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A City Dedicated to Sport

Toronto skating rink
Baseball
Lacrosse players
Ice Hockey
Football

JohnKirk-iStockPhoto.com

Toronto and its inhabitants live with a passion for all kinds of sports. The city is home to major league Canadian baseball, ice hockey, basketball and football teams.
Torontonians are great fans of baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays is the only Canadian team out of thirty major league teams that compete in the North American League, played from April to October. In 1992 and 1993 they became champions of the World Series, which takes place in the fall at the end of the season, between the winners of the National League and the American league. The Blue Jays’ stadium, the Rogers Centre, is one of the country’s architectonic and touristic jewels. Its dome is an engineering marvel and can be opened or closed in just 20 minutes, as the weather dictates. The stadium has a capacity for almost 50,000 spectators.
The Rogers Centre, also known as the SkyDome, is also the home ground of the Toronto Argonauts, the most successful of the nine clubs in the Canadian Football League, the second most popular sport in the country and very similar to American football. The season is played between June and November, so bear that in mind if you are hoping to catch a game, although the stadium can be visited all through the year, and guided tours are available.
But baseball and football are not the only popular sports in Canada. The indisputable national sport is ice hockey. Whenever the national team plays in a world championship or the Olympic Games, the entire country comes to a standstill. The main world competition, the National Hockey League, is closely followed by Canadians. It was, in fact, founded in Montreal in 1917 and expanded to the United States in 1924. Today, it comprises 30 franchises, of which seven are Canadian, as well as almost half of its players.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been the champions of the Stanley Cup on 13 occasions, only bettered by Montreal. Their home games are played at the Air Canada Centre, one of Toronto’s most iconic buildings, which also functions as a convention centre and hosts numerous rock concerts. Tickets are hard to come by so it’s best to get them well in advance. If you’re unlucky, you can always visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, in the Bank of Montreal building. The exhibition has a multitude of memorabilia and documents on the history of hockey.
Between November and June, the Air Canada Centre is also the home venue of the only Canadian franchise to play in the American NBA, the Toronto Raptors. Although still lacking the class of the other teams, they have built up a huge fan base and are the pride of Canadian basketball.
Soccer is still not widely popular in Canada, but the city team, Toronto Football Club, is one of three Canadian teams to play in the US Major Soccer League. It was founded in 2006, a year before its stadium, BMO Field, which regularly fills the 22,000 seats at home games, proof that interest in soccer is on the rise.

The 2015 Pan-American Games

The Pan-American Games are the epitome of competition sport in the Americas. They are held every four years in the summer before the Olympic Games. The last edition, the seventeenth, was held in July 2015 in Toronto, with great organisational success and outstanding attendance, further proof of the city’s passion for sports. In addition, the city was in the running to host the 1996 and 2008 Olympics.

Love of Lacrosse

Torontonians are also big fans of lacrosse, a sport only popular in Canada and the US. Two teams of ten players try to score in the rival team’s goal, with a rubber ball that is passed and received with a net joined to a stick. It is played all over Toronto in parks and facilities, which in winter become skating rinks and ski runs.

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