Plaques

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Niagara-on-the-Lake

Through the efforts of swimmer John Scott, SSO, and the town council of NOTL, a stone monument and plaque​ were erected and unveiled on 29 October 1994 in honour of the successful Toronto-related cross-lake swims. Many of the successful swimmers were at the unveiling, including: the first two successful swimmers - Marilyn Bell-DiLascio and John Jaremey; women's record holder, Cindy Nicholas; Vicki Keith (the only successful two-way swimmer and the only butterfly crossing); and Patty Thompson (the oldest female crossing).This monument is adjacent to the starting point by the gazebo at the foot of King Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The plaque lists all of the Toronto-related successful swimmers, their crossing dates, and associated times.

After the previous plaque became full, the new plaque was designed with a large granite base and with castings to accommodate the details of the additional swimmers and more. John ScottColleen Shields and SSO President Greg Taylor worked closely with Riverside Brass and the NOTL authorities to bring the dream of this new plaque into reality. Many of the past swimmers were in attendance with family and crew members.

Plaques in Toronto

 

MARILYN BELL PARK:

"Marilyn Bell Park" was officially opened by Marilyn Bell Di Lascio on the Toronto waterfront. A brass plaque commemorates Marilyn Bell's historic swim. It is located west of Ontario Place, on Aquatic Drive (Off Lakeshore Boulevard, Toronto) at 43o 37' 51" N, 79o 26' 01" W. It reads:

 

On September 9, 1954, Marilyn Bell, a 16-year old Toronto school girl, under the direction of her coach, treacherous waters off Youngstown, New York shortly after 11:00 p.m. on September 8, Marilyn swam for almost 21 hours before finally touching the breakwall just west of this park to complete her 32-mile (51.5
km) ordeal. Her achievement on that September day in 1954 remains as one of Toronto's most
memorable and spectacular events.

VICKI KEITH POINT:

In 1998, the point of the Leslie St. Spit was named by the city of Toronto as Vicki Keith Point. A plaque was unveiled to honour Vicki Keith, her marathon swims, and her efforts to raise funds for disabled children.  

CLIFF LUMSDON PARK:

Cliff Lumsdon Park and the plaque are located at the foot of Sixth Street on Lake Shore Drive in Toronto, Ontario.  Lumsdon (1931-1991) was a Canadian marathon swimming legend. He won four professional marathon swimming World Championships and was the first swimmer to cross the icy waters of the Strait of Juan De Fuca from Victoria, British Columbia to Port Angeles, Washington. In 1949, he was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as the country's outstanding athlete, in 1976, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, and in 1982, he was inducted into the Order of Canada.

 

Lumsdon later went on to coach his daughter, Kim Lumsdon, who successfully crossed
Lake Ontario on August 27, 1976.  He was a founding member and president of Solo Swims of Ontario and a dedicated Swim Master.

Lake Huron Plaques

HARBOR BEACH MICHIGAN:

Vicki Keith was honored by the citizens of Harbor Beach, Michigan with a plaque on the beach at the foot of Trescott Street Pier. She swam the 75 km from this beach  to Goderich, Ontario on July 17-19, 1988 in 46 hours 55 minutes. This was the first swim across Lake Huron. 

GODERICH BEACH ONTARIO:

Vicki Keith was honored by the citizens of Goderich, Ontario as "A Great Canadian" with a plaque overlooking the beach south of Goderich Harbour where she finished her Lake Huron swim. The swim raised $548,000 for the Variety Club disabled children charity. 

A second plaque is located in the same spot in Goderich, which carries a poem dedicated to Vicki's  crossing of Lake Huron and the other four Great Lakes in 1988.