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  • Helder the Husky Biography

    Husky pic

    Huskies have been roaming the great white north for thousands of years and are engrained in Canadian history. And Helder the Husky is no different. 

     In 1946 Toronto was changing. Basketball was growing in popularity and the city decided to add a professional team in the Basketball Association of American (BAA) league which was a forerunner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The newly added basketball team was named the Toronto Huskies. That day marked the birth of the Husky we know today. However, after only one year in the BAA, where the Toronto Huskies did not make the playoffs, the team folded.  

     The Husky was hurt, but refused to let the experience get him down. Instead he went on some soul searching and realized his passion for all sports. That desire for athletics led him to the Provincial Institute of Trades referred to as P.I.T. The varsity teamsstarted competing as the “Huskies” in the newly formed Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA). 

     It was not long before things started to change there too. P.I.T. changed their name to George Brown College in 1967 after the formation of Ontario’s college system. The college was named after George Brown who was an important 19th century politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation. 

     Husky found his home. George Brown College felt right and he knew it was a place he would stay. From 1967 to1972, the Huskies competed in the heart of the Toronto known as Kensington Market. This campus was called the Kensington Campus of George Brown College. 

     But, once the Casa Loma Campus and the Athletic Centre was built in 1972, he packed up and moved across town to the new facility. It was there we the first logo of Husky was created. 

     The Casa Loma Campus would be the home of Husky for about 10 years before the emergence of a new St. James Campus, which was previously a Christie Bakery and Hallmark Cards factory. A new athletic facility was retrofitted onto the roof of the five storey building to accommodate the growing participation of students. It is still the main location where most of the varsity sports compete. 

     For years the Husky celebrated and cheered on the athletes and teams until 2011 it dawned on George Brown College Athletics and Recreation that with all the growth and change over the years, the Husky had never been named. This had to change. In 2011 an online pole was circulated asking for names for the Husky. The winner was decided and from then on the Husky was now, Helder the Husky. 

     To this day Helder the Husky has continued his passion for all George Brown Athletics. You can see him at most home games cheering on the blue and white. Helder has gotten so good at his craft that in 2013 he was awarded - for the first time ever - OCAA Mascot of the Year!