Ned Hanlan’s father, John Hanlan, was a Kingston boat builder who became the first leaseholder on Toronto Island, in the area now known as Hanlan’s Point. Born July 12, 1855 in Toronto, Ned had to row to and from the mainland every day to go to school. He became Champion Amateur Oarsman of Toronto Bay at age 18, and then proceeded to establish himself as the best sculler in Ontario. He turned professional at 21, winning the Centennial Races in Philadelphia. The following year, in 1877, he won the Canadian Championship. In 1878 he became U.S. Champion. The following year, Hanlan journeyed to England where he established a new record on the Tyne River, beating the English champion by ten lengths! In 1880, competing on the Thames River, he won the World Championship—a title he held until 1884. The most famous Canadian of his day, he was idolised in Toronto. In both 1898 and 1899 he was elected an alderman. On January 4, 1908, Ned Hanlan died of pneumonia. In his lifetime, he took part in approximately 350 recorded races, losing only six and tying one!