the Death Track Dolls. Tickets are $18 at the door, or $12 in advance at our outlets or online here. There are also discounts when purchasing online tickets when you buy 10-packs.

Tickets are now available at outlets!

  • Purple Purl – 1162 Queen Street E
  • Rotate This – 801 Queen Street W
  • Soundscapes – 572 College Street

Follow the facebook event page for this doubleheader for up-to-the-minute updates on our vendors and afterparty details for the night.

And, it’s not too late to get Season Passes for 2018 – save when you’re buying tickets for the entire season!

Season 11 EOS Awards!

On Friday October 6, Toronto Roller Derby closed out our 11th Season with our annual End of Season Awards bash, which celebrates the best of Toronto Roller Derby, both on and off the track. Here are the 2017 winners:

The awards

Skating Awards
Best Jammer – Boxcar (Chicks Ahoy!) and Holly Rocket (Death Track Dolls)
Best Pivot – Jessica Rabid (Smoke City) and Rainbow Fight (Death Track Dolls)
Best Blocker – Boxcar (Chicks Ahoy!)
Rookie of the Year – Scrappy (Death Track Dolls)
Most Outstanding Newcomer – Jessica Rabid (Smoke City)
Most Feared Skater – Boxcar and Sleeper Hold (Chicks Ahoy!)
Most Improved Skater – Arrguile (Death Track Dolls)
Holy Grail – Guill T. Pleasure (Gore-Gore Rollergirls)

ToRD Culture Awards
Most Help off the Track – Gorschach
Draw First Blood – Redneck
Heart of Gold – Penny Whistler and Swear Wolf
Best Boutfit – Demerits Targaryen

Tordie of the Year – Arrguile

Most awards are voted upon by ToRD members, recognizing their peers for their performances both on and off the track, and are geared mostly towards recognizing members for their contributions to our home team season. Best Jammer is based on statistics from the 2017 Season. Best Blocker and Best Pivot are fairly self-explanatory. Rookie of the Year recognizes the best new skater who developed first and foremost as a ToRD member, and had not previously played for another full contact derby organization, while Best Newcomer recognizes a new skater who has transferred from another full contact league. Most Feared recognizes a skater who is your worst nightmare to face on the track, and Most Improved Skater recognizes a skater who has shown a noticeable growth and improvement in their play, leadership and skating. While not a skater award per se, the Holy Grail award honours the bench manager who has the greatest impact on their team’s success.

Most Help Off the Track goes to a skater who contributes strongly to the league behind the scenes.

The Draw First Blood award goes to the Viper that always brings 100% to every practice, consistently shows the most enthusiasm, and pushes the team.

The ToRD Heart of Gold Award, also known as the Crankypants Award (named in honour of our former announcer Cranky), recognizes a non-skater for their contributions to the growth and development of ToRD.

Previous winners of this award are:

  • 2012: Mr Force
  • 2013: The Reverend Ramirez
  • 2014: Wencer / Mr Whistler
  • 2015: Derby Nerd
  • 2016: Casey McNally

The 2017 ToRDie of the Year is Arrguile! ToRDies of the Year goes to a skater who “has experienced on-track success and who has best exemplified the values and spirit of ToRD on and off the track this past season. Our league values include: Community, Inclusivity, Empowerment, Development, and Respect.” A recent draftee, Arrguile won the heart of ToRD with her infectious good mood, positive attitude, and constant laughter. We are very sad to see her move to greener pastures as she picks up and heads out west.

Two one-time awards were handed out:

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Penny Whistler for her long-term service as a skating official. Penny has been with ToRD through thick and thin. With 11 seasons and over 500 games under her belt, Penny has become a bedrock of officiating for Toronto and the all of the WFTDA. Thank you Penny!

The F*ck it, We’ll Do It Live Award was given to Bill Murray, for his 10 years of service to ToRD both as a skating official and an announcer. In the early days, as an official, Bill heard the fans booing at them and yelled “That’s awesome! That means they care!” He filled in the role of house announcer in 2012 and went from getting yelled at to yelling at people. We are so glad for everything he has done for the league. Let’s f**king do it live. F**king thing!

Photo credit: Paul Devisser. Graphic manipulation: Hoser.

Thank you to everyone on the Exec and EoS Committees for putting together a wonderful, fun event to mark Season 11, thank you also to Bill Murray for being our host, and congratulations to all of this season’s winners!


Toronto Roller Derby All-Stars Tryouts

Do you have what it takes to represent Toronto Roller Derby and Canada on an international level?

This is the opportunity to prove you have what it takes to make it – Toronto Roller Derby is hosting an OPEN TRYOUT for the Toronto Roller Derby All-Stars 2018 season!

Tryouts will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 7pm-10pm at The Bunker. (40 Carl Hall Rd, Studio 3, Toronto).

To be eligible to tryout you must:
Be 18 years old or older
Must have passed WFTDA Minimum skills requirements
Must carry valid insurance (through CRDi, RSC or WFTDA)
Must have a valid passport
Must be able to travel outside of Canada

To sign up, please RSVP to this event on Facebook AND fill out this Google Form.

All-Stars and Toronto Men’s Sept 16

toronto roller derby

Our All-Stars take on Killamazoo, while Toronto Men’s Roller Derby goes at each other! In the first game, Toronto Men’s Roller Derby will show off their prowess in a blue vs. white match. In the second game, Toronto Roller Derby All-Stars (WFTDA #101) will take on the Killamazoo Kill-Stars (WFTDA #98) from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Killamazoo will be out for blood — the last time these teams met, Toronto took the day 193-139. It’s not one to miss!

Ticket outlets:

  • Purple Purl – 1162 Queen Street E
  • Rotate This – 186 Ossington Ave
  • Soundscapes – 572 College Street

Follow the Facebook event page for this doubleheader for up-to-the-minute updates on our vendors and afterparty details for the night.

Roll-Out 2017: The Pack is Queer!

2017 rollout clam slam uhaul brawl

Roll-Out (formerly known as Clam Slam and uHaul Brawl) is our 9th annual roller derby event to kick off Pride weekend, and brings together the LGBTQ2 roller derby community for an event like no other! We bring together queer skaters from across North America to celebrate and demonstrate pride and ownership of space and the power of gathering as queer athletes.

We provide a kid-friendly, wheelchair-accessible, and campy sports event that is fun for everyone!

Who’s playing?

It’s always a fun surprise to see who comes from where to skate at this event, with many skaters adopting fun derby names just for the day.
Once again this year we will have TWO bouts!

Thursday June 22
6:30 pm: Blundstone Brigade vs the Glitterazzi
8:00 pm: Team Bi-Yonce vs Team Gay-Z


Roll-Out is at The ToRD Bunker this year:
40 Carl Hall Road
Toronto, ON M3K 2C1

Special event pricing!

Tickets are $10 in advance online and $15 at the door. Door tickets, as well as on site vendor purchases are cash only. Tickets for this event are NOT available at our ticket outlets – online or at the door only. If you are a Season Pass holder and have not yet used your “bonus punch”, you may do so at Roll-Out.

Doors at 6:00, first whistle of the first bout at 6:30, second bout gets underway at 8:00. Beer and cider will be available at the arena!

Afterparty will be held once again at The Steady Cafe & Bar, 1051 Bloor St West (between Dufferin and Dovercourt).

June 3: Battle for the Boot XI!

toronto roller derby

It all comes down to this, our 11th home team championship, Battle for the Boot XI! Saturday, June 3 will see the thrilling finale to Season 11, as the regular season champs, the Death Track Dolls, take on the reigning ToRD champs, the Chicks Ahoy! for the coveted Boot. In the warmup to the Battle that night, our farm team, the Vipers, will be hosting the Knockouts of Norfolk County Roller Derby (Simcoe, ON) at 5pm, and then the Championship game follows at 7. Advance tickets are on sale now online, and also at our ticket outlets.

How they got here

dollsThe Death Track Dolls finished the 2017 regular season in first place, going undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 2014 (their last Boot title year), but fell to the Chicks in the Quarterfinals. The Dolls are led by a strong veteran blocking core, including Dawson, DaSilva, Getcha Kicks, and Wheatabitch, not to mention a productive jammer rotation of Holly Rocket (regular season leader in points), Bat Ma’am, Ellen Rage, and Scrappy.  The Dolls were also bolstered by the return of double threat blocker/jammer Rainbow Fight, and some new faces — rookie and transfer — in Arrrguile, Fleetwood Smack, and Kate Silver. The Dolls are ready to go “Doll the Way” on June 3.

chicksMeanwhile, The Chicks Ahoy! finished the 2017 regular season in second place and are looking for a repeat of last year’s Boot victory. The Chicks second-place finish, due to a harrowing 1-point defeat at the hands of these same Death Track Dolls in the regular season, was avenged by their convincing win over the Dolls in the Quarterfinals, giving them a bye directly to the big game. A strong veteran core, led by returnees Boxcar (regular season leader in points per jam and lead percentage), Joss Wheelin, Francesca Fiure, and Vag Lightning, among others, and a power-packed jammer rotation composed of Banshee, Monster Muffin, Sleeper Hold, and Sammy Destruction, have combined to bring the Chicks back to the glory days of old. The Chicks are setting sail for the big game.

ToRD History in the Making

chicksThe Death Track Dolls are aiming for their 3rd win in as many appearances for the champs game, while the Chicks Ahoy! sport a 4-2 record in Battles for the Boot and are looking to expand their all-time lead. This will be the first time these two teams face each other in the Battle for the Boot in ToRD history. These two teams have already made history this season, with a 1-point Dolls win over the Chicks in the regular season. Another historical battle between these two teams is the perfect way to cap off ToRD’s 11th season. Let’s take a look back at our first ten Battles for the Boot before we write the 11th chapter.

2007, Battle for the Boot I: Gores 89 – Chicks! 53, Rinx Entertainment Centre

chicksThe very first Battle for the Boot happened late in 2007, so late, in fact, that our original home had already laid ice for the winter. No matter – we packed up and headed to North York for the first time, to Rinx. The first Battle was a relatively low-scoring affair, a back and forth battle ultimately captured by the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Blog TO was there to commemorate the event, and you can read their recap here.

2008, Battle for the Boot II: Chicks! 114 – Gores 97, George Bell Arena

chicksIn 2008 ToRD was able to hold the second Battle for the Boot in our then-home, George Bell Arena. Another see-saw battle, this one featured multiple lead changes, including a late comeback by the eventual winners, the Chicks Ahoy!. In a sign of things to come, mainstream media covered the Final, including this CP24 recap that still exists online.

2009, Battle for the Boot III: Gores 129 – Betties 88, The Hangar

chicksIn mid-summer 2009, Toronto Roller Derby moved to Downsview permanently, first settling in the Hangar. After two seasons of six-team home season play, ToRD consolidated down to four, and for the first time, the Chicks Ahoy! were not in the Final, as they were defeated in the regular season by the second-place Smoke City Betties. The Betties had been on the rise for some time, and after this season concluded underwent a large rebuild, but in 2009 they gave the Gores all they could handle. The Gores survived, however, becoming the first ToRD team with two titles under their belts (which some skaters still wore in those days). Kevin Konnyu’s photos of the event on Flickr start here.

2010, Battle for the Boot IV: Gores 107 – Chicks! 31, The Hangar

chicksIn 2010, again at the Hangar, the Chicks returned to the big game, but the Gore-Gore Rollergirls Dynasty was in full effect. The Gores scored early and often, and didn’t allow the Chicks much breathing room on the track. By 2016 standards, the final score was still incredibly low, but in 2010 it was insurmountable, and the Gores nailed down a throrough victory to claim their then-league-leading third Boot, and in the process became the first ToRD team to win two titles in a row. Joe Mac was there, and in addition to shooting the action, he even wrote this recap which you can find here.

2011, Battle for the Boot V: Chicks! 111 – Gores 46, The Hangar

chicksThe 2011 Final was almost a mirror image of the previous year’s, as once again the Chicks! and Gores met in the final, only this time it was the Chicks! who dominated, and the Gores who were playing catch up all game. Having cruised through the regular season, the Gores earned a bye directly to the Final, but the Chicks! used their own momentum to buoy (ha ha!) themselves to the win, with a points cushion similar to that of the Gores in the previous year. Derby Nerd’s recap of the 2011 event, featuring a collection of photos from various ToRD photographers, can be found here.

2012, Battle for the Boot VI: Chicks! 196 – Gores 56, The Bunker

chicksIn late 2011, ToRD moved across Downsview Park into the Bunker, and 2012 was the year of the Chicks Ahoy!. For the first time – and only time until this season – the Chicks! finished in sole possession of 1st place, having previously tied the Gores for regular season wins on two occasions. 2012 was also historic, as it was the last time until 2016 that this classic Chicks!/Gores matchup occurred in the big game (and 2012 also marked the final call by original ToRD announcer, Crankypants). Much like in 2011, the Chicks dominated, putting up what was then the highest Championship game score in ToRD history, claiming their third Boot, and tying the Gores for the all-time lead. Little did anyone know that it would take until 2016 for one of these two teams to claim their fourth. Derby Nerd’s excellent recap can be found here.

2013, Battle for the Boot VII: Dolls 258 – Betties 73, The Bunker

chicks2013 was a year of big change in ToRD. First, the All-Star CN Power squad saw its members largely leave their home teams, in order to train exclusively for WFTDA action representing ToRD against the world. This power shift (heh) largely affected the previous top dogs, the Chicks! and Gores, the most, and the Dolls and Betties took full advantage. The Dolls were the last remaining home team to make an appearance in the Final, and having finished in last place in 2012, were well re-armed at the draft, and coupled with a strong veteran core, put together their first first-place finish and cruised to the Final. The Betties made their second Boot appearance, but were no match for the Dolls, who topped the year-old points record set by the Chicks!, and set a Boot record that still stands in their first title. Derby Nerd’s recap is here.

2014, Battle for the Boot VIII: Dolls 184 – Gores 139, The Bunker

chicks2014 saw more upheaval on ToRD rosters, as again the top players on the home teams largely left to play exclusively with CN Power. The Dolls, however put up a second consecutive undefeated regular season, and the Gores, after a one-year absence, returned to the Battle for the Boot. The 2014 edition proved to be one of the tightest in years, as the Gores kept it close throughout. In the end, the Dolls won their second straight title, joining the Chicks! and Gores as all having done so. Once again, Derby Nerd provides the recap here.

2015, Battle for the Boot IX: Betties 171 – Gores 140, The Bunker

chicksThey say that the third time’s the charm, but early on it didn’t look like it would happen – in fact, the Gores enjoyed a decent lead well into the second half. But a big pushback by the Betties – a team so long in its history that not only do they predate ToRD itself, but even begat the Gores ahead of the first season – led them to their first-ever title. (Catch the CityNews recap here, and read Derby Nerd’s recap here). With that big win, all four of ToRD’s teams have now claimed the coveted Boot.

2016, Battle for the Boot X: Chicks 164 – Gores 88, The Bunker

chicksSeemingly in honour of our 10th season, a classic matchup occurred between the Chicks Ahoy! and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Indeed, the Chicks and Gores had faced off in 5 of the first 6 title games, and this sixth matchup did not disappoint. (In fact, 2017 marks the first time the Chicks will face an opponent other than the Gores in the title game.) The Gores led halfway through the first half, as the Chicks endured penalty problems, but ultimately the team in green found their footing to take a 76-61 lead into halftime. The Chicks took control in the second, and completed their “worst to first” comeback (having gone winless in 2015) with a 164-88 victory to claim their fourth Boot title. For more about Battle for the Boot X, catch up with the Derby Nerd here.

2017, Battle for the Boot XI: ???

Who knows what will go down on June 3 – will the Dolls go 3 for 3 in the champs game, or will the Chicks! start a new Dynasty? You don’t want to miss this – get your tickets now! Advance tickets are available for $12 online or at our outlets (group discounts are available when purchasing online only in 4 and 10-packs) or you will be able to buy tickets at the door on game day for $18.

2017 Boot Semifinal May 13!

toronto roller derby

On Saturday, May 13, the 2017 Toronto Roller Derby Playoffs continue at the Bunker at Downsview Park with the 2017 Battle for the Boot Semifinal, between the Death Track Dolls and the Smoke City Bandits. Game 1 that evening will feature the future of Toronto Roller Derby, the Vipers, hosting Durham Region Roller Derby‘s Drrd’y Farmers.

Game 1 – Vipers vs Durham

Coming off a fresh win against the Capital City Cannon Dolls, the Vipers are looking to get another win against Durham Region Roller Derby’s Drrd’y Farmers. As Toronto Roller Derby’s newest members, the Vipers represent the future of ToRD and you might be witnessing the emergence of tomorrow’s all-stars! Don’t miss this chance to see the future of Toronto Roller Derby today!

Game 2 – The Semifinal – Dolls vs Bandits

Then in game 2, the 2017 Battle for the Boot playoffs continue with the Semifinal. The Smoke City Bandits finished 3rd in the regular season standings (1-2), and in the 3-4 game of the 2017 Quarterfinals eliminated the 4th-place Gore-Gore Rollergirls (0-3) to get to this game. Meanwhile, the Death Track Dolls finished in first place in the regular season going 3-0, and played the 1-2 game at the April 8 Quarterfinals. There the 2nd-place Chicks Ahoy! came out on top. The Dolls get another shot at advancing in this Semifinal. The loser will be done for the season, but the winner will advance to Battle for the Boot XI in June.

Doors open at 4pm. Advance tickets available at our outlets, or on online here. RSVP to the Facebook event page for the Semifinal for up to the minute event updates!