Popular Sports in Canada
Photo: Sportszion

Did you know five of the most popular sports in the world were invented in Canada? Basketball, baseball, hockey, American football, and Lacrosse all call Canada home.

Lacrosse was invented by Canada’s First Nation people while the rest were discovered by individuals. Today, millions of people in Canada play or follow a major sport.

Here, we’ll rank 10 of the most popular sports in Canada. Let’s get started.

1—Ice Hockey

When most people think about Canadian sports, they think of ice hockey. Sure enough, hockey is Canada’s official sport of the winter. Lacrosse is the official sport of the summer.

The first hockey game in Canada was played in 1876, back when Lacrosse was the most popular sport in the country. Over time, hockey grew in popularity. Today, there are hundreds of professional hockey teams in the country, including seven National Hockey League franchises:

  • Calgary Flames
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Vancouver Canucks

2—Canadian Football

The Super Bowl might be the biggest sports game in North America. But the CFL’s Grey Cup has been around much longer. To provide some context, the Grey Cup has been around since 1909, and has been awarded 108 times. By comparison, the Super Bowl has taken place 56 times.

With that in mind, Canadian Football is pretty similar to American football. It features 12 players, though. CFL stadiums are significantly larger and teams have three downs and two timeouts.

The Canadian Football League is also smaller (nine teams) and takes place from the Summer to November. That said, millions of people watch the league, including American football fans with no sports to watch before the NFL starts.

Can you bet on Canadian football? Yes, you can. Canada legalized single-event betting last year. Still, many bettors prefer to use offshore sportsbooks like BetVictor. Speaking of which, check out this BetVictor review here to learn more about the bookmaker.

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3—Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a unique sport. It features 20 players on an outdoor field, 10 players on each side. Every player has a long stick with a basket attached to it. They use this stick and net to pass, dribble, and score goals.

Lacrosse is such a popular sport in Canada that it’s the country’s official sport of the summer. The Canadian Lacrosse League is one of the biggest lacrosse leagues in the world.

4—Soccer

Soccer needs no introduction. It is the biggest sport in the world. It’s a game played in every corner of the world, from Europe’s richest countries to Africa’s poorest nations.

The World Cup—the biggest soccer tournament in the word—attracts up to 400 million fans and over two billion viewers on TV. The Champions League, by comparison, attracts nearly half a billion viewers on TV.

In other words, soccer is big worldwide. But how popular is it in Canada? Truth be told, soccer is one of the top 10 sports in the country. In fact, the country has two franchises in the MLS. To add icing on top, Canada’s national soccer team will participate in this year’s World Cup event.

5—Basketball

A decade ago, basketball was barely popular in Canada. In 2022, basketball is one of the fastest sports in the country. Sadly, Canada features just one team—Toronto Raptors—in the NBA.

That’s alright. The Raptors are a marvelous team with an NBA title and some of the best players in the league. The best part: the NBA in general has more than a dozen Canadians.

That means even though basketball has great potential in Canada. Soon, the country could produce a league that competes in the NBA, akin to the CFL versus the NFL.

6—Baseball

There’s only one Major League Baseball team in Canada—the Toronto Blue Jays. But that doesn’t tell the full story of baseball’s popularity in the country. As we mentioned earlier, baseball started in Canada.

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In fact, the oldest baseball park in the world is located in Ontario—the Labatt Park. Canada has a national baseball side that participates in the Olympic Games regularly. The team ranks in the top 15 globally.

7—Golf

Golf is a popular summer sport in Canada. Although anyone can visit one of the country’s top golf courses to play the sport, the ultimate way to enjoy golf is to qualify for the Canadian PGA Championship.

Corey Corners is the best-ranked golf player in Canada. Mackenzie Hughes comes in second while Brooke Henderson leads in the ladies’ category.

8—MMA

Being a cold country, winter sports are incredibly popular in Canada. A good example is Curling. In this sport, two teams of four players each compete to slide rocks into a circular board.

Each team has eight rocks to slide, with every player sliding two of them. Although the sport traces its origins to Scotland, it’s primarily played in Canada.

In fact, Canada won the first event Curling championship event in 1959. What’s more, Canada won gold in the Olympics Men Curling events of 2006, 2010 and 2014 while clinching silver in 1998 and 2002. The women team is also successful, having won gold in 1998 and 2014.

9—Tennis

Tennis is both an individual and team sport. Due to that, it’s a popular sport for both kids and adults. Every year, Canada sends one or more players to the annual Tennis Open Events.

Daniel Nestor is arguably the most famous tennis player in Canada. He won eight grand slams during his career and won 1062 competitions. Milos Raonic, who finished second at the 2016 Wimbledon event, Eugenie Bouchard and Felix Auger are other outstanding players in the sport.

10—MMA & Boxing

Mixed Martial is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Boxing, by comparison, has been around for decades. All the same, these two sports are pretty popular in Canada.

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In the MMA space, Canada is home to one of the best UFC athletes of all time: George St-Pierre. Brock Lesner, Lennox Lewis and Arturo Gatti also call Canada home.

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