Smoke City History
The history of Toronto Roller Derby – and indeed, the birth of flat track roller derby in Canada as a whole – is inextricably connected to that of the Smoke City Betties. Alyson McMullen (Kandy Barr), owner of RollerBug Skate Company, posted on her website in 2005 calling out for interested skaters to form a roller derby team, and by early 2006 an organizational meeting was held that led to the formation of the Betties, who began practicing that spring. Around the same time, Scooter and Trevstopher, along with Jeff (Jeffro Speedwagon) and Sally Brabant (Mach Wheels) had launched the Toronto Terrors. By April, the Terrors had subdivided into what would become four of ToRD’s original home teams – the Bay Street Bruisers, the Chicks Ahoy!, the Death Track Dolls and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. But it was Betties D-Day, hosted by the Smoke City Betties in August 2006 that solidified things. Shortly afterwards, the Terrors and Betties joined forces, and after the Betties themselves had subdivided and created the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, Toronto Roller Derby was born.
Since our first season in 2007, Smoke City has been a constant part of our home league, with over a hundred skaters wearing the black and blue, including Battle for the Boot appearances in 2009 and 2012, and the team’s first championship title at long last in 2015.
Make no mistake – Smoke City is Toronto Roller Derby, and Smoke City is Toronto. And it’s with that spirit that we are excited to announce a new team name and identity: please welcome the Smoke City Bandits!
Smoke City Bandits
Doubling down on their Toronto pride, the Smoke City Bandits are here to continue a roller derby legacy in Toronto, wearing a familiar face. Masks on, tails out, the Bandits pay homage to one of the city’s famous features, Raccoon Nation. Adaptable, sneaky, and efficient; with a derriere that just won’t quit, the raccoon embodies many characteristics the skaters of Smoke City feel in themselves. Don’t be taken in by their cute faces; these crafty skaters will swindle points on the track before you even know they’re there.
The Smoke City Bandits are continuing in the Smoke City tradition and taking their place in our four-team home league starting this January. Stay tuned for announcements about their 2017 roster and our Season 11 schedule, so you can see them Smoke This! coming soon.