Thom Racine was born in Cornwall, Ontario, but grew up in Ottawa. He attended Fielding Drive Public School and Brookfield High School. After moving to Metcalfe Ontario, Thom finished High School at Osgoode Township and was the head of student council in his final year. The son of former Ottawa Rough Rider great, Moe “The Toe” Racine, Thom grew up loving sports, it was in his blood.
Thom loves to tell stories and that came from his grandmother Dorothy Donihee. He often returned to Cornwall where he would sit on his grandmother’s front porch, listening to her stories about Cornwall and her life growing up in the west end village of Smithville, under the smoke stacks of the Howard Smith Paper Mill.
Thom returned to Cornwall for good when he was hired as a police officer with the Cornwall Force in 1981. He completed thirty-two years of policing in October of 2012 and is enjoying his retirement by working odd jobs and writing. Policing was not Thom’s only love, growing up in Ottawa he was close to the on air personalities at radio station CFRA. In 1985, Thom boldly marched into (then) Chief Shaver’s office and announced he wanted to take on the colour commentary position for the Cornwall Royals radio broadcasts. Following his dream, he and play by play man Fred Pletsch covered the three time Memorial Cup Champion Royals final six seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. He quickly became involved in all sports related media on local TV, including co-hosting Prime Time Sports Cards, a show that lasted seventeen years. He has guest-hosted numerous radio programs locally and writes a weekly column in the Seaway News. Thom can be heard on Cornwall Island in the summer as the PA Announcer for Akwesasne Indians Lacrosse and in the winter he handles the PA for the LNAH Cornwall River Kings. Thom has dedicated a part of his basement to a collection of hockey memorabilia which includes over 3400 hockey pucks.
Thom has volunteered in the community for years. His involvement with the MS Society, Liver Foundation, Heart and Stroke, Hospice and recently the widely popular Bishop Cup hockey game are just a few of the links he has to our community. Thom is proud of his work with area youth over the years and continues to offer his support by teaching part time at St. Lawrence College in the Police Foundations program.
With the launch of his book, Constable Davey – A Future Lost in 2011, Thom entered a new realm of writing. His passion for finding the minutia of detail in his research, must come from his policing background. Thom’s ability to uncover long lost stories from yesteryear has become his trademark and in his second book, he left no stone uncovered as he wrote about his father’s football career from high school at St. Lawrence in Cornwall to the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL. Moe The Toe-Never My Dream was a project he started many years ago and although it may be a story considered out dated, Thom Racine has found a way to bring back the golden era of the CFL. A story that begins with humble beginnings and a stellar high school career, concludes by following a path to greatness of a man who won four Grey Cups and took the eighth longest career in CFL history into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.