The Transition Game

Welcome to The Transition Game – the beginning of a sustained effort by the GTHL to kickstart a positive shift in the culture of minor hockey in the Toronto area. The conversation began with the Transition Game Summit held on November 16 and 17, 2019 and has continued in a strategic and way ever since. On this page, you will find information about the Transition Game Summit and the ongoing work being done by the League to implement positive change.

Video Summary

Day 2 Vlog

Pillars and Planning

Hockey faces many barriers. Registration is down in the last decade, first generation Canadians have little interest in the game and the competition from other sports, such as basketball, soccer, and tennis is intense.

The Transition Game Summit in November of 2019 kicked off an all-encompassing initiative to re-imagine minor hockey in the Greater Toronto League. The League and its stakeholders have been working alongside strategic consultants to explore unique strategies and tactics for igniting change.

A wide variety of people who attended the Transition Game have been hunkered down in varied and complex discussions.  The participants have a diverse set of skills and experiences and include people from the local world of hockey, business, other sports organizations, corporate partners and members of the GTHL Board.  The four pillars that were initiated during Day Two of the Transition Game, which are illustrated in the accompanying graphic, are The Game, The Community, Stewardship, and The Organizations.  All big topics that have stimulated some interesting ideas.

The goal is to create a united approach to minor hockey within the GTHL.  There is still work to be done and your contribution will still be required if we are to successfully move forward into a welcoming, creative GTHL that emphasizes excellence in everything we do.


Blue and Black Step by Step Process Chart Presentation


Independent Committee on Racism and Discrimination


Independent Committee Members

Bucsis Anastasia Bucsis – During more than a 24-year speed skating career, Anastasia represented Canada at 2 Olympic Games, 6 World Championships and 46 World Cup events. She was the only athlete from North America to come out publicly in opposition to Russia’s anti LGBTQ+ laws before the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Anastasia now works for CBC Sports where she is the speed skating analyst and hosts the “Players Own Voice” podcast. She is a passionate advocate for mental health issues, eradicating homophobia in sport, and telling the stories of Canada’s High Performance athletes.
Smith Michael Smith – Michael is a partner at LMS Lawyers practicing in criminal, civil and administrative law. He is a law professor at Carleton University. He was a member of the Canadian National wrestling team for 6 years, competing at the World and Pan Am Championships. Michael is the Past President of AthletesCAN, an organization dedicated to an athlete centered sport system, developing sport policy in Canada and advocating a strong sport culture. Michael has acted as lead legal counsel for Team Canada at various major competitions, including the Olympic Games. He is an arbitrator and a member of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC), dealing with cases involving discrimination and sport related issues.
LaForme Justice Harry S. LaForme – Justice LaForme is an Anishinabe member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. During his legal practice Justice LaForme focused on matters involving the Constitution and the Charter. He has appeared before each level of Canadian Court. Justice LaForme served as: co-chair of the independent National Chiefs Task Force on Native Land Claims; Chief Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario; Chair of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Land Claims; and taught the “Rights of Indigenous Peoples” at Osgoode Hall Law School. In January 1994 he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario and was – at that time – one of only 3 indigenous judges ever appointed to this level of trial court in Canada. In November 2004 he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal and is the first indigenous person to be appointed to sit on any appellate court in the history of Canada – he retired in October 2018. Justice LaForme has written and published numerous articles on issues related to indigenous law and justice.
Subban Karl Subban – Karl is the ultimate hockey dad. Despite never playing the sport, the former high school principal and father of five has raised 3 NHL Players. Having dedicated his life to helping others reach their potential, Subban knows the value of hard work, devotion, and sacrifice. As an educator, parent, coach, author, inspirational speaker and hockey dad, he has spent a lifetime working with children and believes in the power of both education and sports, working to transform lives and fulfilling potential. His three sons, P.K., Malcolm and Jordan all played in the GTHL.
Kidd Andrew Kidd – Andrew is a lawyer by background and real estate executive by career with major Canadian companies. Andrew has been active in youth development his entire career and in the sports community at the board and coaching level for the past 15 years. He is a past Board member of the GTHL where he initiated the Transition Game initiative and served on the organizing committee. Andrew is the former Chair of the North Toronto Soccer Club, an advisor to Kids Now, past President of PDT Scholarship Foundation, past board member of BB&S of Ontario and past member of the Board of Trade Planning and Development Committee.
Felesky Leigh Felesky – Growing up in small town Alberta, Leigh was a competitive figure skater who spent the majority of her time at the local arena. She went on to skate with the Ryerson University Figure Skating Team and then coach in Toronto for over 20 years. A teacher at heart, Leigh holds degrees in journalism and gender studies, and has taught undergraduate students in subjects ranging from diversity and inclusion to digital storytelling. As a journalist, she covered the Vancouver Olympics for CBC News and continues to write professionally. She’s the mother of three teenage competitive basketball players making sport still a large part of her daily life. Leigh is passionate about ensuring that the growth, joy and leadership opportunities inherent in sport are made equally available to everyone.
Forrester Dr. Nicole Forrester – Nicole  is an Olympian, and a multi-Commonwealth and Pan American Games medalist.  She holds a doctoral degree in kinesiology and is an assistant professor at Ryerson University, specializing in the psychology of sport and high performance.  She is also a registered consultant with the Canadian Sport Psychology Association and serves as the athlete representative for the Americas with the Commonwealth Games Federation, and a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee as an Olympic Supporter.

Independent Committee Terms of Reference

  • Examine, report, and provide recommendations in relation to the GTHL’s overarching policies, protocols and practices, as it relates to racism and discrimination within the organization
  • Examine, report, and provide recommendations in relation to the GTHL’s complaint policy and procedure insofar as it relates to allegations of racism and discrimination on and off of the ice
  • Examine, report, and provide recommendations in relation to the GTHL’s educational materials and training
  • Examine, report, and provide recommendations as to how the GTHL can create a safe environment or structure where people can raise their concerns regarding racism and discrimination (including those who are not the subjects of racism or discrimination/ allies
  • Examine the history of the organization and what reporting mechanisms or structures are in place, and recommending what kind of reporting should be done, and on what basis
  • Examine the existing leadership structure insofar as it relates to diversity within the organization and provide recommendations
  • Examine in this context, means reviewing the historical processes and practices, the existing process and practices, and recommending how to they can be ameliorated
  • Reconvene two years after the date of the release of the report to examine and publicly report on the implementation of the Independent Committees recommendations


Saturday November 16 and Sunday November 17, 2019 – GTHL Hosts the Transition Game Summit Powered by Scotiabank – Shifting Culture
Friday June 12, 2020 – GTHL Announces intent to hose the Town Hall and Appointment of Independent Committee
Friday July 17, 2020 – GTHL Announces the Co-Chairs of the Independent Committee
Thursday September 17, 2020 – GTHL Hosts Town Hall on Racism and Discrimination
Friday December 11, 2020 – Independent Meet and Greet
Saturday January 9 – Sunday January 10, 2021 – Independent Committee Orientation Weekend


Summit Video


Speakers include Scott Oakman (Executive Director, GTHL), John Doig (Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution, Scotiabank), Don West (President, GTHL), Kyle Dubas (General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs), and Dr. Stephen Norris (performance consultant and sport scientist).


Tom Farrey (Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program)


Dr. Marco Di Buono (Associate Vice President of Programs & Operations at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities), Kim Davis (Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs at the National Hockey League)


 Marlowe Stoudamire (Consultant, NHL)

PANEL 1 – Sport Culture 
Panel featuring Paul Carson (VP Hockey Development, Hockey Canada), Wayne McNeil (Co-Founder of the Respect Group), Dr. Laura Misener (Director, School of Kinesiology, Western University), and Scott McCain (CEO of St. John Sea Dogs, QMJHL)

 PANEL 2- Diversity and Inclusiveness 
Anastasia Bucsis (former Canadian Olympic speed skater, host of CBC Sports “Player’s Own Voice”), Steve Whitaker (Founder, Sport Wellness and Achievement Network, TDSB), Moezine Hasham (Founder, Hockey 4 Youth), Lali Toor (Founder, Apna Hockey, South Asian based hockey network).


Contact Information

Event Information
Felipe Palleros
Director, Culture and DEI
(416) 636-6845 Ext. 222

Sponsorship Information
Shaun Filippelli
Manager, Business Development
(416) 636-6845 Ext. 232

Media Inquiries
Stephanie Coratti
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing 


Thank you to all of our sponsors for their contirbutions to the GTHL Summit.


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