Sports Travel Zone

Sports Stadium

Live Sport for Tourists visiting Toronto, Canada

toronto stadium

Toronto is Canada’s largest city with a population of over 6 million. Over the past several decades, Toronto has undergone a major transformation. Because of Canada’s broad-minded immigration policies starting in the 70s, it has attracted people from diverse background and cultures. Today the city is home to over 75 culturally diverse ethnic communities, and more than 50% of the city’s residents are foreign born.  As a result of this mass melting pot of people, Toronto has also become a mecca for Tourism.

This bustling mega metropolis welcomes close to 40 million visitors each year. While Toronto offers many superb attractions and events, it is also home to many sports teams with some of the best sporting facilities in North America. Depending on the time of the year, tourists can catch many live events in Toronto.

  • Sports in Toronto is based on the season and while most tourists arrive in the summer, the city is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who play ice hockey in winter. And even in freezing temperatures, you will be had pressed to get a seat at the Air Canada Center because of popularity of hockey among the locals.
  • Another venue for ice hockey is the Ricoh Coliseum, which is home to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies Hockey club. This 8,000 seat arena also offers concerts, ice events, music festivities and other indoor sporting events during the winter.
  • One more very popular winter sport at the Air Canada Center is basketball. The Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association play at this arena for their home games. If you are lucky you may just catch LeBron James (Cleveland) or Donald Curry (Warriors) in town.
  • Another very popular sport played at the Air Canada Center is lacrosse. The Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League play here during late summer and autumn.
  • With Toronto being home to millions of immigrants, soccer is a much loved sport and played for most of winter and into late spring. The Toronto FC play at the BMO soccer field which is not far from the National Exhibition Center.
  • For those not into professional sports, Toronto has ample green space. One place that regularly holds amateur outdoors events is Downsview park. Here you can get to participate in sporting events, dine and enjoy the scenery at no cost.

Another very famous summer time location is Polson Pier. Located just a few minutes from downtown Toronto, this large area located on the waterfront is packed during the summer.  During the summer, the Pier area holds outdoor concerts, indoor events, sporting facilities and even has many great restaurants and cafeterias.  If you just want to watch the crowds pass-by, the largest patio bar is also located in the water front area. If you want to relax in the evening, then Toronto’s only drive-in movie theater can be found at this location.

For tennis fans, one can visit the Rexall center located on York University Campus. This world class tennis center with an exotic park-like setting also offers superb dining and shopping  facilities. Every summer, the annual Canadian ATP event is held here with stars like Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and others participating.

Perhaps the best sporting center in Toronto is Roger’s Center located downtown. Acknowledged as the one of the elite entertainment complexes with its fully retractable roof top,  the arena is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of the National Baseball League. When the Blue Jay’s are away, the Center is home to the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

While Roger’s Center is chiefly a site for professional sports, it also caters to many other non-sporting events that include conventions, concerts, live music, religious gatherings and car shows. During the summer and late autumn, the Center is a popular venue for large scale concerts and live music; over the years, it has hosted many international acts including U2, Metallica, Madonna, The Rolling stones, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, The Three Tenors, Garth Brooks,   Simon & Garfunkel, Roger Waters, AC/DC,  Backstreet Boys, Cher, Avril Lavigne, Madonna and many others.

Finally for those who just want to relax, there is the Woodbine Racetrack, which offers both thoroughbred and standard-bred racing all year around. Unlike most other horse racing venues, Woodbine holds both thoroughbred and standard-bred races on the same day.

Toronto is one of the safest cities in North America. One can be out all day or all night and never have to worry about crime. The other feature about Toronto is that the city has probably one of the best public transports systems in the country. Upon arrival to the airport, one can take the subway right down to where all the hotels are. In the downtown area, the transit system is excellent and runs everyday till late at night. Each of the above sporting venues can be accessed by the Toronto transit system which is very affordable. Some downtown hotels do offer shuttle services to some of the sporting facilities and even to the airport. If you plan to catch a live sports event in Toronto, there really is no need to book tickets ahead of time. Prior to booking, always check with your hotel which of the sporting venues are nearby and that events are going to be held in the near future. The only exception is ice hockey which is usually sold out months in advance, unless you do not mind sitting far out in the bleachers. Toronto is also a great place to go out jogging or for a walk along the seashore or the waterfront area. Most downtown hotels also have exercise rooms or a mini gym for those who want to keep fit.

The above list is by no means complete and there are over 200 facilities and venues in Toronto which host an endless variety of sports, both professional and amateur, all year round. Just last year, Toronto was the host for the very successful Pan  American Games.  The city is committed to making every event worthwhile and ensures that all athletes are given the best opportunity to perform at their highest ability.

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