If you are relocating to Toronto from Europe, you may have a favorite football (“soccer”) or rugby team, or a favorite tennis player. While these sports are the most popular amongst european fans, here in Toronto, we’re the most crazy about hockey!
Hockey in Canada is big. Across the country, families and friends gather around the TV in living rooms, at bars, or with lots of cheering fans in stadiums, watching the fun live. It may come as a surprise for you to see people crying when the Toronto Maple Leafs lose a match, or when the mood in the office the day after the Maple Leafs lose a match is a little subdued. On the other hand, of course, you may find yourself cheering with a carload of fans riding in the subways after a big win.
When relocating to Toronto, it probably won’t take long for you to become a Toronto Maple Leafs super fan. Here’s some starter info about hockey in Toronto:
About the team:
In Toronto, (almost) everyone roots for the Maple Leafs. The team was founded in 1917 and in its history, it has won 13 Stanley Cup championships, the second highest amount behind the Montreal Canadians. So it may come as a surprise to hear the that Maple Leafs are currently experiencing a 48-year draught between championships, and haven’t won won since 1967. That fact doesn’t mean fans love them any less, though.
The players sport white jerseys decorated with a blue maple leaf on the front. Their home games are played at the Air Canada Centre, and tickets range from about $50 to about $450, depending on seating, and they can be tough to get because they have so many loyal fans! If you really want an exciting show, it might be fun to check out a game against one of the Maple Leafs infamous rival teams, the Montreal Canadiens, the Detroit Red Wings, or the Ottawa Senators.
Where to watch the game around town:
One of the most exciting places to watch the Maple Leafs play is at a local sports bar in Toronto. Here, you’ll be surrounded by fellow fans and experience a true sense of community. If you go to one of these high-energy bars, remember to get their early in order to secure seating. Here are just a few sports bar suggestions:
- Real Sports Bar and Grille: Located at 15 York Street, this bar features a 39-foot HD Big Screen and 1999 HD TVs, so you’re sure to have a view! They also have a delicious sandwich and wing menu to accompany the full bar.
- Wayne Gretzky’s: This sports bar, at 99 Blue Jays Way, has 40 HD TVs, 12 draft taps that feature Canadians’ favorite beers, and a full kitchen that stays open late.
- Rally Sports Bar and Smokehouse: Located on O’Connor Drive, in the East York neighborhood of Toronto, Rally has tons of big screen TVs, daily specials, and an affordable menu. As another bonus, there’s also free parking!
- The Dock Ellis: Located in Dundas West, The Dock Ellis offers only craft beers, with local beers on draught, so it’s a great place to watch the game while sampling some truly special brews! Their menu is full of savory appetizers like fried pickles and Wonton nachos.
The Hockey Hall of Fame:
Another way to get into the spirit of hockey in Toronto is paying a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Here, you’ll find tons of memorabilia, trophies, and equipment worn by players, as well as exhibits devoted to the history of this great sport. The venue has 15 exhibition areas and lots of interactive displays. Visit, and you’re sure to jumpstart your devotion to hockey!
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