Top-15 Most Popular Sports In Canada 2022

Top-10 Most Popular Sports In Canada
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What are the most popular sports in Canada?

From the National Hockey League, which is a favorite pastime to golf and Esports, Canada has about one-third of its population actively thrilled by professional sports.

Over 1.3 million Canadians actively participate in recreational ice hockey games, which further adds to the popularity of the deeply culturally ingrained sport in Canada.

Aside from being a favorite pass time, sports are played as a means of recreation in the North American nation.

The various sporting activities offer opportunities for the country to compete with the rest of the world at international tournaments.

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15. Rugby Union

Rugby Union takes the last place as the most popular sports in Canada. While it might sound like Rugby Union and Rugby League are pretty much the same sport, well, they are! Just kidding.

Rugby Union is much more older and has a few very distinct rule differences like more players on each team, more substitutions allowed and more.

While not big as Ice Hockey ( Obviously ), it still made it to the list, which is an honor by itself.

14. Disc sports

In a very surprising nature, disc sports became so popular in Canada as a sport it took a place on our list. Canadians love running and chasing after flying discs, who knew. The various disc sports dates back to the 70s in Canada.

While not one of the popular sports in the world, it is popular enough in Canada to make the list.

13. Cycling

With a growing popularity in Canada over the years, Cycling has become a loved sport for more than 7 million people, who mainly practice it casually, but competitions are drawing huge crowds in recent years, making it one of the most popular sports in Canada.

There are actually a few popular sub categories inside the broad Cycling sport such as:

  • Downhill
  • Slopestyle
  • Dirt Jumping and more

12. Boxing

Boxing has a long history in Canada, and was actually introduced to the nation in 1867. It took a while but eventually in 1906 a Canadian boxer named Tommy Burns won the Heavyweight world championship and became the best in the world.

If you want a more recent champion, Berman Stiverne won the belt in 2014. While we wouldn’t love to name all the famous Canadians boxers over the years, we think it’s not related to this post, and also, you don’t play boxing.

11. Golf

Sports in Canada – Golf

Since its introduction in the 15th century in Canada, golf has gained significant attention and acclaim in the country. 

Canada has several professional golfers who continue to thrill fans with antics.

There exist over 100 golf courses in Canada.

The Canadian Open and other top-rated tournaments, which bring some of the sport’s biggest names to the country, draw public attention to the sport.

10. Curling

Sports in Canada – Curling
Professional curling players in action. (Image credit: Grand Slam of Curling)

Outside the boundary of Canada, curling may be greeted with bewilderment by sports lovers.

But in Canada, curling is celebrated.

Sometimes referred to as chess on ice, the sport was first played in the medieval periods in Scotland.

It is heavily concentrated in the Prairie Provinces with numerous popular based in Manitoba and Alberta.

The sport is coordinated by Curling Canada, which organizes annual national curling championships.

Tournaments such as the Canada Curling Club Championship brings public attention to the sports.

9. Basketball

Sports in Canada – Basketball
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2019 was a really fantastic year for basketball lovers in Canada. 

Its domestic basketball team based in Toronto, the Toronto Raptors, defeated the not so unbeatable Golden State Warriors to claim the NBA championship. 

Thanks to the exploit of the Toronto Raptors, about 15.9 million Canadians, which represents 44% of its population, tuned to the NBA finals. 

On the global stage, Canada participates in various international basketball tournaments such as the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the summer Olympics. 

Though the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, is a Canadian, it ranks as the 9th most popular sport in Canada.

8. Rugby

Rugby - Popular Sport
CaseOriginals / Pixabay

The rugby union and rugby league have continued to gain popularity in Canada since their inception in 1823 by the Royal Navy.

In Canada, there are about 29,000 rugby players

On the international stage, Canada is considered a tier two rugby nation

Several domestic tournaments such as the Canadian Rugby Championship and continental tournaments such as the Americas Rugby Championship have brought rugby to the fore.

The rugby union alone attracts many junior and as much as 13,000 senior players all over the country.

That has helped considerably make the sports a moderately popular sport in Canada.

7. Tennis

Tennis is the seventh most popular sport in Canada and is picking up popularity year over year. With more than 6 million people playing it both professionally and casually, it’s quickly becoming a fan favorite.

Canada was also able to produce a few top tier players over the years with the best of them reaching the respected number 3 at the world at its peak. This player was Milos Raonic for those who remember or follow.

The best known tennis tournament is the Rogers Cup played annually.

6. Soccer

Sports in Canada – Soccer
Jamie Smed via Flickr

Globally, soccer is the number one sport with fans in every corner of the earth. 

The passion and emotions soccer games bring can be seen in Canada. 

However, the soccer game can be traced to 1876, when the first soccer match was held. 

Ever since then, Canada has risen to become a contender in soccer tournaments. 

According to the world soccer governing body, FIFA, about 2,695,712 played professional soccer in Canada in 2006. 

That number has continued to rise ever since then, making it among the country’s most popular sports.

With respect to participation rate, soccer is the most popular sport in the region.

In Canada, soccer is played in the Canadian Premier League and Major League Soccer.

The Canadian Soccer Association governs the sport.

5. Cricket

Athletes Playing Cricket – Most Popular Sports
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One of the fastest-growing sports in Canada is the game of cricket, which runs back to 1892. 

There are about 40,000 cricketers in Canada

That number continues to increase with the emergence of domestic cricket tournaments such as the National T20 Championship and Scotia Shield U-19, which attracts more people to competitive sport.

4. Baseball

Baseball – Popular Sport
Keith Johnston / Pixabay

The game of baseball needs no introduction in Canada. 

At the apex level of the game, the Major League Baseball (MLB), several stars trace their origins to Canada. 

Aside from Major League Baseball, baseball games in Canada attract a significant number of spectators as well as competitors. 

In 2016, Baseball Canada reported that the sports attracted about 120,000 players, which significantly rose from that of last year. 

That number continues to see progress as the thrills of the sports heighten.

3. Canadian Football

Canadian Football

Canadian football is a form of gridiron football played by two teams, each consisting of twelve players.

With its origin in rugby football in the early 1860s, football has, over time, developed into Canadian football.

The sport’s top professional league in the country is the Canadian Football League (CFL), while Football Canada governs the amateur plays.

Interestingly, the CFL’s championship game is one of Canada’s biggest sporting events, which attracts massive TV viewers.

According to a report in 2014, about 33% of the Canadian population tuned in to watch the Grey Cup.

While the sport is played at the semi-professional level in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), it is also played at high school, junior, and collegiate levels.

2. Lacrosse

Sports in Canada – Lacrosse
Professional lacrosse players in action. (Photo credit: 12019 / Pixabay)

As far back as the 17tth century, lacrosse has been a game Canadians have engaged in with utter delight.

A fast-paced sport that has gained momentum since it was recognized as a summer Olympics game, lacrosse is considered Canada’s summer sport, attracting thousands of fans.

Though the sport may not be enjoyed by many outside Canada’s shores, lacrosse has established itself as a popular sport in the North American nation.

Canada is also considered a major rival in the world lacrosse stage.

In 2006, a fierce and determined Canada ended a 28-year lacrosse tournament drought when they won the World Lacrosse Championship defeating the USA.

1. Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey is Canada's Most Popular Sports
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Canada’s climate makes Ice Hockey a choice sports to engage in as well as to keep tabs on in the most advanced level of the game. 

With about seven National Hockey League (NHL) teams, namely Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Montreal, and Calgary, the NHL is watched by most Canadians. 

The 2018 NHL playoffs were viewed by about 68% of the Canadian population

This fact further solidifies Ice Hockey as the most popular sport in Canada.

Final Thoughts

There you have it – the top-15 most popular sports in Canada right now.

The emotions and funfair that is usually associated with sports events are not absent in Canada

Which sports did you expect should have made this list?

Please share it with us in the comments section below.

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