Toronto is a city of culture and rich history of sports. You can do anything here – visit world-class restaurants, enjoy architectural marvels, and see some of the best sports arenas in Canada. The 6ix has always had a close connection to sports, with some of the best Canadian sports teams coming from Ontario.
These aren’t just sports arenas. They’re entertainment centers too where some of the world’s biggest artists visit. In short, they keep the city’s ‘engine’ running, serving millions of fans annually to delicious portions of sport and entertainment.
If you’re ever in Toronto, here’s the arenas no sports buff should miss.
The Scotiabank arena is Toronto’s most popular arena right now. It is home to the Maple Leafs, the Raptors, and Toronto Rock. Who knows – maybe we’ll see a 3ice Canadian Ice Hockey match there too in the future. It opened its doors in 1999 and was recognized with more than 40 awards in the years to follow for its security, fan service, environmental impact, and accessibility.
And it’s not just for sports. The world’s biggest artists have concerts here when they schedule events in Toronto, making it a versatile sports and entertainment centre and a cultural landmark you shouldn’t miss when in the 6ix.
The iconic Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium in Downtown Toronto that’s home to the Blue Jays and Argonauts. Formerly known as the SkyDome, it changed its name to Rogers Centre after being acquired by Rogers Communications. It’s primarily a sports venue, but in the past, it hosted a variety of events, including monster truck shows, trade fairs, conventions, concerts, and even circuses.
In 2015, the Rogers Centre was a site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Pan American Games. It’s the first stadium with a fully retractable roof (motorized), and has a 348-room hotel with 70 rooms facing the field. If you’re looking to stay in Toronto and you’re a sports fan, that’s the room to pick. It’ll cost extra, but can you put a price on pleasure?
Located at Exhibition Place in Toronto, the BMO Field is home of Toronto FC. It opened in 2007 and is owned by the City of Toronto. Management of the field was given to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Just like the other venues on this list, it’s a multi-purpose stadium that also hosts rugby, hockey, and lacrosse matches and has been a site for many concerts.
One of the most notable matches hosted by BMO Field was the 104th Grey Cup after the Toronto Argonauts moved there in 2016. From 2014 to 2016, it underwent serious renovations with an added upper deck to the east grandstand and a roof in the seating areas.
The Lamport Stadium is a partial home of the Canada’s national rugby team and a practice facility for the Argonauts. It is owned by the city of Toronto and has a capacity of nearly 10,000 seats. While it’s one of the smaller arenas on this list, it often hosts matches for the national rugby team which makes it a must for fans of the sport.
The stadium also hosts a curious and major Caribana event each summer, which is the crowning ceremony of the Caribana king and queen. No other arena on this list has can brag about hosting such an event.
Exhibition Place is not exactly a sports arena, but it’s the choice of spot for over 100 different events every year. It’s a publicly owned district located by the Lake Ontario shoreline that has banquet centres, exhibit and trade spots, theatres, music buildings, and sports facilities. This is where the BMO Field is located and where the Exhibition Stadium once stood.
OVO Athletic Centre
Another sport facility in Exhibition Place, the OVO Athletic Centre is a practice arena for the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. Canada Basketball and the Raptors’ G League affiliate, the Raptors 905 also use this facility.
What makes it different than the rest is the tech-advanced cognitive operations centre run by IBM Watson. It analyzes data from many streams and then displays it on interactive monitors and mobile apps.