Bill Petro came to Toronto from Windsor to trained as a studio product photographer back in the early seventies. Maintaining a small photo studio in the heart of Toronto was a challenge in itself, but Bill filled his weekends chasing various motorsports events reporting for various magazines as a way to supplement his income. Bill’s early involvement with Cycle Canada Magazine helped shape his love for all things motorcycle and his extensive coverage of important motorcycle race events during the 70’s is second to none. Although Bill continued covering select race events to the present, he shifted to more corporate work with the motorcycle and car companies, producing advertising and promotional material.
CMSA was initially established as a not-for-profit company to manage Bill Petro’s extensive motorsport photo archive. This would ensure safe keeping of his archive at the time Bill was no longer able to manage them. After a request came to care for the archive of another photographer who was nearing the end of his life, Bill realized the potential of CMSA to become a national motorsports archive and resource centre. When the Cycle Canada Archives were in danger of being discarded, CMSA found a way to save them from being trashed with some help from long time supporter Carl Bastedo.

Mission Statement


Mission of the Canadian Motor Sport Archive (CMSA) is to provide the necessary environment to preserve the images and data of motorsport history in Canada and to make this history accessible on a digital platform.

The main goal of the CMSA is to create and maintain a searchable online archive of photographic images, records, and data representing motorsports milestones and the achievements of people who shaped motorsports in Canada. The materials and images – donated by both professional and amateur photographers – will be considered for their historic value in terms of regional, national, and global impact. It is critical that these images and materials are gathered and organized now as many of the individuals who created these images have already passed away or, if still living, are discarding these items thinking that there is no home for them.

Our Goals are;

  • Collect, assess, and categorize suitable materials and images and their history.
  • Protect the rights of the photographers and authors by making sure that the copyright status of each item is clear and able to meet today’s publication standards.  
  • Launch and promote the existence of the CMSA to attract viewers to the interactive website both online and via physical on-site displays at appropriate venues.
  • Fund-raising to support the goals of the CMSA using the combined resources of the motorsport industry, government and the public to maintain the archive and ensure its longevity.
  • Regularly maintain and update the digital archive database to remain current with the latest additions. Keeping followers informed through direct email and social media outlets.
  • Ongoing sourcing of potential collections.
  • Administration and proper storage of all elements of CMSA and its materials according to current archiving standards
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