George L. Lasby

George Lasby

Portrait by Robert Howson

A member of the famed “Big Ten” who owned the Biltmore Mad Hatters in Guelph, George Lasby dedicated much of his life ensuring that others could play sports. He became Business Manger of the “Bilts” in 1948 at a time when Guelph Memorial Gardens had the most modern ice-making equipment in Canada (even better than Maple Leaf Gardens).

He was on board for the Mad Hatters OHA championship in 1949-50 and their Memorial Cup in 1952, a team that featured many future NHL stars like Andy Bathgate, Harry Howell, Dean Prentice, Ron Stewart and local boys Aldo Guidolin and Lou Fontinato.

Lasby had made a name for himself as a world class breeder of shorthorn cattle. His farm, known as Laslynturn on highway 7, year after year produced award winning cattle that took honours at the most prestigious shows in Canada including grand champion at the CNE and Royal Winter Fair. He was also a breeder of standardbred race horses and that would eventually lead him to build a local track called the Royal City Turf Club on the southeast side of his farm (the current site of the ABB plant). No evening horse races were allowed in the 1950s so Mr. Lasby turned his facility into a stock car track to the delight of local enthusiasts. For years, either with horses or horsepower, he entertained the citizens of Guelph.

Many people feel there is a greater quality in a person who does not seek the spotlight, yet toils endlessly for the benefit of others and George Lasby fits into that category. Generous with his money when it came to sponsoring local teams and lending his business expertise to organizations like the Biltmores, Lasby was a major factor in making our junior hockey heritage so rich.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Builder category – on May 4, 2005