Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO) is the sanctioning body for according to Article 3 of the Ottawa District Hockey Association constitution "that part of Ontario lying east of and including the counties of Lanark, Renfrew, and all of Leeds, (except the town of Gananoque and the portion of Highway No. 32 and south of Highway No. 15 in the Province of Ontario, which play under the sanction of the Ontario Hockey Association) and that part of Quebec including the provincial counties of Pontiac, Hull, Gatineau and Papineau."
The league was renamed from the Ottawa District Hockey Association in the summer of 2013.
HEO was founded as the Ottawa District Hockey Association, which was formed when the organization's constitution was signed on December 11, 1920.
The events leading up to that moment are vague, partly because the evidence no longer exists and partly because the ODHA did not have an auspicious beginning. It may be nothing more than an ironic twist, but it appears that the Ottawa and District Hockey Association was formed after a dispute between hockey enthusiasts in the Ottawa area and the Toronto-based Ontario Hockey Association. The OHA was formed in 1890 and represented the only organized hockey league in Canada at the time. From 1890 to 1893, the coveted Cosby Cup was won by an Ottawa team, the same team which would later provide the nucleus for the 1893 Stanley Cup-winning Ottawa Senators. In 1894, Ottawa bid to host the OHA final. Head office turned down the request and, in a decision that has little supporting evidence, added that any team which disobeyed its ruling would "automatically disqualify itself." Rather than wait for the disqualification notice, Ottawa walked away from the OHA, sowing the seeds for what would later become the ODHA.
The Central Canada Amateur Hockey Association, the forerunner to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, was founded on December 4, 1914, and gave control of the Ottawa district to its Quebec branch. During the next five years, there were several attempts by Ottawa-based leagues to break out on their own. The Capital Hockey Association and the Ottawa City Hockey League, when not feuding with each other, both asked for independent status within the CCAHA. At its annual meeting on December 14, 1919, in the old Journal Building, the CCAHA attempted to settle the dispute once and for all. But, as one reporter put it, the meeting "failed to clean up the local hockey situation." The CCAHA, under the belief that two leagues could not operate successfully in one region, refused to accept an application from the Capital Hockey Association, instead insisting its member-teams join the Ottawa City League. However, it granted the City League the right to challenge for the Allan Cup, senior hockey's emblem of supremacy. The CCAHA also reasserted Quebec's control over eastern Ontario, but, as a conciliatory geture, gave the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Federation the right to represent Quebec's interests in Ottawa. "(Be it) resolved that the Ottawa Amateur Federation be given control of the amateur hockey in Ottawa and district...and that the Federation be delegated to act as the representative of the Quebec Branch in Ottawa and district," the Ottawa Citizen reported. The arrangement lasted less than a year. On Dec. 11, 1920, Capt. Archibald and W.H. Hutton of Ottawa, accepted the positions of president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, of a new association. The Ottawa Federation had asked for its own branch status within the CAHA, then a part of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. The branch was officially recognized as a member of the CAHA in April, 1921, at the annual AAUC meeting in Winnipeg. The Ottawa Journal reported three days after the April 20th meeting that "after over a year of patient effort on the part of Captain Ed Archibald, a new branch of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada, which will be known as the Ottawa and Valley Branch, was successfully launched at the Chateau Laurier.
The objectives of Hockey Eastern Ontario are:
- to foster, improve, and perpetuate the sport of Amateur Hockey within the territory under its control
- to secure the enforcement of the rules of the game as adopted by the Association
- to conduct elimination competition for the different Association Champions as well as Challengers for Inter-Branch and Canadian Championships
- to adjudicate on all questions arising from and pertaining to Amateur Hockey within the Association
As a Branch of Hockey Canada, we adhere to the Hockey Canada Mission Statement: "We dedicate ourselves to the advancement of amateur hockey for all individuals through progressive leadership by ensuring meaningful opportunities and enjoyable experiences in a safe sportsmanlike environment."