Hall of Famer

W.F.C. Ted Devlin

Affiliated Discipline(s): Cross-Country, Jumping
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Active Career Period: 1919 - 1925
Induction CSHF: 1982
Induction Category: Builder
Ted Devlin. CSHFM Collection.

The development of skiing as a sport in the Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec region owes much to the enthusiastic involvement of Ted Devlin. In 1918, he promoted the idea of forming the Cliffside Ski Club. This became a reality in 1919 and grew rapidly to a thousand members in a very short period (due in no small part to the very popular annual Ski Ball under the patronage of the Governor General of Canada which he organized and promoted and to which membership of Cliffside was a necessary prerequisite for attendance).

He participated, in cooperation with the Ottawa Ski Club, in the construction of ski jumps in Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa that were well known for nationally prominent meets. Ted was also the prime mover behind the building of Cliffside’s first clubhouse at Fairy Lake and the construction of the Ottawa area’s second jumping tower. At the inaugural event to celebrate the tower’s construction, he invited famous jumpers from Europe to participate.

During several years of intense but friendly competition, jumping reached its all-time peak of popularity. Almost 10 000 spectators gathered at the Fairy Lake jump (near Hull, Qué), designed by Gunnar Sjelderup, to watch an international field compete in a meet presided over by the governor general. Somersaults over the jump, and even a tandem somersault performed by two Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) students, added a spectacular element, anticipating today’s freestyle skiing.

By way of a special attraction, he invited two Dartmouth U.S.A. students, Carleton and Bowler, famous for performing a tandem somersault off a tower jump. Needless to say, a large crowd gathered to witness the event — “The attendance was unbelievably large, and never before or since have the locals experienced such a large gathering”.

His influence was also more widely felt as a devoted promoter and vice-president of the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA).

Note: The information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments. Copyright © 2024, Canadian Ski Museum. For Personal/Educational use only. All Rights Reserved.

Five prominent figures who helped form the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA) [L to R]: Charles Mortureux (President Ottawa Ski Club), Champlain Provencher (President Club de Ski Mont Royal d’Amerique), Ted Devlin (President Cliffside Ski Club), H.P. Douglas (President Montreal Ski Club & Canadian Amateur Ski Association), R.W. Russell (President Quebec Ski Club). National Archives C. 34041. 

Sigurd Lockeberg ski jumping at Rockcliffe Park, circa 1912, Ski Jumping Hill Archive.

Rockcliffe Ski Jump, circa 1930, National Film Board of Canada, Library and Archives Canada.

Rockcliffe Ski Jump from Rockcliffe Drive, July 8, 1930, Library and Archives Canada.