Canada is thought to be one of the best countries in the world on many fronts, it’s especially vaunted as one of the best places to live.
There are many reasons why someone might want to move to Canada. It boasts a strong economy, a low crime rate, diverse culture, plus it’s right next to the United States.
Canada is also pretty big on sports and is home to some of the most impressive sporting venues in the world. Sports in Canada are as diverse as the culture and you can find avenues for a variety of popular disciplines, as well as some not-so-popular ones which are probably just as fun.
Keep reading to find out what the most popular sports in Canada are.
1. Ice Hockey
Ice hockey is the No. 1 sport played in Canada and draws fans in droves. Modern hockey has been played in the Great North since the 19th century and it continues to grow in popularity. According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, there were over 513,000 registered ice hockey players in Canada as of 2022.
The Stanley Cup, the trophy handed to the winner of the NHL Finals every season, was founded in Canada and is now viewed as the top prize in hockey on a worldwide scale.
Other notable Canadian cups are the Allan Cup, competed for by senior-aged men’s teams and the Memorial Cup, given to junior teams.
The sport is sacred in Canada and, as far as both playing and watching goes, nothing can compare. The country has seven teams in the NHL, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, and the Calgary Flames.
The Canadiens are the most successful team in the NHL and lead the league in all-time wins, as well as championships, with 24.
Golf is pretty popular in Canada too. It’s more popular in the U.S. but Canadians are just as crazy over the sport and it could even be considered a staple in some areas, with odds sure to be found on Ontario sports betting apps.
Canada has become one of the world’s biggest golfing nations and is said to have over 1.5 million golfers. Some of the world’s most famous golfers are Canadians, with Mike Weir and Moe Norman among them.
But perhaps the most popular is a woman. Brooke Henderson is already being hailed as the best Canadian golfer in the history of the sport, having already won over 10 times on the LPGA Tour. She’s the most successful Canadian golfer where it pertains to wins on the tour and has won two major championships, the Women’s PGA Championship in 2016 and the Evian Championship in 2022.
Curling is another favorite in Canada, but perhaps not so much in other parts of the world. It’s more popular in the Prairie Provinces, which include Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
The game came to Canada by way of Scotland and is one in which players slide stones across the ice in an attempt to reach a circular target. On a professional level, the men’s tournament is called the Tim Hortons Brier while the women’s is referred to as the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Canadians are pretty fond of basketball and the country has its own pro leagues. However, the Toronto Raptors play in the NBA and are by far the most revered team in Canada. There was a time when the country boasted two NBA teams, with the Vancouver Grizzlies the second. But they moved to the U.S. in 2001 and are now the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Raptors made all of Canada proud when they won their first NBA championship in 2019 and they continue to be a force in the Eastern Conference.
Famous Canadian NBA players include two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and Andrew Wiggins, who won a title with the Golden State Warriors last year.
Rugby is believed to have reached Canada in 1823 via means of the Royal Navy. While way more popular in Europe and Australia, the sport is still big-time in Canada.
Similar to American football, rugby is a high-contact sport, but players wear no protective equipment.
Sports bring people together, and Canada’s passion for sports is evident in the diversity of sports enjoyed across the country. From ice hockey to basketball to golf, Canadians have a deep connection to their sports teams and the cultural significance they hold. As we dive deeper into each sport’s history and current status, we gain a greater understanding of Canada’s passion for sports, making it a nation worth celebrating