sporting events history toronto

This is what sporting events used to look like in Toronto

While they may not be allowed in Toronto right now, it's still fun to take a look back at the city's history and explore how sporting events looked over the years.

While the city has never hosted a sporting event on the scale of the Olympics, there's a long history of amateur and professional sport in Toronto, one which features surprises like Hanlan's Point Stadium and swims across Lake Ontario.

Take a trip into the past of Toronto's sporting legacy.

201575-lacross-hanlans-point-stadium-1910.jpg

Lacrosse at Hanlan's Point Stadium in 1910.

201575-automobile-polo-1910s-cne.jpg

Automobile Polo at the CNE in 1910.

2011713-boxing-christie-pits-1915-f1244_it0971b.jpg

Boxing match at Christie Pits in 1915.

201575-varsity-stadium-1917.jpg

Varsity Stadium was the city's biggest hub for sporting events throughout the first half of the 20th century.

2011713-varsity-stadium-1920s-f1244_it10097.jpg

Varsity Stadium in the 1920s.

2011322-Cne-bike-race-better-f1244_it2007.jpg

A bike race at the CNE.

2012412-woodbine-1920s.jpg

Horse racing was a massive draw in Toronto throughout the first half the 20th century. Seen here is Woodbine Race Track in the 1920s.

201575-patsy-wallace-jimmy-wilde-cne-1920.jpg

Patsy Wallace and Jimmy Wilde square off at a CNE boxing match in 1920.

2015725-hanlans-1928.jpg

Hanlan's Point Stadium lit up in 1928.

2011713-maple-leaf-stadium-1937-f1257_s1057_it0850.jpg

Maple Leaf Stadium hosted pro baseball until in was demolished in the late 1960s.

201575-lou-torufsky-grey-cup-game.jpg

Lou Turofsky photographs the Grey Cup at Varsity Stadium in 1950.

20131028-Leafs-Lead.jpg

Maple Leafs action in the 1950s.

201575-Marilyn-Bell-3.jpg

Marilyn Bell swam across Lake Ontario in 1954.

201575-grey-cup-crowd-royal-york-hotel-1961.jpg

Crowds fill the Royal York Hotel during the 1956 Grey Cup, which CFL football was a much bigger deal.

blue jays exhibition stadium

Crowds fill Exhibition Stadium in the late 1970s for Blue Jays game action.

Lead photo by

Toronto Archives


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Sports & Play

Serge Ibaka says he wanted to stay with the Toronto Raptors

Community rallies to save Toronto gym that may not make it through the lockdown

Toronto is getting a downtown equestrian centre with horse riding lessons

A Toronto designer has created what might be the coolest Tampa Raptors jersey yet

Toronto fitness community devastated after popular gym closes permanently

The Toronto website for outdoor skating reservations is so outdated it feels like 1998

Toronto's free outdoor skating rinks are open for the season

Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner let go and fans are outraged