When the skateboard revolution reached suburban Ottawa in the '80s

By 1989, the skateboard trend was on display on the sidewalks of suburban Ottawa.

Demand for skateboards big enough to create an opportunity for young entrepreneur in Manotick, Ont.

Manotick's skateboard entrepreneur

Digital Archives

32 years ago
In May 1989, CBC News introduces viewers to Trevor Alguire, a 19-year-old entrepreneur and avid skateboarder. 1:45

Trevor Alguire seemed to be riding a hot trend as smoothly as he rode his skateboard.

As a teenager, he'd started a business in suburban Ottawa, which caught the eye of CBC News in the spring of 1989.

His store, On Deck, sold the boards and related equipment to other skaters, in Manotick, Ont.

It was the right kind of business to be going into in the latter half of the 1980s, as young gen-Xers like himself snapped up skateboards in the many small towns, cities and suburbs across Canada.

"He started this skateboard business [and] timed it bang on," the CBC's Mark Van Dusen said, in a report that aired on CBC's Midday on May 18, 1989.

"The skateboard boom had hit Manotick."

Skateboarding had become popular in Manotick, Ont., by the late 1980s and that upset some residents who did not like seeing skaters on their sidewalks. (Midday/CBC Archives)

Alguire, then 19, had also helped solve a problem in his hometown, where local politicians had threatened to ban skateboards after complaints about their use on city streets and sidewalks —  a topic that Midday had covered before.

He managed to arrange for the construction of a skate park, at a cost of $5,000. 

It was a solution that seemed to fit both sides of the skateboard divide.

"He got village council on side, enlisted help from a service club and a lumber company. The park should clear the streets [of skateboarders] and membership fees will pay the upkeep," said Van Dusen.

More than 30 years later, On Deck remains in business, though it's no longer in the original location. Alguire is still the owner, though he's also seen some success in a separate career as a musician.

The skate park seemed to work for both sides of the skateboard divide in Manotick, Ont.: It gave the skaters somewhere to skate and kept them off local sidewalks. (Midday/CBC Archives)

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