Government of Canada recognizes the national historic significance of Tackaberry Skates
Thursday, October 20, 2022
by: Parks Canada

Section: Member News

OTTAWA, ONOct. 19, 2022 /CNW/ - National historic designations reflect the rich and varied heritage of our country and provide opportunities for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history. A Canadian innovation, George Tackaberry's namesake hockey skates forever changed one of the sport's most important pieces of equipment.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the designation of Tackaberry Skates as an event of national historic significance under Parks Canada's National Program of Historical Commemoration.

In 1905, Brandon, Manitoba, shoemaker George E. Tackaberry's neighbour – future Stanley Cup Champion and Hall of Famer Joe Hall – asked him to develop a better boot for his skate, one that would withstand the strain and stress of a full season of hockey. Tackaberry's design used a moisture-resistant kangaroo hide that would not stretch, lowered the boot's top edge, reinforced the heel and toe, and improved the arch support. The redesigned boots were so successful that Hall flooded Tackaberry with orders from his teammates after just the first season of use. It was not long before Tackaberry's shoe repair business in Brandon was dedicated to producing boots for hockey players.

Tackaberry's improved boot came at a time when hockey was transitioning from an amateur to a professional sport. Better boots improved on-ice performance and professional players looked for any advantage they could get, including by investing in higher quality equipment. In 1927, Canada Cycle & Motor Company (CCM) took over the entirety of Tackaberry's shop for production, and started to sell skate blades that were attached to the Tackaberry boot. Although the attached blade was already being used by some skaters, CCM's quality blade in combination with the Tackaberry boot made for a superior skate. Tackaberry's production continued to be exclusive for CCM blades until his death in 1937. CCM bought the design from Tackaberry's wife and produced 'Tacks' as the company's signature skate through the 20th century.

The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, recognizes significant persons, places, and events that have shaped our country as one way of helping Canadians connect with their past. By sharing these stories with Canadians, we hope to foster understanding and reflection on the diverse histories, cultures, legacies, and realities of Canada's past and present.

The designation process under Parks Canada's National Program of Historical Commemoration is largely driven by public nominations. To date, more than 2,200 designations have been made nationwide. To nominate a person, place or historic event in your community, please visit the Parks Canada website for more information:


"Getting a new or used pair of 'Tacks' was a memorable rite of passage for many young Canadian skaters. One of the world's most recognizable skate brands, 'Tacks' have been worn by players on local ponds and backyard rinks, right up to NHL arenas and all-star games for almost 100 years. George Tackaberry's innovative boot design meant high-quality footwear for hockey players and played a key role in the development of the sport."

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

"Tackaberry skates have a significant place in Canadian sport history and are worthy of recognition, both as an example of innovation and as an object that connects to the lived experience of many Canadians."

Jenny Ellison, PhD
Curator, Sport and Leisure
Canadian Museum of History

Quick Facts
  • Born in Dresden, Ontario in 1874, George Tackaberry learned shoe repair as a teenager and worked in this profession after moving to Brandon, Manitoba in 1892.
  • The 'Tacks' brand remained CCM's signature skate until it was retired in 2006. It was brought back in 2014 after demand from players at both the professional and recreational level. 'Tacks' have been worn by numerous NHL legends and superstars during their careers, including Jean Béliveau and Bobby Orr.
  • Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national significance of persons, places, and events that have marked Canada's history. Together with Parks Canada, the Board ensures that subjects of national historic significance are recognized under Parks Canada's National Program of Historical Commemoration and these important stories are shared with Canadians.
  • Parks Canada is committed to working with Canadians in our efforts to tell broader, more inclusive stories in the places that it manages. In support of this goal, the Framework for History and Commemoration outlines a new, comprehensive, and engaging approach to sharing Canada's history through diverse perspectives, including shedding light on tragic and difficult periods of Canada's past.
Related Document
Related Links

Parks Canada Agency 
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada 
Framework for History and Commemoration

SOURCE Parks Canada

For further information: Contacts: Kaitlin Power, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-230-1557,; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812

Post a Comment