Sports are a great way to interact with friends, stay active, and enjoy the outdoors. So, it’s no surprise that Canada has a long sporting history, with some of the oldest games to originate from North America being football and hockey.

Canadians are not only sports fans, but they also enjoy placing bets on them. That’s why they check out the best betting sites in Canada to know which events have the best odds. But with all the events listed by these bookmakers, which are the most popular sports enjoyed by Canadians?

Most-Known Sports in Canada Ranked

Even though Canada has many major sports, some stand out more in terms of audiences and players. Here are the top most famous games:

  1. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, played on skates in marked ice skating rinks. Here’s how the game goes—players use hockey sticks to control and hit a rubber disk into their competitor’s goal.

Because of the sport’s soaring popularity, the NHL is also a hit among Canadians. Some of the greatest moments in the league go as far back as the 1960s, with outstanding records being broken. Currently, there are seven teams in the NHL, including Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Calgary.

  1. Canadian Football

Due to its vast audience, football ranks second on Canada’s list of the most popular sports. It is a fast-paced game played between two teams with 12 players each. Like American football, the aim is to advance an oval ball to the opposing team’s scoring area. In Canada, the top football leagues include the Grey Cup and Canadian Football League, which have become more popular over the years. However, the US NFL league remains undefeated, and some of the great moments in the NFL are milestones to be admired. 

  1. Lacrosse

Lacrosse is known as the official summer sport of Canada and is played with sticks and mallets. The game involves two teams, each with nine players, and they score by shooting the mallet into the opponent’s goal. Some of the most popular Canadian lacrosse teams include Toronto Rock, Calgary Roughnecks, Vancouver Warriors, and Halifax Thunderbirds.

  1. Baseball

The world’s first official baseball event was held in Beachville, Ontario, in 1838. Since then, numerous competitions have been played within the country, drawing thousands of spectators. And while only the Toronto Blue Jays participate in major leagues currently, minor league competitions are held in up to 75 Canadian towns and cities.

  1. Rugby

Rugby union, popular as rugby, is a close-contact sport that involves two teams of 15 or 7 players competing to carry a ball past the competitor’s goal line. Over 30,000 adults play the sport in universities, colleges, or professional clubs. Canadians participate in many international rugby events, such as the Churchill Cup and Ruby World Cup.

  1. Basketball

Coming in 6th in the list of the most popular sports in Canada is basketball. The Basketball Canada body is the official governing authority of basketball in the country and was founded in 1928. Since then, numerous top-class players have participated in the sport, with two teams—the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors— being awarded franchises by the NBA.

  1. Soccer

Soccer is among the fastest-growing sports in Canada, both in terms of participation and audience. In fact, FIFA ranked the Canadian men’s soccer team 78th worldwide while the women’s national team came in 7th. Currently, there are over 1 million soccer players within the country, playing in 1,200 clubs offered in 13 provincial associations.

  1. Cricket

Before the rise of the popularity of ice hockey, cricket was considered the most popular sport in Canada. Because of this, the country’s first Prime Minister, John Macdonald, declared it a national sport. To date, the Canadian national cricket teams have participated in four cricket world cups in 1979, 2003, 2007, and 2011.

  1. Curling

Curling involves two teams of four competing to slide a heavy granite rock on the ice toward a circular target area. According to the stats, up to 1.9 million Canadians have curled at least once during their lifetime. Moreover, 80% of the curlers, both men and women, worldwide come from Canada.

  1.  Golf

Golf is among the best pastime activities in most countries worldwide. The main objective is to hit a ball into a series of holes in a course with as few strokes as possible. Some professional golf courses have 18 holes, while most recreational ones have 9. Canada has around 2,700 golf facilities and 1.5 million golfers, making it one of the biggest golfing countries.

Play, Watch, and Bet on the Top Sports in Canada

Canada is known for its rich sporting heritage, with sports like ice hockey, football, and lacrosse headlining its games popularity list. Other national fan-favourite sports include baseball, rugby, basketball, soccer, cricket, curling, and golfing. As such, you can find numerous tournaments to follow up in Canada, from professional to armature leagues.