As Toronto continues to grow into the sprawling international city that we know today, its grasp on the title of Canada’s Sports Capital remains. Home to the iconic Maple Leafs, the biggest name in Canadian hockey, along with the country’s only NBA and MLB teams, Toronto has much to offer sports fans.
Whether you want to watch the local teams play, see a sport for the first time, or your home team is travelling to Toronto, get ready to enjoy a world-class sporting experience.
See the historic SkyDome, home to the Blue Jays or watch the Leafs play in front of the passionate local fans. The choice is yours.
1. Hockey (Ice-Hockey)
If there’s one sport synonymous with Toronto, then it’s hockey (don’t be caught saying ice hockey in Canada!).
In fact, if you have the time and the budget to see just one sporting event when in town, then make a beeline to the Harbourfront and watch the ensuing chaos unfold.
Even if you know little about hockey, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The biggest team in Canada in this hockey-mad country is a must-see.
The Leafs have a storied past and every year there are big expectations placed upon the squad.
This leads to an amazing atmosphere unrivalled in the city and it’s one of the best places to watch hockey in North America.
This can be a problem for some budget travellers, as basic tickets up in the nosebleeds can still be expensive. The solution?
Go watch the Toronto Marlies. Following the same October to April season as the Maple Leafs, you can watch the stars of the future among a great crowd for cheap!
2. NBA Basketball
As you might expect given its close proximity to the United States, basketball is a huge sport in Toronto and across Canada.
In Toronto, the local team go by the name the ‘Raptors‘ and they play in the NBA.
When the Raptors won the 2019 NBA championship, it ended a 26-year championship wait for Toronto sports fans.
As the Maple Leafs floundered and the Blue Jays continued to rebuild, the Raptors gave the city a chance to show how passionate they are about sports.
Today, the Toronto Raptors are one of the hottest tickets in town.
Playing out of the same stadium as the Maple Leafs, the Raptors allow sports fans the chance to watch the best of the NBA go head-to-head every week from October to April, and maybe a little longer if they make the playoffs.
Keen to see the Raptors in action? Grab your tickets.
3. Major League Baseball
Playing out of one of the largest stadiums in Major League Baseball, the beloved Toronto Blue Jays are your chance to watch some live baseball in Toronto.
Rain, hail or shine, play always goes ahead thanks to the SkyDome, one of the first retractable roofs in North American sport.
Baseball is all about traditions. So if it’s your first time, then start off on the right foot.
As you approach the stadium, get yourself a cheap but scrumptious hot dog or two before entering the stadium. On a warm summer day in Toronto, there’s no better place to be.
As the sun shines above, spend your time watching the game and gawking at the incredible CN Tower that hovers above your head.
The beauty of baseball in Toronto is how cheap it is compared to other major sports. Even you’ve gone for the cheap seats, wander down to the Flight Deck for exceptional standing room views.
Make your way to the SkyDome!
Toronto FC plays at the BMO Stadium, and the Reds (as they are nicknamed) have an immensely loyal and loud fan base.
If your MLS team is travelling to Toronto, then there’s no reason not to make the journey and experience an away day in Toronto.
For the best seat in the house, buy a ticket at the Princess Boulevard end of the stadium.
Surrounded by TFC’s active support, enjoy a raucous football experience before, during and after the game.
Find yourself among the action right here.
5. Canadian Football League (American Football)
It may be a smaller league than the NHL, NBA and MLB, but there’s something quirky and amazing about the CFL.
There’s enough intrigue and difference to the NFL for sports travellers to add it to their bursting itineraries.
Beginning in summer through to the start of winter, the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League go to work.
Playing out of Exhibition Place (same as TFC) the Argonauts are the oldest sports team in the city, by four decades!
Upon watching the Argonauts, you’ll notice a few differences between the CFL and NFL. The biggest being the difference in downs (3 to 4) and the wide receivers enjoying a running start.
If you’ve timed your visit well, then watch the Argonauts go head to head with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hamilton is only an hour out of Toronto. So the game always features a big crowd with plenty of loud travelling fans.
Go ahead, watch the Toronto Argonauts live.
If you like your motorsport, then Toronto hosts an annual IndyCar event in and around Exhibition Place.
The street race is an 11-turn 3 km circuit that continues the tradition of street racing in Exhibition Place that dates back to the early 20th century.
An interesting and often overlooked fact about sports in Toronto is one involving the Canadian Open.
Having begun in 1881, the open is the oldest major tennis tournament in the world behind Wimbledon, which you may have heard of.
Both the men’s and women’s events involve the top-ranked players from around the world, promising exciting and elite tennis action.
The event is split between Toronto and Montreal, with the men and women playing in opposite cities and rotating every year.
8. Stadiums and Museums
Hockey Hall of Fame
Whether you go to a game or not, one sport-related activity must make your Toronto itinerary, and that is the exceptional Hockey Hall of Fame.
Part museum, part hall of fame, the collection of amazing exhibits dive into the history of the beloved sport that is more than just a game, it’s a national identity.
Within the expansive exhibit space, view trophies and iconic memorabilia. See every Hall of Fame member, and the Stanley Cup before exploring the NHL Zone with the chance to experience what it’s like to block shots from Wayne Gretzky.
At the beginning of Blue Jays Way, under the looming CN Tower, the city’s ballpark can be explored on a behind-the-scenes tour before the game.
Over the course of an hour, see the stadium like few others can, with every seat empty and barely a sound to be heard.
Witness how each event from baseball to concerts gets set up ahead of time, go inside the media box before discovering the stadium’s unique design and retractable roof.
Play Sports in Toronto
If you’re sticking around Toronto for a while, then you may feel the itch to get involved and play.
Toronto has a thriving social sports scene covering an abundance of fun competitions, from baseball to flag football. However you wish to get involved, you can sign up for your chosen league at JamSports Toronto.
Even when it gets cold, the games simple go inside thanks to temporary domes set up over several outdoor fields.
If you don’t feel like committing to an entire season (they’re usually 6/7 weeks long) then sign up as a sub and fill in when a team needs an extra player!
Where to Stay in Toronto
As a large and key city, there are plenty of accommodation options for all budgets. You can though find some good deals below.