Sports & Recreation
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Toronto has eight Professional National Sports teams:
- Toronto Argonauts (Canadian Football League)
- Toronto Blue Jays (Major League Baseball)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (National Hockey League)
- Toronto Marlies (American Hockey League)
- Toronto Nationals (Major League Lacrosse)
- Toronto Raptors (National Basketball Association)
- Toronto Rock (National Lacrosse League)
- Toronto FC (Major League Soccer)
Toronto Sports garners a lot of media coverage, from Toronto Sports Radio station FAN 590, which discusses Toronto Sports News, to Raptors or Leaf TV. There is a huge following for each of these sports, which is why many of the teams have their own television stations.
The Air Canada Centre is the most popular venue for sports, as it is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as the Toronto Raptors. The Rogers Centre is home to The Toronto Blue Jays, the BMO Field is home to the Toronto FC, and the Ricoh Coliseum which is home to the Toronto Marlies.
The Hockey Hall of Fame is in a historical building located in Downtown Toronto, and is a museum as well as a tribute memorial to all the great hockey players. You can purchase limited edition memorabilia, as well as anything that has to do with hockey. It first opened in 1961, and 50 years later, it has moved its location, and had a $27 million renovation, making it a great tourist attraction and place to pay homage to some of our great athletes.
Because Toronto is home to a wide variety of cultures and ethnicities, there are many other sports having their own private leagues within the city that would be more dominant in other countries. An example of this would be Cricket.
Other sports that are offered in the city of Toronto are:
- Horse Racing
- Auto Racing
- Figure Skating
- Dodge Ball
- Snow Boarding
Sports seem to be a pretty important pastime in Canadian culture starting at a young age, as the majority of kids in elementary schools are a part of at least one sports team or organization, whether it be gymnastics, or karate, children are exposed and have a chance to experience different sports at a young age through little league organizations.
When in high school, it is mandatory in the curriculum to take at least one gym course, so that students can successfully graduate. This is a positive role as it keeps students active, as well as let them experience sports at an age when they would be old enough to follow the professional leagues as well.
It seems anywhere you go in Toronto or Ontario you will always be close to a community centre, park, field, lake, or river, where you can easily have access to partake in many sports. If you visit most restaurants or sports bars, you will also have access to watch many of the professional sports on TV.
Toronto is a great place to experience all types of sports because it is home to eight national teams, and there are many media outlets covering the sports, which makes them accessible to the public to hear, watch, and follow.
Sports are introduced to children at a young age to keep them active and give them the opportunity to try new things. There are many parks, community centres, as well as sports clubs that are easily accessible, and convenient for the public to take part in. Sports are a great way to exercise and keep your body fit and active and why Toronto is a great place for sports lovers.
People around the world know how important the game of hockey is to Toronto, but there is another ice sport that also gets a great deal of attention in the city and across the rest of Canada…Curling. Curling in Toronto is a huge past-time.
Both the Scots and Europeans have claimed they established the curling craze, yet history shows that Canada has produced some of the world’s best players.
In fact, Toronto has been the home base for many high level competitors training for big bonspiels. World and Olympic champions like Edie Werenich, Paul Savage, John Kawaja, Jeff Ryan and Garth Smith have all played the game here in the city of Toronto.
What is Curling
For those who are new to the sport of curling, here’s how it works;
- Players slide special curling stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area.
- Each team has 8 stones or as some people call them, rocks.
- You must accumulate the highest score in order to beat the opposing team.
- Points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the target at the conclusion of each end.
- Curling games consist of 8 to 10 ends. It takes a great deal of teamwork and careful strategy to play this game well.
The website www.mycurling.com can teach you how to play, will explain the science behind curling, and lists televised games. It can be a helpful site for newcomers to the sport.
Where to Learn & Play
There are many Toronto curling clubs where you can learn and play the game. The Toronto Curling Association has a mandate to promote the sport in the city and throughout the GTA.
TCA clubs can be rented out to any groups who want to curl. For more information on the association go to www.torontocurling.com.
Since the sport has grown in popularity, there are great opportunities to learn through the clubs, as well as schools in Toronto. For example, one of the best known institutions in the city, the University of Toronto, accepts beginners all the way up to varsity level. Visit www.curling.sa.utoronto.ca for more information.
Almost every corner of the city has a designated curling venue. Below is a list of the better known curling clubs, but to get an extensive list you can check out www.curlingrink.ca.
* Donalda Curling Club
* Leaside Curling Club
* Granite Club
* Tam Heather Curling and Tennis Club
* Royal Canadian Curling Club
* Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club
* York Curling Club
* Brampton Curling Club
* Oshawa Curling Club
* Unionville Curling Club
In addition to clubs and directions, the site publishes the latest news on the sport of curling and curling events.
If you are just starting out in the sport, you might want to consider using a friends curling gear. This way you have a chance to check out the required equipment and get a sense of whether or not you want to invest more time and money in the game.
Curling gear includes brooms, bags, grippers, brushes, gloves, pants, shirts and jackets. There is also a large supply of accessories for the sport of curling.
Supplies should not be difficult to find in a city that is passionate about the sport. Toronto’s Spokes and Sports is a popular source for curling gear and you can also check out www.goldline.ca; a Mississauga based curling equipment provider. Some Toronto clubs sell gear as well.
Like any sport, Toronto curling or as some refer to it “Chess on Ice”, can be an expensive sport. Some Toronto sporting goods stores also sell used curling gear.
Curling Common Terms
To be involved in the sport in Toronto you have to become familiar with some common curling terminology. The word bonspiel is used to describe tournaments.
Bonspiel comes from the Scottish Gaelic term league or match. One of the biggest bonspiels is called the Brier; the Canadian Men’s Curling Championship. The Canadian Women’s Curling Championship bonspiel is called Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
There are over 100 different terms used in the game of curling, some of which are more common than others. A few examples are listed below.
* Across the face
(Refers to the shooter hitting the object stone from where the broom was placed)
* Back Board (The border at the extreme ends of the sheet of ice)
* Buried (A rock that is hidden behind another rock)
* Cashspiel (A tournament with large entry fees and large prizes)
* Coming Home (Going into the final end)
* Die (A call from the skip of the team to the sweeper to stop sweeping a rock)
* Hack (A foothold device where the player that throws the rock pushes off for delivery of the rock)
* House (The 3 circles where points are scored)
Toronto curling players have often described the sport as physically demanding and psychologically challenging. If you have an interest in the sport of curling, Toronto offers you many great opportunities to enjoy the game.
Fitness in Toronto is a huge industry. Torontonians love to stay in shape, and as a result the city enjoys a wide range of gyms, fitness clubs, sports clubs and yoga studios.
Fitness Clubs and Gyms
Toronto is consistently found to have one of the slimmest populations in Canada. In fact, a recent study by the University of Alberta found that the city is second only to Vancouver in terms of low rates of obesity. It should come as no surprise that fitness facilities can be found in all corners of the city.
As is the case with much in Toronto, the highest concentration of fitness clubs and gyms can be found in the downtown core.
Neighbourhoods like the Financial District and the Entertainment District are full of them, serving the many people looking to exercise before and after work.
Yonge Street also has a fair number of locations as well, especially around some of the bigger intersections like Yorkville, and Yonge and Eglinton. This tends to reflect the higher density of population in these neighbourhoods.
Many of the city’s fitness clubs allow for people to purchase the use of their facilities for short term, which can be handy for visitors to Toronto.
However, if you are a traveller to Toronto, you will find that the majority of hotels also have gym facilities on site. The better hotels feature pools, saunas, fitness rooms, weights, and equipment like treadmills and elliptical trainers.
People in Toronto love to play sports, and as a result there is a wide selection of sports facilities spread out all across the city. There are both indoor and outdoor facilities, but indoor athletics are particularly popular since they can be played year-round, even in the snowy depths of winter.
There are also many sports organizations and clubs which organize leagues and events across the city.
Toronto has huge variety of clubs devoted to just about every sports and activity you can think of. Hockey is arguably the most popular sport in Toronto, and certainly one of the largest in terms of participants.
The city operates over 40 arenas in the Greater Toronto Area, and dozens more outdoor rinks located in parks around the city.
Racquet sports such as tennis, squash, racquetball and badminton are also quite popular. There are both privately-run clubs and municipally-run facilities scattered across the city, including outdoor tennis courts that can be converted for the winter with domes.
Demand is high for racquet sports in the city, so privately-run clubs will usually require a membership to play.
Other sporting clubs run the gamut from soccer, to cricket, to extreme sports. Being the large metropolis that it is, Toronto has the market to offer specialized clubs that cater to all tastes.
There are also many fitness clubs devoted to boxing and the martial arts. Karate is the classic martial art, but there are also centres that offer lessons and training in Judo, Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai.
Kickboxing is rapidly becoming a popular way to stay in shape, as are the many gyms popping up which are dedicated to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). A group to check out for more information is the Toronto Kickboxing and Muay Thai Academy, www.tkmt.ca.
Yoga is another increasingly popular choice for physical fitness, and is often used for therapeutic purposes as well. There are a multitude of options in the city of Toronto, covering many of the different styles and disciplines of yoga.
While some gyms and fitness clubs offer yoga sessions, there are many more businesses devoted entirely to this activity. They are located across the city, but unlike larger fitness clubs they are less common in the downtown area. You are more likely to find one in an area like Liberty Village, Yonge and Eglinton or The Beaches.
Iyengar yoga is the most common style available, with its more deliberate pace. Ashtanga yoga is more vigorous, while Moksha hot yoga offers a therapeutic style that takes place in a specially heated room.
There are also classes available geared towards specific age groups, including those designed for kids, teens or senior citizens.
Gyms and sports facilities aren’t the only places you can go to stay in shape; the outdoors is great for somewhere to get exercise and a little fresh air at the same time.
The Greater Toronto Area has an extensive system of parks and trails that are also quite accessible. They’re great for jogging, cycling and even roller-blading.
One of the distinctive features of the city’s geography is a series of forested deep ravines that have almost entirely escaped development. The city maintains a sprawling network of paths that follow these ravines throughout much of the city.
The Don Valley is the most extensive of these forested ravines, with a series of trails that run for more than 8 kilometres over a wide valley carved out by the Don River.
Even downtown, the city has lots of green space where one can be outside and get a little exercise. Spots like Christie Pits Park, Trinity-Bellwoods Park and High Park are all popular places for recreational activities like soccer, softball, or even for just tossing a Frisbee around.
Meanwhile, city pools and beaches provide the opportunity for a little aquatic exercise.
Fitness in Toronto can be found in many forms all over the city. Take a look around Totally Toronto to find more on Toronto sports.
Personal Trainers in Toronto
Indoor Sports and Facilities
People in Toronto love to play sports, and as a result there is a wide selection of sports facilities spread out all across the city.
Indoor athletics are particularly popular since they can be played year-round, even in the snowy depths of winter. Some of the most popular indoor recreational sports include soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, tennis, squash, and even dodgeball.
There are several large sporting complexes in the city that offer space for a wide variety of sports and activities. Some of these facilities feature artificial turf that mimics grass surfaces, allowing for sports like soccer and football to continue all year.
One such location is the Hangar Indoor Recreational Facility, located in the north end of the city at Downsview Park. This 45,000 square-meter multi-purpose facility was formerly an aircraft hangar for the Havilland Aircraft Company, and now offers indoor fields, indoor beach volleyball courts and an indoor ball hockey arena. Find out more about this facility
Just east of the Don Valley Parkway, the Toronto City Sports Centre features an air-supported dome structure which houses a state-of-the-art artificial turf playing field.
It is used primarily for soccer, although it also hosts indoor baseball, flag football, and even has an indoor driving range. Soccerworld is another indoor turf facility with two fields used mainly for soccer, and is located within the waterfront Polson Pier complex.
Many of the city’s schools serve a secondary purpose off-hours as the location for many indoor sports leagues. Basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, dodgeball and soccer are all popular recreation activities that are regularly played in the gyms and auditoriums of Toronto elementary and secondary schools.
Most of these activities are organized by one of the numerous recreational sports leagues in the city. Depending on the game, these schools provide a cheap and easy venue for indoor sports.
The leagues themselves provide the opportunity for anyone to play sports, even if they don’t have their own team.
Of course, this being Canada it would be negligent to forget the city’s many indoor ice rink facilities. Hockey is arguably the most popular sport in Toronto, and certainly one of the largest in terms of participants.
The city operates over 40 arenas in the Greater Toronto Area, and that number does not even including the numerous outdoor rinks. The primary sport played in these arenas is obviously ice hockey, but depending on the time of year they are also used for soccer, lacrosse and ball hockey.
In addition to the city-run arenas, there are a number of private ice surfaces. Some of the bigger rink complexes include Chesswood Arenas, located just north of Highway 401 not far from Downsview Park; Westwood Arenas, located in Etobicoke; and De la Salle Arena, near St. Clair West and Avenue Road.
Both public and private rinks tend to be used primarily for organized hockey leagues, and secondly for figure skating. The city-run rinks tend to offer more opportunities for other ice sports and public free-skating sessions.
Racquet sports are also popular in Toronto – tennis, squash, racquetball and badminton. There are both privately-run and municipally-run indoor facilities scattered across the city, including outdoor tennis courts that can be converted for the winter with domes.
As is also the case with ice rinks, demand is high for racquet sports in the city, so privately-run clubs will usually require a membership to play.
Meanwhile, for those looking for a little structure the city runs a series of courses and lessons which are designed for all skill levels.
On a sweltering day, there is nothing better than going for a swim to cool off. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the weather needs to be hot in order to enjoy a pool.
There are 70 municipal pools in Toronto that are open to the public year-round. They come in varying shapes and sizes, and offer a range of instructional programs.
Games like water polo are also popular, and there are even organized leagues. There are further privately-run pool facilities, including The Wave Pool in Richmond Hill, which features simulated waves and waterslides. You can find out more at www.wave.sites.toronto.com.
When it comes down to it, Toronto has a huge selection of indoor sports facilities. Beyond the ones previously mentioned, there are also specialized rock climbing gyms, indoor driving ranges and golf simulators, bowling alleys (arguably a sport), and bars where you can play billiards and darts (maybe a more difficult argument). If you can think of it, Toronto probably has it.
Totally Toronto has more information on Indoor Sports and Facilities, feel free to browse around.
Kids Sport Programs
Sports are an easy way to keep kids both healthy and active. Parents will find that Toronto has a wealth of organizations and facilities that feature programs for children in all sorts of sport and activities.
The City of Toronto is a great place to look for such activities, as they run a range of instructional and drop-in programs in a variety of sports. Although they offer them for all ages, the city has focused on providing kids with opportunities to participate in physical activity when they’re not in school, whether that might be on the weekend or in the summer.
Some of the instructional programs offered include baseball/t-ball, basketball, floor hockey, golf, gymnastics, martial arts, soccer, tennis and volleyball. These are offered at locations all over Toronto — parks, community centres, arenas, and school gyms.
For example, the Kids CAN-BIKE Camp is a cycling camp for children aged nine to 13 which provides a full week of bike riding; teaching kids bike-handling skills necessary for riding safely on the road, as well as checking and maintaining their bike.
The city also offers a range of drop-in programs for kids that take place on an everyday basis. They can be great for kids looking for a little less structure, or maybe have an afternoon to kill.
Drop-in sports include basketball, ball hockey, soccer, tennis and volleyball. These usually take place at community centres across the city, but check their website for details.
Beyond that, there are dozens of places for parents in Toronto to find kids sports programs. All of the city’s major sports complexes have camps and programs for kids, especially in the summer and on March Break.
One such location is the Downsview Park Sports Centre, which includes the Hangar Indoor Recreational Facility. This huge multi-purpose complex offers both indoor and outdoor fields to play on, as well as specialized facilities for things like skateboarding, rock-climbing, squash and soccer. In turn, each of these facilities offers specialized programs and camps for children.
Other such complexes with kids programs include the Toronto City Sports Centre, which features an air-supported dome structure used all-year for soccer, indoor baseball, flag football, and even golf.
They also offer a “multi-sports” program aimed at teaching children the fundamentals of sports. Soccerworld is another indoor field facility located within the waterfront Polson Pier complex, and they offer youth soccer training for more advanced individuals.
One of the most popular sports in Toronto, if not the most, is hockey. Instructional programs and leagues for all ages are hosted in arenas all over the city, with a large number of instructional programs for kids in the summer and on March Break.
Toronto operates over 40 rinks, while there is at least that number of private rinks as well. Programs offered here range from those for beginners to those aimed at grooming your future NHL stars.
One such organization, Canadian Pro Hockey Clinic, offers dozens of types of classes that teach power skating and hockey skills and are available year-round including winter and summer camps. Learn more at www.cphc.on.ca.
In addition to the programs run by the city and those by individual facilities, there are several large organizations in Toronto dedicated to providing children with recreational activities and leagues.
Sportball is one such group, offering non-competitive sports programs for ages two to ten. As with many of these organizations, they offer a variety of individual sports as well as a multi-sport program which introducing children to the fundamental concepts and skills behind popular sports.
Other institutions like the University of Toronto, York University and Seneca College all offer programs as well, often with the benefit of taking place in state of the art facilities.
Keep an eye out for classes and activities being offered through places like this, as they tend to get snapped up more quickly than others.
Beyond the most common sports, there are also classes and programs available for others like horseback riding, gymnastics, martial arts, swimming, golf, cycling and even bowling.
The best place to begin looking for kids sports programs in Toronto is with the city, but other good resources to check out include the Sports Alliance of Ontario and KidSport Ontario.
Also, organizations dedicated to specific sports such as Hockey Toronto, the Ontario Cycling Association and the Ontario Tennis Association.
When signing kids up for camps and programs in any sport, one thing to remember is to always pay close attention to the difficulty level involved.
The best thing a parent can do is put their child in a program that is suitable for their skills. It’s simply not as fun for kids if they are out of their depth, and it’s harder for them to learn as well.
Recreation in Toronto
is a broad term, but essentially it stands for activities and programs based mainly on personal entertainment. Toronto has perfected the art of leisure and recreation — there are available programs, companies, and destinations designed for all ages in Toronto.
Toronto Recreation by Location
There are many different kinds of recreation in Toronto. Some of the best ways to figure out local recreation programs is to visit your local community centre. Community centres can be found within every Toronto neighbourhood.
West end Toronto recreations are fun for the whole family. You can find out more on great programs and facilities in your west end neighbourhood. Same goes for the East end Toronto recreations — find great community programs for the whole family, as well as sports and recreation groups.
North end Toronto recreation include some great arts and sports programs. You can also find adult recreation and leisure in forms of Toronto Golf and Country Clubs. Downtown Toronto recreation has the most diverse amount of programs and facilities.
Types of Recreation
The main sections of recreation in Toronto can be divided into nine main categories;
* Fitness & Wellness
* General Interest programs
* Golf Course
Art recreation in Toronto is available for every age group. Locals and visitors can enjoy things such as dance lessons, music lesson, and visual arts classes. Check out local neighbourhood community centres and theatres for recreation programs near you.
Camps are a popular recreation in Toronto — especially for kids and teenagers. Children’s camps can be for everything from arts, music, sports, and other. There are day camps and away camps — for more information on camps near you, take a look through the link on Totally Toronto.
Fitness and wellness recreation in Toronto can be programs and course on yoga, cardio, Pilates, and other kinds of physical activities. All regions of Toronto have a recreation facility for fitness and wellness.
General interest recreation programs in Toronto can be very broad but a great experience. It is perfect for those with a minor interest in a topic such as wine, cooking, painting or sculpturing. It simply touches the surface of the subject while allowing the individual to experience the fun.
Golf courses in Toronto have become more and more popular over the years. Sometimes they are attached to a private Country Club, while other are a public golf course. There are many main Toronto golf courses such as Humber Valley and Dentonia Park.
Skating recreation in Toronto is almost a must for many local Canadians. Because this country sees some chilly winters, snow and ice are regular thing. Skating lessons and other skating programs are available through community centres, organizations, and even certain public schools.
But you can also find many skating recreation rinks all throughout the city. Places such as the Nathan Phillips Square and Mel Lastman Square have a great free outdoor skating rink. You can also find some of the best hot chocolate in vendors near the rink!
Skiing recreation in Toronto has become more popular. If you are planning to experience Toronto’s skiing industry, you will have to travel up into north Ontario. Blue Mountain and other great ski resorts are just an hour drive out of the city. Look for more information on the Blue Mountain website, www.thebluemountains.ca.
You can also get skiing lessons at this resorts and other Toronto recreation facilities. All Toronto skiing recreation do have fees attached to it.
Sport recreation in Toronto has always been one of the biggest forms of recreation in the city. This is a great one for kids and for adults. Find leagues, organizations, and recreation centres who have teams in hockey, tennis, soccer, and so much more.
Swimming recreation in Toronto is also almost as popular as the winter recreations! Swimming pools, lessons, and training is available for adults, teens, and children — and there are programs for many different swimming levels.
The thing to remember with recreation in Toronto is that sometime there is a program or admissions fee. It is wise to research the program of interest before applying. Many great Toronto recreation programs are low cost or free. You can find awesome recreation programs at places such as YMCA.
Recreation in Toronto is a part of the locals lives. While the people of Toronto work hard, they also know the importance of self growth, fun, and leisure.
Search through Totally Toronto for more information on local recreation programs near you.
Golf and Country Clubs
Sports Therapy in Toronto
Sports Therapy is well established in Toronto, with medical professionals and facilities located all over the city. A sport injury can ruin a professional career, but with the right care and treatment, many athletes go on to play again.
Just as there are different kinds of sports, there are many different kinds of sports therapy. When you are looking for a facility, you want to go to a real professional. Toronto sees a lot of athletic injuries among the city’s professional teams, university teams, and independent athletes.
Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is a program that covers basic medical expenses in healthcare for residents of Toronto. Many kinds of sport therapies in Toronto can be covered under this plan. If you are not a resident, there are different steps you can take to receive assistance.
Kinds of Sport Therapy
The kinds of sports therapy in Toronto can be broken down into different categories;
- Aquatic therapy
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic Services
- Custom orthotics & braces
- Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
- Naturopathic Medicine
Physiotherapy in Toronto is taken very seriously, with several facilities located around the city and even with hospitals. Toronto has many registered Physiotherapists available for you or your loved one.
Aquatic therapy in Toronto is a fantastic way to strengthen muscle. It has also become one of the top sports therapies in Toronto, you can find facilities in your area that specialize in aquatic therapy.
Massage Therapy in Toronto can often be covered under OHIP. Massaging an injury properly is a vital part of the mending process. Toronto has many trained professionals who work with hospitals or independent companies.
Acupuncture in Toronto is a loved and hated therapy. It focuses on pinpointing pain and alleviating it by using needles and pricking the surface of the skin. While it may be an ancient Chinese technique, it is certainly perfected by Toronto professionals.
Chiropractic Services in Toronto are also loved and hated. You typically won’t find this therapy covered under OHIP but it is worth investigating. Chiropractors are training in manipulating the body’s joints, especially the spine.
Custom orthotics and braces in Toronto can help to support your feet, spine, legs, arms, and any other body part that requires it. You want to make sure the equipment is properly made to fit your needs.
Orthopedic Surgery and other sports medicine in Toronto is a necessary step for some injuries. Luckily, Toronto surgeons are highly qualified, and certain procedures are fully covered under OHIP. There are other specific therapies available under sports medicine, Totally Toronto can connect you with professionals and facilities.
Naturopathic medicine in Toronto has become more popular with dealing with sports injuries. It stimulates a body’s ability to heal itself. It is a combination of ancient and new techniques.
Student training facilities for sport therapy in Toronto is a good, and cost efficient, option for some injuries. You can visit schools and training facilities for new professionals in massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic services, and physiotherapy. You pay less, and you are helping new students practice their trade.
Toronto locations for sports therapy are endless. You can find facilities in all neighbourhoods within the West End, East End, North End, and Downtown (Central) regions of the city.
Sports Therapy in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is just as popular as in the main city regions. These areas can be divided into five different sections; East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, and York. Totally Toronto can connect you with the closest sports therapy in the Greater Toronto Area.
You can also find independent Toronto surgeons, physiotherapists, and other trained professionals in rehabilitation to offer you assistance or a second opinion.
Totally Toronto can provide you with information on treating your injury. Sports therapy in Toronto and GTA is available for all injuries.
Sports and sporting events are very popular in Toronto. There are several stadiums, arenas, and tracks featuring almost every type of sporting event one could imagine.
Canada held the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Canadian teams held the highest number of medals, and the ice hockey team became the national champions. Canada became famous throughout the sporting world.
Sporting events are very popular with the public residing in Toronto. People enjoy watching sports and going to events. Moreover, Canada has a pro hockey league, Toronto Blue Jays (baseball), Toronto FC (soccer) and Toronto Raptors (basketball).
These teams have their home stadiums: Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre, and BMO Field all in and around the Toronto area.
Ice hockey is a national sport in Canada and many people like to watch these events and play the sports. The professional Toronto hockey team are the Toronto Maple Leafs. The teams home stadium is located at Air Canada Centre near the Harbourfront and Union Station. The Air Canada Centre is the main sports and entertainment venue in Canada.
Toronto has a basketball team named the Toronto Raptors, which is pro basketball team and uses this venue as a home stadium. It opened in February 1999, since then it has been recognized with more than 25 industry awards. The owner and management company is Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Ltd (MLSE).
The seating capacity for hockey games is 18,800 as well as Lacrosse, 19,800 for baseball and concerts and 5,200 seats in theatre mode. It takes between 4 and 6 hours to switch from hockey to basketball seating and field of play modes. Air Canada Centre offers three fine dining restaurants. It also offers merchandise related to the venue and provides 13,000 parking spaces for events.
Toronto has a Major League baseball team named the Toronto Blue Jays, playing at Rogers Centre. It is located on Blue Jays Way and close to Union Station.
Rogers Centre was built in 1989 and at that time it was called the Sky Dome. Rogers Centre is one of the most popular entertainment venues in the world. Over 60 million people attend events here, and approximately 2,000 events have been held since its opening.
The Canadian Football League team named the Toronto Argonauts also uses Rogers Centre as a home field.
The most famous thing is the retractable roof of Rogers Centre and it takes only 20 minutes to open or close. The facility has won the Toronto Tourism Award. Rogers Centre’s seating capacity is 46,105 at a baseball game, 46,374 for football games, and 55,000 for concerts.
Seven restaurants are available in Rogers Centre. In addition it features a Toronto Blue Jays merchandise shop and underground parking. Canada hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup of Soccer in 2007. The Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment Company funded the stadium’s part of construction expense.
The Toronto soccer team named Toronto FC plays on BMO Field, which is Canada’s first soccer specific stadium. The Toronto Nationals is Toronto’s Major League Lacrosse team and shares this field. Over 500,000 people attended BMO Field the first year of opening.
Seating capacity is 20,195 for soccer and 25,000 for concerts and entertainment venues. The BMO Field is facing Lake Ontario and visitors can get there by TTC subway.
If you are interested in sporting events there are three main Toronto sports stadiums. Those three main venues are entertainment venues as well.
Tennis in Toronto
Toronto is noted for its national sports franchises and international sporting events; tennis is no exception. Every major and minor sport has a home in the city, from hockey to more niche games such as cricket, volleyball, and rugby.
Over the last decade, the city has become a major player in the sport of tennis with the emergence of the Rogers Cup, the rise of talented Canadian professionals, and a surge of new and young fans have brought attention and popularity to tennis in Toronto.
The Canada Masters, now known as the Rogers Cup, alternates yearly between Toronto and Montreal, taking place annually towards the beginning of August. The two cities split the men’s and women’s tournaments, guaranteeing each a professional tennis competition every summer.
This year Toronto hosted the women’s side of the event at the Rexall Centre at York University, just north of the downtown core.
Tennis fans saw a champion in Serena Williams cruise to victory in the finals against Australian Samantha Stosur in straight sets to win the Rogers Cup.
The match set the stage for a rematch a month later, as Williams and Stosur clashed again in the finals of the U.S. Open, with Stosur winning and claiming her first major title.
In years past Torontonians have been afforded the opportunity to watch great tennis stars in Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the men’s side, and Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams, and Jelena Jankovic for the women.
It is not enough that Toronto is simply hosting a global tennis competition; the city and the nation are also producing talented players in their own right.
A resident of Thornhill, 20-year old Milos Raonic has risen up the ranks in the male Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings, reaching the finals at several events in 2011.
Meanwhile on the women’s side, Rebecca Marino from Toronto is currently the highest ranked Canadian female.
With yearly major tournaments and young rising stars to look up to, tennis fans are born every day in Toronto with public tennis courts and private tennis clubs in every neighbourhood.
From the Kew Gardens Tennis Club in the beaches in the east of the city, to Davisville Tennis Club in midtown and the High Park Club in the west, every area of the city offers access to courts and lessons, fostering the growth and feeding the enthusiasm of young and old tennis fans alike.
While the temperate weather of southern Ontario can make outdoor sports difficult to engage in during the early spring and late fall, there are still plenty of indoor courts in and around the city so as to continue playing tennis year round.
For those living around midtown, the Eglinton Flats Winter Tennis offers year round matches, as does the aforementioned Rexall centre in the north. Meanwhile, Mayfair Clubs offer tennis and wellness centers at various locations in the city, including the lakeshore.
Just outside the city proper, on the border of Mississauga and Oakville rests the popular and vast Ontario Racquet Club, a sport and wellness club that offers, among other things, indoor tennis games and lessons.
If you have trouble finding someone to play with, there are leagues available to people of all ages and talent levels to join and meet fellow tennis lovers.
The Toronto Sport and Social Club has offered over 20 different co-ed and single-sex sports at recreational, intermediate, and advanced levels, including tennis. You can find out more at their website, www.torontossc.com.
Tennis continues to grow in the city in many ways, becoming recognized for both youth engagement in the sport as well as professional competition. While the Rogers Cup is once a year, the city still earns exhibition matches and entertaining events.
This fall the Air Canada Centre will be hosting a much anticipated game between Canadian rising star Raonic and Hall-of-Famer Pete Sampras.
The event will showcase Raonic, the highest-ever ranked Canadian male tennis player, competing against one of his tennis idols.
He will be joined by two fellow rising tennis stars from Quebec, Aleksandra Wozniak and Eugenie Bouchard for the uniquely Canadian and very exciting tennis match.
While hockey may grab all the sports attention and profit in the city, tennis is not to be overlooked. The sport is not only easily accessible, with public courts and private lessons available in every corner of Toronto, but the city has made a concerted effort to attract professionals from around the world to come and play.
The passionate tennis fan base continues to expand, as Toronto remains a diverse and talented sporting city on the international stage.
Totally Toronto has more information on all sporting action in the city, with activities to keep you busy in the stands and on the court throughout the entire year.
Toronto has access to many, if not all types of legalized gaming and gambling.
The provincial government under the crown corporation called the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, or more commonly referred to as the OLG controls gambling in the city of Toronto.
The OLG is responsible for Ontario’s lotteries, commercial casinos, aboriginal casinos, charity casinos, bingo centers, and the slot machines available at horse racing tracks. The OLG promotes responsible gambling and fair gaming in Ontario. OLG generates $3.8 billion annually in economic activity in Ontario.
Because the gaming industry is government controlled, this money is used for distribution into local and provincial charities, payments to the municipalities housing OLG gaming facilities, and into gambling addiction and education. The OLG also has a toll-free gambling helpline for Ontario residents.
Casino gambling in the downtown Toronto core is very limited. Toronto’s commercial casinos can actually be found outside the Toronto area, but they attract GTA residents and tourists alike.
Such casinos include Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls and Casino Rama in Orillia. They are noted for their size, decor, amenities, overnight accommodations, food and beverage, and live entertainment. They are often referred to as resort casinos due to these characteristics.
Charity and aboriginal casinos can also be found outside of Toronto. For example, the Great Blue Heron Casino on Scugog Island outside of Toronto near Port Perry is owned by the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations, where revenues are distributed amongst the various gaming bands partnered in the operation of the casino, as well as to various charities.
The OLG manages all slot machines. Jackpot lotteries accessible for people of Toronto include the brands such as LottoMax, Super 7, Pro-Line, and 6/49. The legal age to purchase a lottery ticket in Toronto and in the province of Ontario is 18; however admittance into a casino is 19 due to the availability of alcohol on the premises.
As of January 28, 2008 all lottery tickets in Ontario must be signed by the customer before a retailer can validate them to claim any cash prizes. Signing tickets helps in identifying them and can be traced back to the customer if ever lost and containing winning numbers. OLG retailers are found all across Toronto and the rest of the province. These are often kiosks and convenience stores where individuals can purchase lottery drawing and instant scratch tickets.
Horse racing is not controlled by the OLG. Woodbine Racetrack located in the North West end of Toronto is owned by Woodbine Entertainment Group and is a state-of-the-art facility boasting live Thoroughbred racing, slots, and dining.
Woodbine Racetrack is the only live gambling facility in the city of Toronto. Locals and tourists who seek table gambling must travel at least an hour outside of the city either to the north or southwest to Casino Rama or Fallsview Casino.
Mohawk Racetrack is also operated by Woodbine Entertainment Group and is located outside of Toronto in Campbellville Ontario. It features harness racing. Revenue from these tracks is sometimes used to increase horse racing purses.
While both racetracks in and outside of Toronto offer on-premise betting, there are a handful of bar/entertainment establishments in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area that offer betting and wagering and give out pay-outs for bets based on race results.
Forms of illegal gambling in Toronto and the rest of the province of Ontario goes directly into an individual’s pocket or into a private business or establishment not under the jurisdiction of the OLG. While this can include gambling such as private card games in homes, it is not as easily as enforced and is frowned upon. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have an illegal gambling unit that monitors illegal gambling in Ontario, since this form of gambling can often be linked to organized crime.
Torontonians and other Ontarians have access to unregulated online gaming and gambling. Yet it has been announced as of August 2010 that the OLG plans to branch out over the next two years by offering online gambling sites directly controlled by the OLG for Ontario players, while maintaining its mission and ethics of player protection, secure transactions, and an online responsible gaming program. This initiative was recently announced by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in an effort to further stimulate the Ontario economy.