Why Hockey Fans Should Travel Now to Toronto

Toronto may not be the capital of Canada, as that honor goes to Ottawa, but it certainly has gained the reputation as the cultural capital of the country.

Yes, here you can visit worldly museums and artistic performances by day, then go back to one of the many great Toronto furnished apartments from Toronto Boutique Apartments for a wardrobe change, before spending your night rubbing shoulders with local son Drake at one of the hottest nightclubs in all of North America. The city is also arguably the foodie capital of the country, as in ‘TO’ you will find tasty delights from all corners of the world and creative chefs and food truck cooks dishing it up like champions.

There’s one other thing that Toronto is the undisputed Canadian king of: hockey.

Home to the nation’s most followed and most financially valuable team (sorry Habs), the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and more junior teams than you can shake a stick & puck at, Toronto and its surrounds are the place to visit for hockey fans.  

And now that the Maple Leafs are resurgent in the NHL standings, fresh off an exciting first round playoff battle with the Washington Capitals last spring no less, there is no better time for hockey fans to visit Toronto. Here is a guide to visiting the city for hockey.

What to Do/See for Hockey Fans in Toronto

Air Canada Centre - This is the state-of-the-art arena where the Maple Leafs play, and even if you aren’t lucky enough to score Leafs tickets, it’s worth the time to swing by to see the place. There are plenty of furnished rentals near the ACC, so you are bound to be passing by it many times during your hockey-centric trip to Toronto.

Wayne Gretzky’s - If you can’t get tickets to the big game, this bar and restaurant owned by the ‘The Great One’ is a great place to go. Here, you can enjoy sports on multiple televisions, great food, and even a rooftop bar in summer.

Maple Leaf Gardens - The arena where the Maple Leafs played from 1931 - 1999 is still a shrine to those who are fans of the game. The facility has been given a thorough makeover, with retail space dominating the former grand ice rink today. You can still see the red dot that marked where center ice used to be (now in the middle of a shop) and see a local university’s hockey team play.

Hockey Hall of Fame - This is the big one. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a must-visit for all hockey fans in Toronto, as here you can stroll halls full of hockey heritage in the form of artifacts, displays, and interactive exhibits. You can even get up-close-and-personal with the holy grail of hockey: the Stanley Cup.

See a Game

This one goes without saying, but there is nothing more exciting than seeing a hockey game in Toronto. As far as the Leafs are concerned, as we touched on above, it was a always a difficult task, but with the emergence of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and the rest of the young Leafs in addition to the recent signing of Patrick Marleau, finding tickets are now nearly impossible. The best tip: look to go to a game a weekday night and if you can, pick a team that isn’t a huge rivalry. Looking ahead to the 2017-18 schedule, games against the Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils in November would be good bets.

It isn’t all about the NHL though, as the Toronto Marlies are stars of the AHL, which is the league full of promising young players hoping to make it to the NHL one day. Tickets are easier to score here.

One level down from the AHL, you will find the Ontario Hockey League, a ‘junior league’ famous for its rabid fanbase. Local teams are numerous and tickets are plentiful, but it may require a car or cab ride to see the games.

Play Some Puck

If all the watching hockey and eating at hockey themed places is making you itch to get out on the ice yourself, then there’s no better way to scratch that itch than playing a pick-up game. Pick up hockey games are going on in this city all year round, and if you just check the rink located closest to your short term rental Toronto, you are bound to find a game of shinny or 3 on 3 happening.

And during winter, you can probably just rock up to any old frozen pond and play with locals.

Have fun and game on!

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