MISSISSAUGA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Born: February 26, 1939
Mike Toth can't compete with today's great athletes in Mississauga.
But then, Mississauga's great athletes might not be competing if it hadn't been for Mike Toth. If they gave out medals for establishing the importance of sports in our city, he would win two gold medals- one as a builder, the second as a journalist.
As chairman, he was one of the driving forces in establishing the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame. And as a journalist, his name was synonymous with The Mississauga News for nearly 20 years (1974-92), first as a sports editor then editor. He was named Canada's Sportswriter of the year in 1978, as chosen by the Sports Federation of Canada
In fact, a lot of what we take for granted on the Mississauga sports scene today, all started with Toth's hard work. He has been on the Mississauga Sports Celebrities Dinner committee since it's inception, and was it's chairman for two years. There might not be a Mississauga Sports Council if he wasn't there to chair the steering committee that established its mandate. He was a founding member of the Mississauga Sports Complex Foundation and has been a member of the Peel Olympic Committee, raising funds to assist promising amateur athletes of the region.
Toth was also a member of the Olympic Organizing Committee of Peel that was part of the structure bidding to bring the '96 Olympics to Toronto and vicinity. Not that Toth wasn't an athlete in his day. He left behind a promising soccer and table tennis career when he escaped to freedom after the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. He learned to speak and write in English- while retaining his lovable Hungarian accent AND temper- and broke into journalism in Vancouver with The Province. He also did work for the Vancouver Times and Canadian Press. He came to Toronto in 1967 as editor of the North American Soccer News, and later worked as editor of Tele-Sport. He spent nearly two years as public relations director for Steve Stavro's soccer operation promoting big-time international matches, at the time the only man in Canada to make a full time living from soccer. Stavro went on to bigger and richer things, like making millions from food stores and a team called the Toronto Maple Leafs- while Mike took on other journalistic challenges. He was named sports editor of the Mississauga Times in 1971 and took over the same job at The Mississauga News in 1974.
During that time, he wrote award winning stories from the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and was winner of the Ontario Gymnastic Federation's media Award. Meanwhile, he was organizing, building, twisting politicians' arms- and establishing Mississauga as a training ground for some of the finest amateur and professional athletes in the world.
Mike continues to reside in Mississauga with his wife, Edna