BELOW ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR SPORTS FANS VISITING TORONTO THIS SUMMER
The Toronto Blue Jays are arguably the hottest sporting ticket in town, and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon early this year to root for 2015’s AL East champions. Don’t miss the star-studded lineup at the Rogers Centre, which includes José Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Marcus Stroman.
The city’s major league soccer team, the Toronto FC, and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, both call BMO Field home. Though the TFC have been playing here since 2007, this is the Argos’ inaugural season. Italian forward Sebastian Giovinco is the one to watch when the TFC play on the pitch; last year he won the MLS Golden Boot, making him the first TFC player to hold the honour. The Argos welcome back quarterback Ricky Ray, who sat out most of the 2015 season due to a torn labrum, while kicker Lirim Hajrullahu is new to the roster.
If you’re counting down the days to when the puck drops, then head to the Hockey Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to Canada’s game. The coveted Stanley Cup is here, as is a replica of the Montreal Canadiens dressing room. Interactive exhibits let you be part of the action, like a shoot-out against a computer-simulated version of Jonathan Bernier or calling the action on classic games in the TSN/RDS Broadcast Pods.
EAT Hockey fanatics won’t want to miss surrounding themselves with The Great One’s personal memorabilia at Wayne Gretzky’s The namesake restaurant of the former Edmonton Oilers player is a casual spot for burgers, pizza, poutine, and family favourites like Grandma Gretzky’s meatloaf.
Can’t get tickets to the game but don’t want to miss any of the action? Real Sports Bar & Grill doesn’t disappoint with its 39-foot-long big screen and 199 additional televisions. Nachos, burgers, ribs and wings—choose from 10 different sauces including suicide and spicy jerk—can all be washed down with more than 126 beers on tap. Not to be outdone, Shark Club at Yonge-Dundas Square boasts a 15-foot big screen, 57 TVs and a 90-foot sports ticker with menu offerings like the double-fisted burger.
Fans of European “footie”—soccer to us Canucks—needn’t miss a match at The Football Factory, where screens line the walls as well as in the booths if you prefer watch something else. Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub offers an upscale fan experience with classic Canadian pub fare alongside bistro offerings, while watching nationally-televised games. —Linda Luong Luck