The Toronto Region is a place filled with committed sport enthusiasts with seven professional franchises, several semi-professional teams and a plethora of collegiate/varsity sports programs. In addition to local fans, according to Stats Canada 2011 travel survey more than 5 per cent of all visitors to the city attend sport events.
The professional sport franchises calling Toronto home include the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Toronto Marlies, the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Toronto Argonauts, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Toronto Blue Jays, Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Toronto FC, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Toronto Raptors, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Toronto Maple Leafs and the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Toronto Rock. Professional Teams playing in Toronto West include the Raptors905 (NBADL basketball) and the Mississauga Steelheads (OHL hockey).
Toronto is also home to several semi-professional teams: Toronto Maple Leafs (inter-county baseball), TFC Academy, Toronto Crotia and the Serbian White Eagles (soccer) and the Toronto Rush (American Ultimate Disc League).
Cheer on our local varsity teams at our colleges and universities; Centennial College Colts, George Brown College Huskies, Humber College Hawks, Seneca College Sting, York University Lions, Ryerson University Rams and University of Toronto Varsity Blues as they compete in regular season games and the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association Championships (CCAA), Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships or the Ontario University Athletics (OUA).
WHAT MAKES TORONTO UNIQUE IN THE SPORT MARKET
- Toronto is the only city in Canada to have both a major league baseball team and a national basketball association team.
- Air Canada Centre – 665,000 sq ft complex – capacity 19,800 – home of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club and the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club
- Rogers Centre – full retractable stadium roof – capacity 50,000 – home for Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club and the Toronto Argonauts Football Club
- BMO Field – Soccer Stadium – home of the Toronto FC Soccer Club – capacity 21,000
- Ricoh Coliseum – NHL sized bowl – home of the Toronto Marlies Hockey Club – capacity 8,200
- Hershey Centre – Multi-sport complex – NHL sized bowl + 3 community rinks capacity 5,500
- Powerade Centre – NHL size bowl + 3 community NHL rinks – capacity 5,000
- Mattamy Athletic Centre – formerly Maple Leaf Gardens – Multi-sport complex – NHL sized rink – capacity 2,539 plus court side capacity of 1,000
- Mastercard Centre – Olympic sized rink + 3 NHL sized rinks – capacity of Olympic surface – 1,000
More importantly; Toronto is home to a vibrant community of runners, both recreational and elite, and hosts three marathons each year along with close to 40 other road races. This is made possible, in part, by a network of trails and valley systems that make the city a great place for fitness and exploration. Athletics Ontario is a strong promoter of recreational athletics and provides support services (advertising, insurance, public listings, technical information etc.) for the many of these races.
Athletics Ontario also has over 30 track and field clubs listed within the Greater Toronto Area, supporting athletes of all abilities in their pursuits of fun, health, fitness and championship medals.
Photo – Steve Blackburn