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Introducing Ulysses “Crazy Legs” Curtis: a trailblazing Toronto Argonaut running back, much-loved educator, and local hero.

Curator and artist Danilo Deluxo has transformed the former Downsview Fire Station into a canvas that celebrates the impact and achievements of this admirable man. 

Ulysses Curtis joined the Argos in 1950, becoming their first full-time Black player. Even 70 years later, he remains the greatest Argo running back of all time. He also helped win two Grey Cups in his five seasons with the Argos and stood up to considerable racial animosity.

Upon his retirement from football in 1954, Curtis started a new career, working with young people in the Downsview community. He became one of the first Black teachers at the North York Board of Education and spent thirty years teaching physical education, geography, and history at various North York high schools, including Downsview Secondary School, where he also worked as a guidance counsellor, football coach, and race-relations supervisor.


Ulysses Curtis died in Toronto in 2013 at the age of 87 but his legacy lives on in Downsview and with this mural. 

Ulysses Curtis

In September 2021, Danilo Deluxo’s mural of Ulysses Curtis was unveiled in the presence of members of the Curtis family, Toronto’s Mayor, and the Argo’s General Manager, Michael Lutrell "Pinball" Clemons.

Mayor John Tory, Public Remarks, 

Sept 24, 2021 

Michael Pinball Clemons, Public Remarks, 

Sept 24, 2021 

Danilo Deluxo McCallum

is an award-winning Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer, muralist, and cultural curator. His creative practice explores the multiplicities of Black identity through the lens of Afrofuturism. He has been working collaboratively with arts organizations, artists, and communities in Toronto for more than 15 years and is probably best known for “Patterns of the People”, part of the iconic “Toronto” sign in Nathan Phillips Square.  Danilo is the curator of ArtworxTO’s northwest hub of the Year of Public Art. As well as curating a massive BIPOC mural on the Downsview Supply Depot, Danilo is painting the XOXO Downsview Ulysses Curtis mural on the former Downsview Fire Station.

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