Toboggan

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TOBOGGAN

FOR MOST CANADIANS, TOBOGGANING IS A VERY POPULAR WINTER SPORT. IN MODERN TIMES, A TOBOGGAN IS USED TO CARRY ONE OR MORE PEOPLE DOWN A HILL OR SLOPE FOR RECREATION. HOWEVER, THIS TRADITION DATES BACK TO ABORIGINAL TIMES WHEN NATIVES WOULD USE TOBOGGANS TO TRANSPORT THEIR FAMILIES AND SUPPLIES ACROSS SNOWY TUNDRA. TOBOGGAN’S WERE OFTEN LONG AND NARROW TO FIT INSIDE A SNOWSHOE TRAIL AND WERE PULLED BY SOMEONE WEARING A CHEST HARNESS OR BY SLED DOGS. THE WORD “TOBOGGAN” IS SAID TO HAVE ORIGINATED FROM THE WORD FOR SLED BY THE ML’KMAQ (TOBAKUN).

WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE EUROPEANS, WHO QUICKLY ADOPTED THE USE OF THE TOBOGGAN, RECREATIONAL TOBOGGANING WAS SOON BORN! IN 1881, THE MONTREAL TOBOGGANING CLUB WAS FOUNDED. SINCE THEN, TOBOGGANING AS A RECREATIONAL PAST TIME HAS EVOLVED INTO SOME SERIOUS COMPETITIVE OLYMPIC RACING, SUCH AS BOBSLEDING, LUGING AND SKELEON RACING.

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