Mike's Historic Minute
Mike Wilson acquired his first piece of memorabilia over 50 years ago. It was a Carl Brewer game used stick signed by the entire Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey club. A family cousin was friends with Carl and once he heard about Mike’s early obsession with the Leafs, they acquired a stick for him. The other significant piece was the famous Frank Mahovlich, Libby’s beans colour poster from Dominion food stores. Mike had two copies and gave one copy to Frank’s dad who was the skate sharpener at Leaside Arena. That poster hung in his shop until the day he retired.

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Those early times sent Mike Wilson on his way to accumulating the collection which is now referred by ESPN and others as The Ultimate Leafs Fan, with over 2,000 pieces. The key ingredient to any piece Mike Wilson collects is that the piece has to have a story. If there is no story, then what’s the point of having it? Anything attached to the Leafs is of interest to the Ultimate Leafs Fan. It’s the moment in history that most fascinates Mike Wilson with collecting. What was Toronto like at the time, how people lived, the music of the day, what daily items cost, these things all factor into his thoughts when the Ultimate Leafs Fan sees a new item.

Mike is often asked if he has a preferred piece. The Ultimate Leafs Fan finds he loves it all. From the Salada coins to the 1936 Frank Finnigan game used jersey. Every piece has a story and Mike Wilson can tell you where and how he acquired each item. That’s the real inner peace a collector feels.

The hundreds of people who have visited the Ultimate Leafs Fan and his collection, are usually overwhelmed at the size and magnitude of the collection. From the kids to the three billionaires who’ve spent time in the room, the reaction is the same. They all have a story to tell that relates to something they spotted that resonates a past memory. Watching Bill Barilko’s sister Anne reading a letter written by her brother asking the Leafs for a tryout so he could play with his brother Alex had tears streaming down her face. There was Red Kelly and Darryl Sittler, recounting a lasting memory they have that was resurrected as a result of what they saw around the room.

Every player who comes to see the Ultimate Leaf Fan and the room has a story himself. We have to remember that they were kids too. They also had their heroes growing up. The enjoyment for Mike Wilson is people sharing their thoughts racing through their minds viewing the room. This is the excitement and joy Mike derives from the years and decades of collecting.

The rush a collector feels when they find something they’ve never seen before, is a feeling only a true collector feels. The pinnacle of the Ultimate Leafs Fan’s collection is to have as many past, present and future Toronto Maple Leafs view the collection.

The Collection is open for viewing to any former and current Leaf players and NHL personal by appointment as well as charities and corporations.

We also run events where hockey insiders attend and view the collection followed by Hockey talks.

One recent event had the Vice President of the Detroit Red Wings Jim Devellano share his story with the room. He discussed scouting for the Blues then being the assistant GM of the Islanders where he won 3 Stanley Cups. He finished the talk by recapping his 4 cups with Detroit and his current duties with the organization.

Please reach out to us for further details on our events and helping you create a custom Hockey themed event at our facility.