The most popular sports in Canada


Sport is an integral part of Canadian culture, and the country embraces a host of established and up-and-coming professions. At the time of writing, Canadian Soccer states that soccer is the fastest-growing game in the country, and it possesses the largest number of participants. Despite that, it isn’t traditionally regarded as being one of Canada’s most popular sports from a professional standpoint. Let’s delve into Canada’s favourite sports.

Which Sports Dominate the Canadian Market?

When discussing the sports outlook in Canada, it’s impossible to start anywhere other than with ice hockey. According to Britannica, the all-action sport became a professional game in 1908 following the founding of the Ontario Professional Hockey League. One year later, the National Hockey Association was set up, although this later became the National Hockey League in November 1917. It’s a testament to the sport’s popularity that the Vancouver Canucks amassed an average attendance of 18,679 in 2019-20, which was higher than the collective average from 2018-19. Not only that, but a number of promising local talents have come out of Surrey, including Bob Rouse, who won two Stanley Cups between 1997 and 1998. 

Apart from ice hockey, football is on the rise in Canada. The Canadian Football League is the leading football league in the country, and its inaugural season took place in 1958. Over the past 50 years, professional teams in the division have enjoyed consistent spectator figures, which speaks volumes about the game’s popularity. As per 3DownNation, although ticket sales declined in the 2000s, the 2010s recorded an average attendance total of 25,571, which is a 1,388 increase from the 1990s.

Along with the above, mixed martial arts has also taken off in Canada over the past few decades. Over the years, the country has produced some of the best MMA fighters of the modern era, with Georges St-Pierre being the most successful Canadian representative. The former two-weight world champion previously had the record for the most title fight wins, registering a total of 13. Because of the sport’s appeal in Canada, the UFC has hosted many events in the country. These include St-Pierre’s welterweight title fight with Carlos Condit in November 2012 and Jon Jones’ controversial victory over Alexander Gustafsson the following September.

Canada Boasts a Diverse Sports Scene

Few can argue that Canada doesn’t embrace a vast range of different sports. Over the coming years, the country’s sports sector could reach new heights if up-and-coming games like soccer take off on a globally-watched professional level. Although this isn’t guaranteed, the NHL and St-Pierre’s success indicates that there’s scope to attract a market outside of Canada.

As touched on above, online sports betting in Canada is a sector that somewhat lacks clarity, making it a grey area for consumers due to provinces’ having governing bodies that regulate it. The situation can vary depending on the location.

Montreal and sports legislation

Despite the lack of clarity, it’s a popular pastime for Canadian bettors. A number of modern-day operators accept Canadian players, while the Canadian government allows provinces to promote online bookmakers. As of this writing, WilliamHill is at the top of the list of the best Canadian betting sites, followed by 888sport. These sites are at the forefront of their operations by using two-factor authentication. SBO only recommends trusted operators to secure bettors’ personal information. Furthermore, the top-rated sites also offer a wide range of sports markets, with many covering the CFL, MMA, NHL, and soccer. The site lists the best value odds and bonuses, such as free bets and no deposit offers, which help to enhance bettors’ online experiences.

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