Ontario Rugby Football Union

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The Ontario Rugby Football Union or ORFU was an early amateur Canadian football league with teams in the Canadian province of Ontario. The ORFU was founded in 1883 and in 1903 became the first major competition to adopt the Burnside Rules, from which the modern Canadian football code would evolve.

During the Second World War, the military teams in Ontario played in the ORFU filling the gap during the suspension of play by the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union. (Toronto Navy - H.M.C.S. York played out of Varsity Stadium using the Toronto Argonauts equipment and uniforms.) The Toronto RCAF Hurricanes were the last amateur team to win the Grey Cup in 1942. Many from the ranks of the military teams in the ORFU became stars in the CFL after the war.

The ORFU champion challenged for and won the Grey Cup in its early decades, but by the 1950s their challenges proved to be perennial failures against the stronger professional interprovincial leagues, the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union and the Western Interprovincial Football Union. The ORFU withdrew from Grey Cup competition in 1954 in a move that heralded the start of the modern era of Canadian football. The ORFU ceased to operate as a true senior league after 1960, but continued play at the intermediate level. Eventually the word "senior" came to replace the word "intermediate." By 1974, the ORFU had ceased to exist.

Notable teams[edit]

ORFU champions[edit]

Year Champion
1883 Toronto Argonauts
1884 Toronto Argonauts
1885 Ottawa College
1886 Ottawa College
1887 Ottawa College
1888 Ottawa College
1889 Ottawa College
1890 Hamilton Tigers
1891 Osgoode Hall
1892 Osgoode Hall
1893 Queen's University
1894 Queen's University
1895 University of Toronto
1896 University of Toronto
1897 Hamilton Tigers
1898 Ottawa Rough Riders
1899 Kingston Granites
1900 Ottawa Rough Riders
1901 Toronto Argonauts
1902 Ottawa Rough Riders
1903 Hamilton Tigers
1904 Hamilton Tigers
1905 Hamilton Tigers
1906 Hamilton Tigers
1907 Peterborough Pets
1908 Toronto Amateur Athletic Club
1909 Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club
1910 Toronto Amateur Athletic Club
1911 Hamilton Alerts
1912 Hamilton Alerts (Grey Cup champs)
1913 Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club
1914 Hamilton Rowing Club
1915 Toronto Rowing and Athletic Association
1916 No season: World War I
1917 No season: World War I
1918 No season: World War I
1919 Toronto Rowing and Athletic Association
1920 Toronto Rowing and Athletic Association
1921 Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club
1922 Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club
1923 Hamilton Rowing Club
1924 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1925 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1926 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1927 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers (Grey Cup champs)
1928 University of Toronto Orphans
1929 Sarnia Imperials
1930 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers (Grey Cup champs)
1931 Sarnia Imperials
1932 Sarnia Imperials
1933 Sarnia Imperials
1934 Sarnia Imperials (Grey Cup champs)
1935 Sarnia Imperials
1936 Sarnia Imperials (Grey Cup champs)
1937 Sarnia Imperials
1938 Sarnia Imperials
1939 Sarnia Imperials
1940 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1941 Hamilton Wildcats
1942 Toronto RCAF Hurricanes (Grey Cup champs)
1943 Hamilton Flying Wildcats (Grey Cup champs)
1944 Hamilton Wildcats
1945 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1946 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1947 Ottawa Trojans
1948 Hamilton Tigers
1949 Hamilton Tigers
1950 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1951 Sarnia Imperials
1952 Sarnia Imperials
1953 Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers
1954 Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
1955 Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
1956 Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
1957 Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
1958 Sarnia Golden Bears
1959 Sarnia Golden Bears
1960 London Lords

Most ORFU championships[edit]

Imperial Oil Trophy - Most Valuable Player[edit]

References[edit]

See also[edit]