Joe Ironstone was born in Montreal in 1898 but grew up in northern Ontario and played in the NOHA with the Sudbury Wolves in the early 1920s. He played goal in just two games in the NHL, one with the New York Americans during the 1925-26 season and one with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1927-28.
The balance of Ironstone's hockey playing days were spent with such teams as the Niagara Falls Cataracts, London Panthers and Kitchener Dutchmen of the CPHL. He retired from active competition in 1936 after playing for Falconbridge and Sudbury of the NOHA.
Ironstone returned to the family business, a men's wear store started by his father Hyman in 1896. In sports, he was an original member of the Sudbury Granite Club and an active curler. He died on December 12, 1972, in Sudbury at the age of 74.