Toronto is a vibrant sports hub and a major attraction for tourists. From the sound of the beating drums at the Toronto FC games to the legion of regular fans at the Toronto Marlies, sports in Toronto is a religion.
This past year has been an exciting one for sports fans who support Toronto teams, including out-of-town visitors who flock to our great city to catch the action.
The Raptors, TFC and the Toronto Marlies all made it to the playoffs in 2016, and the Maple Leafs are going to make to the playoffs one day – I can just feel it! The city is in love with the powerful Blue Jays too.
It’s no wonder Toronto draws not only local sports fans, but also sports enthusiasts from elsewhere in Canada and around the world! Here are the places to visit in Toronto if you’re a sports fan:
Air Canada Centre
Depending on when you visit Toronto, you can either catch a Raptors or a Maple Leafs game! It’s a treat to see crazed fans gather outside the Air Canada Centre to cheer on their team.
Toronto received an NBA franchise in 1995 with the hope being that the game would grow throughout Canada. And it sure has! The Toronto Raptors have a huge fan base now, having won four division titles, including an exciting semi-final run just this past season, when they lost to eventual champions Cleveland. With TV ratings reaching record highs, the Raptors have become “Canada’s Team”.
The Toronto Argonauts are the CFL’s most successful team, having won 16 Grey Cups! The Argos are now playing in the newly expanded BMO field, which is an outstanding CFL stadium with a great atmosphere.
BMO Field is also home to Toronto FC. TFC has a growing fan base, with Italian sensation Sebastian Giovinco a top scorer, breaking the MLS record for most combined goals and assists in a season in 2015. The team has a legion of supporters’ groups (like the Red Patch Boys, U-Sector, Inebriatti, and Kings in the North to name a few), all of which make watching the game super exciting.
Hockey Hall of Fame
Dedicated to the history of ice hockey, the Hockey Hall of Fame is both a museum and a hall of fame. It holds exhibits about players, teams, National Hockey League (NHL) records, memorabilia and NHL trophies, including Lord Stanley’s Mug itself – the Stanley Cup.
Maple Leaf Gardens
Considered one of the “cathedrals” of ice hockey, the Maple Leaf Gardens was home to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs from 1931 to 1999. The Leafs won the Stanley Cup 11 times from 1932 to 1967 while playing at the Gardens. Now, the Gardens is a multi-purpose facility, housing a super market on the lower floors and, on the upper floors, an arena for Toronto’s Ryerson University, known as Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The Ricoh Coliseum is home to the Toronto Marlies ice hockey team, the American Hockey League farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. For the 2015 Pan American Games, the venue hosted the gymnastics competitions. It was built for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 1921. I love watching the Marlies play and so do my hockey-playing kids. They’ve both been on the ice with the Marlies, either for the singing of the national anthem, or for a quick skate in between periods!
If you visit Toronto during the MLB season, you have to see a Blue Jays game. We’ve had the pleasure of watching Major League Baseball in Toronto since 1977. The Blue Jays are two-time World Series champions and one of the favourites this year after an exciting run in 2015 that earned them their sixth Division Title. Busloads of fans make the trek from other cities to see a Blue Jays game!
There are many more sports-related attractions in Toronto, including The Honda Indy, Toronto Rock lacrosse team, The Canadian Open in golf and tennis, and the Rogers Cup tennis tournament.
Whether you’re already a fan of a Toronto team or are just looking to see some world-class athletes in some of North America’s best stadiums, Toronto is an ideal destination for sports lovers of all kinds!
Canada’s largest city and most-visited destination, Toronto is Canada’s downtown. Toronto blends the best of modern Canadian diversity and inclusiveness with big-ticket events, top attractions, restaurants, music, architecture, culture and festivals in one of the world’s most unique and exciting cities.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Tourism Toronto via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Tourism Toronto.