In partnership with
Toronto

How Toronto wins over families with fun-filled sporting events year round

Last updated 18th May 2024

Is your family passionate about Toronto sports or completely clueless when it comes to the city’s teams? Jennifer Merrick is definitely in the former category and here’s why she thinks you should be too.

olivia-knowles-boston-v-toronto-credit-pwhl

Olivia Knowles, PWHL, Boston v Toronto © Alex D’Addese/PWHL

Ask the question, ‘What makes people so wild about Toronto sports? And why is it such a great sports city?’ And you’ll get different words, but the same answer: it’s all about the passion.

Local people are passionate about Toronto sports

“The passion people have for their teams is really unmatched,” says Olivia Knowles, defender on Toronto’s newest professional sports team in the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). The women’s hockey league has been selling out games and playing to record-breaking crowds during its inaugural season.

“It says a lot about our community,” Knowles goes on, adding that it’s been a thrill to experience how excited people are and how much it means to see women’s hockey garner the recognition it deserves.

rogers-centre-sport-stadium

Rogers Centre Toronto sports stadium

Which Toronto sports could make you feel the passion

So now Toronto not only has two ‘Original Six’ hockey teams, but it also has Canada’s only major league baseball team (Toronto Blue Jays) and NBA basketball team (Raptors). And then there’s soccer (Toronto FC), football (Argos) and rugby (Wolfpack), all of which boast a loyal and enthusiastic fan base. That’s a lot to cheer for.

Jays – To the Core: get kids into Toronto Sports with a Free Jr. Jays membership

On sunny days the roof of the Rogers Centre opens up to blue skies and a view of the CN Tower, which is a breezy way to watch a baseball game on a summer day.

If your kids are under 14, sign them up for a free Jr. Jays membership and they’ll receive 50% off weekend games. Sundays are extra special for families as kids can register to run the bases after the game.

raptors-basketball-team

Raptors, Scotiabank Stadium

Raps – We The North: look forward to a family-friendly vibe at Scotiabank Arena

Ask almost any Torontonian where they were on June 13, 2019, and their eyes will light up as they recall the exhilaration of the night the Raptors won their first NBA championship.

Arrive early to a game at the Scotiabank Arena to catch the infectious energy as fans of all ages and from across the country cheer them on.

Argos – Life’s Here. Be Ready: get excited about Canadian football

Though fewer in number, fans of the Toronto Argonauts make up for it with their fervent zeal for their sport.

Canadian football fans extol the superiority of the game to its American counterpart, saying that the three downs and a larger playing field make it more exciting. That may be up for debate but the excitement at their games is not.

Families can count on a lively atmosphere at the BMO Fields, an outdoor facility just west of the downtown core at Exhibition Place on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Toronto FC – All for One: more thrilling Toronto sports at the BMO Field

Also playing at the BMO Field is the city’s soccer team, the Toronto Football Club.

With so many people from around the world living in Toronto, it’s often called football, which does cause some confusion between Canadian and American football. But there’s nothing uncertain about the energy of the FC crowds in the stands, where soccer or football fans from around the world unite to cheer for Toronto.

Wolfpack – Defend the Den:  get kids into rugby for free at Liberty Lamport Stadium

The first fully professional rugby team in Canada, the Toronto Wolfpack, plays out of the Liberty Lamport Stadium, nicknamed the Den.

Every adult-priced ticket includes free admission for an accompanying child (15 years and under). And while costs are low, spirits are high during the games with plenty of chanting and singing. Also appealing is its location in Liberty Village that offers plenty of cool options for meals, ice cream and celebrating after the game.

Hockey-Hall-of-Fame-interior-trophies-Stanely-Cup

Trophy Room, Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto

“Every day is a great day for hockey” Mario Lemieux

Few Canadians would disagree with the words of Mario Lemieux, one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

For Canadians, no other sport is as much a part of our identity as hockey. Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame to see the icons of the national sport, including the most coveted of them all –the Stanley Cup.

Interactive challenges are a hit for kids at the HLPA Game Time Hub, where visitors can challenge their shooting skills against life-size, animated versions of NHL goalies. But, of course, there’s nothing like a real game.

nhl-hockey-leafs-scotiabank-arena-credit-destination-toronto

Scotiabank Stadium © Destination Toronto

Leafs – Leafs Forever: every home game at Scotiabank Arena is an event to remember

Though they haven’t won a championship since before most of their fans were born (1967), Toronto sports fans have never lost hope that their day will come. And when it does, there will be a party like no other.

The stands are always full and every home game at the Scotiabank Arena is an event to remember.

Marlies – Long Live the Leafs: look out for family fun packs at the Coca-Cola Coliseum

If you can’t get your hands on Leafs tickets, the Marlies, Toronto’s AHL team, is a terrific option, especially for families. Up and coming NHL stars play to chants and cheers of the high-energy fans at the Coca-Cola Coliseum at Exhibition Place.

Family fun packs are available for some games that offer a food and game combo deal.

olivia-knowles-meeting-toronto-sports-fans-credit-pwhl

Olivia Knowles with Toronto sports fans, New York vs Toronto © Alex D’Addese/PWHL

Toronto PWHL – Ice Time. Earned: watch hockey history unfold

Watch hockey history unfold in the venue where Toronto hockey history was made.

Toronto’s newest professional team plays to sold-out crowds at Mattamy Athletic Centre, a historic building that was once home to Maple Leaf Garden. It was at this ‘cathedral of hockey’ that the Leafs won their 11 Stanley Cups. And this year, there’s a chance at a new trophy. The Walter Cup was designed with rays of light signifying the dawn of a new era in hockey and a PWHL puck shattering glass ceilings.

Their fans would go wild for that win, especially the girls in the bleachers carrying signs that say ‘Future PWHL Player’.

This passionate support means a lot to the players, too. “It gives us purpose in why we’re playing and that our hard work through the years has been validated,” says Knowles.

marriott-city-centre-hotel

The Marriott City Centre Field View Room

The ultimate family sleep for any Toronto sports fans

Right off the bat, the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel Field View Room is a hit for families with its floor-to-ceiling window looking out onto the Rogers Centre stadium.

The Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel is the only hotel in the world actually inside a major league sports stadium. Its 50,000-plus seats look surreal from above and allow guests to cheer for the Blue Jays in their own rooms, perched up on the window-facing seating area.

Located on the main floor is SportsNet Grill, a 220-seat restaurant with direct views of the stadium. Be sure to reserve window seats on game days.

Book the Toronto Marriot City Centre Hotel 

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn commission when you click on them. This does not influence our editorial standards. We only recommend products and services we believe will enhance your family travel experience.