The top sporting events in Toronto this summer draw from a diverse array of athletic pursuits, from car racing to rugby to the beautiful game. While Toronto's most popular team is hitting the links this summer, there are plenty other athletes out there who are ready to entertain and amaze. Soccer fans in particular should be excited with TFC's upcoming friendly against Tottenham on the way, but also the Under 20 Women's World Cup set to make a stop at BMO Field in August. Other highlights include the Honda Indy, the Queen's Plate, and the star-studded Rogers Cup. In all, it's set to be a busy summer for sports fans in Toronto.
Here are the top 10 sports events to watch in Toronto this summer.
Toronto Argos homeopener
The Toronto Argos had a solid season last year, but after finishing first in the Eastern Division, their hopes of a repeating as Grey Cup champions were dashed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern finals. The team will kick off its 57th season on Saturday July 5th against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Better rest your voice until then so you're ready to belt out Arrrggoooooos in long drone every chance you get.
Pan Am Test Events
Along with the major infrastructure projects affiliated with the Pan Am games, there's going to be a ton of world class athletes and competition in Toronto next summer. For those dubious at the importance of this impending event, the city will host a number of test runs this summer to drum up excitement for next year's games. Highlights include beach volleyball, triathlon, and trampoline gymnastics.
The Queen's Plate
One of the country's premier horse racing events, The Queen's Plate is an occasion to dress up and recall just how popular an exciting these races were back in the day. And while the race itself only lasts a few minutes, the idea is to drink and gamble! In other words, it's just good fun to get out to the track. This year marks the 155th anniversary of the event, which is one leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. July 6th - ticket info here.
Canada vs. England Rugby Test Match
Head to Lamport Stadium to check out some international rugby action on July 5th, as Canada takes on England. Alas, the last time Canada square of against the Lionhearts, the team was trounced 64-4. But, hey, at least fans got to watch some skilled rugby players. Perhaps this time, the boys can keep it more respectable. Check here for ticket options.
The Honda Indy
The Honda Indy always announces its presence in Toronto with a huge caravan of team trucks down Yonge St. followed by ear-popping practice laps. If you've never seen IndyCar racing, it's actually a spectacle worth taking in. Yes, the fuel consumption is maddening, but watching professional race car drivers manoeuvre through corkscrew turn is rather phenomenal. The combination of power and precision is very much lost when watching on television. This year will feature another doubleheader, with races on both Saturday and Sunday. July 18 and 19. Ticket info can be found here.
TFC vs. Tottenham Friendly
Toronto FC has built up a rabidly loyal following over the last five years, but there's nothing quite like seeing the European stars come through town to test the team's mettle. TFC will butt heads with Tottenham Hotspur F.C. on July 23rd in what will be an extra interesting friendly on account of the fact that it's the first time Jermain Defoe will square off against his old team. The Spurs are still one of the finest teams in the Premier League, so it will be intriguing to see how our local boys (at least by team affiliation) stack up against them.
Toronto Premier Cricket League
The GTA's cricket scene might not get a whole lot of main stream coverage, but the Markahm Fair Ground gets positively packed for tournaments like the the Mega Blast Knock Out Tournament (June 29th). There are a host of special tournaments to check out over the summer, including the All-Star event on July 27th. For the full 2014 schedule, check out the Toronto Premier Cricket League's website.
FIFA Under 20 Women's World Cup
The best up and coming female soccer talent in the world will come through Toronto this August as part of the Under 20 Women's World Cup. Taking place across the country, the tournament touches down locally for a group action and a portion of the quarter finals in August. Unlike the main tournament, Canada is a competitor in this event (and a good one), so fans can cheer on the home team at BMO Field starting on August 5th. Ticketing information can be found here.
Blue Jays Bobblehead Day
This August 24th game against the Tampa Bay Rays may or may not be of much significance on the field (the Jays currently lead the AL East while the Rays are in the basement), but if you've always wanted a bobblehead, here's your chance. At this point in the season, the Jays have already given out R.A. Dickey and Jose Reyes dolls, so let's hope you're a Mark Buehrle fan because that's who's on offer to the first 20,000 fans who arrive that day.
Rogers Cup Tennis
Here's your chance to watch one of the best generations of men's tennis talent there's ever been. Barring injuries, you can expect to see Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and, of course, the ever slick Roger Federer. The early August date makes Toronto a perfectly timed tuneup for the U.S. Open, so the field at the Rexall Centre is typically very strong. August 2-10th. Ticketing information available here.
Thanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our summer adventures. For more things to do this summer, check out our Best of Summer page.
by Derek Flack via blogTO