At Montreal

Photo: Lou sporting CanMas medals after races 1989 in Montreal

Lajos Toth April 1st 1931 - April 6th 2022
Lou Toth passed away in April in Acapulco aged 91 years, a victim of a hit and run by a taxi while he was cycling.

Lou Toth was born in Budapest; and became a refugee fleeing Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956.
In Hungary, he had been a trained hairdresser for women. Having qualified to continue practicing the same in Quebec,
he discovered over time that the products used here irritated his hands; so, he had to choose another line of work, that being a taxi driver.
His Hungarian friend, Mike Snak a strong Hungarian paddler, who also left Hungary at the same time, introduced him to paddling in Montreal.
Lou quickly developed as a paddler at Cartierville and had 3rd and 2nd place finishes in Junior K-2 and Junior K-4 respectively in 1962.
Lou followed a well-known Hungarian coach to Italy where he trained with the Italian team including a C-2 that finished 2nd in the Rome Olympics.
It was here that Lou picked up the name 'Luigi' a name he was known as for many years.

Blaho's Team

'Luigi' in kayak, no shirt, training in Italy with an Italian Team

Later in 1966 Lou won Junior K-1 in an exciting race at CCA in Ottawa

After the race it was not clear as to who had won, Lou remained on the course for 10 minutes not moving.
When it was announced that he had won, he threw his paddle in the air and 'paddled' in with his hands.
The Cartierville crowd carried him on their shoulders in a wild celebration on the Mooney's Bay grounds.
The celebrations continued back at the Club up to the Club banquet where Lou received his ring for becoming a Canadian champion.

Junior Champ

Luigi being carried after big win in Junior K-1 in Ottawa, 1966

Lou then paddled some at the Lachine Club but then trained mostly at the Olympic Basin up to the age of 90.
Lou was a regular at the annual Lac Notre Dame masters races hosted by Jean and Lou Lukanovich.


Photo: Lou Toth in light blue, smiling in front row, with master paddlers after a regatta in Lac Notre Dame