Sports Information about Canada
Knight's Canadian Info Collection


Canadian Sports

Canada's National Flag


Canadians enjoy sports of all types. They like to watch and they like to play all types of indoor and outdoor sports. The following will give you some idea of what Canada enjoys in the sporting world:- Alpine skiing, archery, automobile racing, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, boating, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, broomball, caving, climbing, cricket, cross-country skiing, curling, cycling, darts, dog sled racing, diving, drag racing, downhill skiing, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, fishing, football, golf, gymnastics, horse racing, ice and snow sports, ice hockey, jet skiing, judo, karate, lacrosse, motorcycle racing, Olympic sports, polo, ringette, rugby, skiing, softball, speed and figure skating, snow boarding, soccer, squash, swimming, table tennis, target shooting, tennis, track and field, triathlon, volleyball, water sports, weightlifting and wrestling

The most prefered spectator sports are Ice hockey, Lacrosse, Curling and Canadian Football.

For information on how Canada has performed in the Olympics, go to our CANADIAN OLYMPIANS Page

Hockey is still our national sport, just as baseball is in the USA. At one time nearly all NHL players were Canadian. A large number of them still are. Canada has 6 teams in the NHL - the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, the Calgary Flames, the Ottawa Senators, the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks.

Sir John Franklin described a "hockey on the ice" game on Great Bear Lake (NT) in November 1825 in a letter to a friend. This is the earliest known reference to the game.

The first PUBLIC hockey game was played in Old Montreal in 1875. The puck was a block of wood. The game was between 2 McGill University teams and was called off 'mid-way' because of fighting and rough play!.

The first PROFESSIONAL hockey team was established in 1914.

The Montreal Canadiens were formed in 1909 by Ambrose O'Brian, but they were an amateur team and did not turn pro until later.

The first ARTIFICIAL ICE arenas were built in Vancouver and Victoria (BC) by Frank and Leater Patrick. Victoria hosted the first game ever to be played on artificial ice.

The first outdoor NHL Scheduled Hockey Game in 86 years was played in Edmonton, AB on Nov 22, 2003. A special rink was constructed within Commonwealth Stadium and over 56,000 hockey fans attended in -25C weather.

For our American hockey friends - the first USA team to win a Stanley Cup was the Seattle Metropolitans in 1917.

Foster Hewitt was known as "The Voice of Hockey Night in Canada". He began broadcasting the games from Toronto in 1926, when the only radio reception available was via a home-built 'crystal set'. He continued on radio and then on television for over 5 decades. Foster Hewitt's opening, "Hello, Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland!" is one of th most remembered opening statements in sports.

Canada's NHL Records
Canadians hold most of the records in the National Hockey League. The following are the highlights of a few of those achievements:-
Most Games played - Gordie Howe - 1,767
Most Goals scored (career) - Wayne Gretzky - 894
Most Goals scored (in one season) - Wayne Gretzky - 92
Most Assists scored (career) - Wayne Gretzky - 1,963
Most Assists scored (in one season) - Wayne Gretzky - 163
Most Points scored (career) - Wayne Gretzky - 2,857
Most Points scored (in one season) - Wayne Gretzky - 215
Most Goaltender Wins (in one season) - Bernie Parent - 47
Most Regular Season Shut-outs (career) - Martin Brodeur - 105 ... and counting
Most Shut-outs (in one season) - Martin Brodeur tied with George Hainsworth - 22
Most Goaltender Games played - Martin Brodeur - 1,035.
Most Goaltender wins (career) - Martin Brodeur - 552

Maurice "Rocket" Richard - During his 18-year career with the Montreal Canadiens from 1942-43 through 1959-60, Maurice Richard was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season and 500+ in his career. He played with the Montreal Canadiens on eight Stanley Cup championships and led the League in goal scoring five times.

NHL Championship Wins (Stanley Cup) #1 - Montreal Canadiens - 23 times in 82 seasons
followed by:-
NHL Championship wins (Stanley Cup) #2 - Toronto Maple Leafs - 13 times in 82 seasons

The record for most goal scoring in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is still held by Frank McGee. He scored 63 goals in 22 games in the 1902-1906 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the regular 1905 season, McGee scored 71 goals in 23 games. On Jan. 16, 1905, McGee scored 14 goals in a Stanley Cup game, as Ottawa trounced Dawson City, Yukon 23-2. That is still a Stanley Cup record. In that game, McGee scored eight consecutive goals in eight minutes and 20 seconds. Three of these came in a span of 90 seconds and the fourth came 50 seconds later. These are also Stanley Cup records for three-goal and four-goal outputs by an individual.

The following are the annual HOCKEY TROPHIES awarded in the NHL:-
THE STANLEY CUP - NHL Playoff Champion
Art Ross Trophy - Regular Season Scoring Leader
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy - Player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey
Calder Memorial Trophy - NHL Rookie of the Year
Conn Smythe Trophy - Most valuable player for his team in the playoffs
Frank J. Selke Trophy - Best defensive forward
Hart Memorial Trophy - Most valuable player to his team
Jack Adams Award - NHL Coach of the Year
James Norris Memorial Trophy - Best Defenseman
King Clancy Memorial Trophy - Player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy - Best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct
Lester B. Pearson Award - NHL's outstanding player as selected by the members of the NHL Players' Association
Lester Patrick Trophy - Outstanding service to hockey in the United States
Presidents' Trophy - NHL Club finishing the regular-season with the best overall record
Prince of Wales Trophy - Eastern Conference Champions
Vezina Trophy - Best Goalkeeper
William M. Jennings Trophy - team with the fewest goals scored against it
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy - Player finishing the regular season as the League's goal scoring leader

World Hockey
The Canadian Women's Hockey team won the World Women's Hockey Championships (IIHF) in: 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2012.

Men's hockey has long dominated the world scene. The Canadian Men won the World Men's Hockey Championship (World Cup of Hockey) in: 1920, 1924, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1994, 1997, 2003, 2004 and 2007.

The Canadian Men's Junior Hockey team won the IIHF World Title Gold Medal in: 1982, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2015.

They have won a medal at every World Championship in which they have played.

Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser of Calgary, AB, was the first woman to register a point in a professional men's hockey game. She scored the assist for Finland's Kirkkonummi Salamat in January 2003 during the first game of a 30-day tryout.

Lacrosse is considered to be Canada's national game, although hockey is often thought of in the same way.
One of the first sports ever played in Canada, lacrosse came from the native peoples living in the region that extends eastward from Hudson Bay. It was played by them with a ball made from a deerskin bag stuffed with deer hair.

The Canadian Lacrosse Association makes annual awards in the form of the MINTO CUP (established in 1901) for the Junior Amateur Championship team and the MANN CUP (established in 1910) to the Senior team.

Two distinct 'types' of lacrosse are popular in Canada - field lacrosse, which is played outdoors, and box lacrosse played in an indoor arena. Box lacrosse is rapidly gaining in popularity and is played only by men's teams. Both men's and women's teams play field lacrosse.

With the introduction of the World Cup of Lacrosse, this distinctly Canadian game is gaining stature around the world.

Every wooden lacrosse stick used in the world today is made in the only factory of its type, located in Cornwall (ON).

Canada also has its own version of the NFL - the CFL (Canadian Football League). Football is very popular in all regions of Canada.

There are 9 teams in the league - the B.C. Lions (Vancouver), the Stampeders (Calgary), the Eskimos (Edmonton), the Roughriders (Saskatchewan), the Blue Bombers (Winnipeg), the Tiger Cats (Hamilton), the Renagades (Ottawa), the Argonauts (Toronto) and the Alouettes (Montreal).

The all-time passing record is held by Damon Allen of the B.C. Lions (set 10/00).

Lui Passaglia -(Lions #5) holds the most records in the CFL. He played for the B.C. Lions for 25 years (1976-2000). He was a CFL All Star 5 times and a West Division All Star 10 times in his career.
As a field goal and place kicker, Lui is pro football's all-time leading scorer. He amassed a record 3,991 points in a record 408 games with the B.C. Lions. He won 3 CFL Grey Cup Championships with the Lions and he also holds records for the most converts, 1,045; and field goals, 875.

Each year the winning teams from the East and the West Divisions play for the Grey Cup Championship (sort of a Canadian Super Bowl).

The FIRST Grey Cup was won in 1909 by Toronto University. During the past 10 years the winners were:

| 2014 - Calgary | 2013 - Saskatchewan | 2012 - Toronto | 2011 - Vancouver | 2010 - Montreal |
| 2009 - Montreal | 2008 - Calgary | 2007 - Saskatoon | 2006 - Vancouver | 2005 - Edmonton|

NOTE:- The Baltimore Stallions were in existance for only 2 years (1994 & 1995). They played in the Grey Cup final both years and were the only American CFL team to win a Grey Cup (1995).

Why the CFL is better than the NFL
CFL rules allow for much more action than in the NFL, making for a generally, more exciting game. Here are a few of the major differences:-

Field is 110 yards long and 65 yards wide
Endzones are 20 yards deep
3 downs to advance 10 yards
Offence has 20 seconds from referee's signal to start play
12 players on the field during a play
All players in backfield except QB are allowed unlimited motion prior to snap of the ball
Punt and kick receivers are given a five-yard zone of protection until ball is caught. No "fair catch" rule
Single point awarded for preventing a recovered punt or missed field goal from advancing out of the end zone
Missed field goals can be returned to kicker's end zone for 3 points

Field is 100 yards long, 53.5 yards wide
Endzones are 10 yards deep
4 downs to advace 10 yards
45 second time clocks
11 players on field
Only 1 player allowed motion in backfield
Kick or punt receive can call a "Fair Catch" ending the play and avoiding a hit

Canada now has only one basketball team in the NBA - the Toronto Raptors. (The second team, Vancouver Grizzlies have now been moved to Memphis.) By the way, for those of you who don't know, basketball was invented by a Canadian physical education teacher James A. Naismith in 1891.

The first-ever NBA Playoff game to be held in Canada was played in Toronto (ON) on April 30, 2000 between the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks. The Knicks won 87-80 and in so doing, eliminated the Raptors by winning 3 straight games.

Victoria, BC's basketballer Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns) was voted NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2004-2005 season and AGAIN for the 2005-2006 season. He is the first Canadian to receive this award.

Canada has one baseball team in the Major Leagues - the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League. The Montreal Expos were in the National League until 2004, but have now been moved to Washington and are called the Nationals.

The Toronto Blue Jays are the only Canadian team to win the World Series Championship of Baseball. They actually won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 & 1993.

Team Canada (Fraser Valley Orioles) won the Big League World Series title in Tucson, AZ. They won 9-8 in the 10th inning against U.S. Champion Jeffersonville, on August 15, 2000.

Whistler/Blackcomb (in southern B.C.) has been rated the "number one ski area in North America" by 2 major ski magazines.

Almost every Province/Territory in Canada has excellent ski and snow-boarding slopes plus cross-country trails to be enjoyed in Winter.

Soccer (football) is a very popular sport in Canada. There are soccer clubs and leagues for children, youths, adults and professionals all across Canada.
Canadian teams also play on the A-League against USA teams.
Canada teams have won three international titles: NAFC champions (1990), Gold Cup (2000), CONCACAF champions (1985). Most of the National Team players play abroad. They participated in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, the only Canadian participation on the world's biggest tournament. Their best win dates back a long way in a venerable rivalry tradition: in 1904, Canada defeated the USA 7-0.

Canadian non-amateur Clubs are: Men - Edmonton Drillers, Montreal Impact, Toronto Lynx and Vancouver Whitecaps (previously known as Vancouver 86ers ). Women - Ottawa Fury, Toronto Inferno, and Vancouver Whitecaps (previously known as the Breakers). The major Canadian Leagues are: Alberta Major Soccer League, Canadian Professional Soccer League and Pacific Coast League.

Canada's greatest marathon and Olympic long-distance runner was Tom (Thomas Charles) Longboat, an Onondagan Indian. He was born on the Six Nations Reserve, outside Caledonia, ON, on June 4, 1886. He died in Toronto, ON on January 9, 1949, a broken and virtually forgotten man.

The title of World's 3rd fastest man is held by Canada's Donovan Bailey, who shares the 3rd place record with fellow Canadian Bruny Surin. Their time for the 100 meter sprint is clocked at 9.84 (set in 1996 for Bailey and 1999 for Surin.)

Catriona Le May Doan is the first Canadian to successfully defend an Olympic gold medal in an individual sport. She won her second gold medal in the 500-metre speed skating event at the 2002 Olympics.

Canada has a long history of excellence in World Figure Skating.
Canada's Figure Skating (GOLD) World Champions include:-
1947 Barbara Ann Scott (Ladies)
1948 Barbara Ann Scott (Ladies)
1954 Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden (Pairs)
1955 Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden (Pairs)
1957 Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul (Pairs)
1958 Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul (Pairs)
1959 Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul (Pairs)
1960 Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul (Pairs)
1962 Donald Jackson (Mens)
1962 Maria Jelinek and Otto Jelinek (Pairs)
1963 Donald McPherson (Mens)
1965 Petra Burka (Ladies)
1973 Karen Magnussen (Ladies)
1984 Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini (Pairs)
1987 Brian Orser (Mens)
1989 Kurt Browning (Mens)
1990 Kurt Browning (Mens)
1991 Kurt Browning (Mens)
1993 Kurt Browning (Mens)
1993 Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler (Pairs)
1994 Elvis Stojko (Mens)
1995 Elvis Stojko (Mens)
1997 Elvis Stojko (Mens)
2001 Jamie Salé and David Pelletier (Pairs)
2003 Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz (Dance)
2008 Jeffrey Buttle (Mens)
2010 Tessa Virtue and Scott Muir (Dance)
2011 Patrick Chan (Mens)
2012 Tessa Virtue and Scott Muir (Dance)
2012 Patrick Chan (Mens)
2013 Patrick Chan (Mens)
2015 Meagan Duhmal and Eric Radforf (Pairs)

Canadian Kurt Browning landed the first-ever "official" quad jump (4 rotations in the air) in the World Figure Skating Championships.

Canadian Olympic Medal winners in Figure Skating
visit our Olympics page

The following are the holders of the Canadian National Figure Skating Championship titles for the past 6 years:-

Nam NGUYEN - Senior Men
Gabrielle DALEMAN - Senior Ladies
Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD - Senior Pairs
Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE - Senior Dance

Nicolas NADEAU - Junior Men
Selena ZHAD - Junior Ladies
Mary ORR / Phelan SIMPSIN - Junior Pairs
Brianna DELMAESTRO / Timoth LUM - Junior Dance

Patrick CHAN - Senior Men
Kaetyln OSMOND - Senior Ladies
Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD - Senior Pairs
Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR - Senior Dance

Denis MARGULIK - Junior Men
Kim DeGUISE LEVEILLE - Junior Ladies
Vanessa GRENIER / Maxime DESCHAMPS - Junior Pairs
MacKenzie BENT / Garrett MacKEEN - Junior Dance

Patrick CHAN - Senior Men
Kaetlyn OSMOND - Senior Ladies
Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD - Senior Pairs
Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR - Senior Dance

Anthony KAV - Junior Men
Larkin AUSTMAN - Junior Ladies
Hayleigh BELL / Alistir SYLVESTER - Junior Pairs
Madeding EDWARDS / Zaho Kai PANG - Junior Dance

Patrick CHAN - Senior Men
Amelie LACOSTE - Senior Ladies
Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD - Senior Pairs
Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR - Senior Dance

Mitchell GORDON - Junior Men
Gabrielle DALEMAN - Junior Ladies
Katherine BOBAK / Ian BEHARRY - Junior Pairs
Adreanne POULIN / Marc-Andre SERVENT - Junior Dance

Patrick CHAN - Senior Men
Cynthia PANEUF - Senior Ladies
Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Dylan MOSCOVITCH - Senior Pairs
Vanessa CRONE / Paul POIRIER - Senior Dance

Nam NGUYEN - Junior Men
Roxanne RHEAULT - Junior Ladies
Natasha PURICH / Raymond SCHULTZ - Junior Pairs
Nicole ORFORD / Thomas WILLIAMS - Junior Dance

Patrick CHAN - Senior Men
Joannie ROCHETTE - Senior Ladies
Jessica DUBE / Bryce DAVIDSON - Senior Pairs
Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR - Senior Dance

Kiaum FIRUS - Junior Men
Eri Nishimura - Junior Ladies
Margaret PURDY / Michael MARINARO - Junior Pairs
Alexandra PAUL / Michell ISLAM - Junior Dance

Kevin REYNOLDS is the first skater in ISU history to land a quadruple jump in Men's short program and first to perform 2 quads in the same short program at the 29 October 2010 Skate Canada and again in the 2011 Canada Championships.

It is reported that curling was first played in Canada by the Fraser Highlanders at Louisbourg in 1758. General Wolfe's soldiers are also known to have played the game in Canada a year later. It is believed that they used gun-carriage hubs as 'stones' on frozen rivers. Their actions greatly confused both the native peoples and settlers alike.

Canada has ruled the world of Curling for many years. A few of the outstanding curling records are:-
Senior World Curling Records:-
Canada has won Gold in the Men's World Curling Championship 34 times, plus 8 (Silver) and 6 (Bronze).
Canada has won Gold in the Women's World Curling Championship 15 times, plus 6 (Silver) and 8 (Bronze).

Canadian Men's and Women's Senior Curling teams have JOINTLY (in the same year) won the World Championships 9 times in the past.
(Skip) Sandra Schmirler and her team won the Women's World Curling Championship 3 times (1993, 1994 and 1997)and also captured an Olympic Gold medal.

Shannon Kleibrink's Calgary rink captured a bronze medal in Women's Curling in Turino 2006

The Canadian Men, skipped by Brad Gushue, won Olympic Gold at the 2006 Turino Winter Games.

Junior Curling Records:-
(Skip) Steve Laycock won the Men's Junior Curling World Title (6th consecutive win for Canada) at the 2003 World Championships.
(Skip) Marliese Miller won the Women's Junior Curling World Title at the same World competition. It was the 4th time Canadians have won both Men's and Women's World Junior Championships since 1988.

Other Records:-
Canadians (all from British Columbia) took the 'triple crown' of curling in April, 2000.
- First, (Skip) Brad Kuhn and team from Kelowna, (BC) took the World Junior Curling Championship.
- This was followed by (Skip) Kelley Law and team from Richmond (BC) who captured the Women's World Curling Championship.
- One day later, (Skip) Greg McAulay and his team from New Westminster (BC) took the Men's World Curling Championship.

- Randy Ferbey (Skip) and his Canadian team took the Gold Medal in the 2005 World Championship by winning 7 consecutive games and scoring two 5-enders (first 5-ender in World's history). They have won 4 World titles.

STRONG MAN - Louis Cry of Quebec was considered to be the world's strongest man in the 1890's.

GOLF - The big Golf tournament in Canada is the annual Canadian Open Championship. Canada has also hosted various PGA Golf events in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

- Canadian Mike Weir won the World Championship of Golf in Nov /2000.

- Mike Weir won the 2003 Masters Golf Championship. It was the first "green jacket" win for a Canadian golfer.

INDY CAR RACING - Indy racing cars are seen annually in the Toronto Indy and Montreal Indy. Edmonton now hosts the Indy car race that was previously held in Vancouver.

EQUESTRIAN SHOW JUMPING - Spruce Meadows (AB) is one of the finest show jumping courses in the equestrian circuit. It is host to many National and International show jumping events.

MARATHON SWIMMERS - 16 year old Marilyn Bell was the first person to swim the 32 miles across Lake Ontario from Youngstown, NY to Toronto, ON in 1954.

- In 1988 "Queen of the Lakes" swimmer Vicki Keith swam across all five Great Lakes in a 2-month period. Throughout her swimming career, she has set 17 world records.

- In October 2005 Rob Dyke became the first person to swim around Vancouver Island. The 1,400Km swim was his second attempt and took 94 to complete.

HOCKEY - On Saturday, Feb 21 2004 over 1,500 minor hockey players gathered along Ottawa's 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal for 110 simultaneous games of 'shinny' (pick-up hockey).

- The world's longest hochey game was held in Sherwood Park, AB on Feb 5th, 2005. It lasted 240 hours and consisted 45 men making up 2 teams. Unofficial score was 21 to 11.

4-MINUTE MILER - Kevin Sullivan of Brantford, ON., the Canadian mile record holder (3:50.26) has broken the four-minute mile barrier 29 times in his running career, the first coming when he was a high school student.

SNOOKER CHAMPION- Cliff Thorburn is the first snooker player to win the World Masters Championship three times. He also won the world snooker championship in 1980

RYTHMIC GYMNASTICS- 19-year-old Canadian gymnast Alexandra Orlando won a record-equaling six gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

ANY MORE ? - If you think of any other sports or events that should be mentioned here, please send an email.

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