Make no mistake, Toronto is a sports lover’s town, and when you visit this summer you won’t lack for things to do. While the Leafs and the Raptors may end their season in the spring, the MLB and MLS are both in full swing in the middle of summer, meaning you won’t have any trouble finding a professional game to attend. Toronto FC games are known for their spirit and high energy, and there’s no place better to be than the stands of the Rogers Centre when Jose Bautista is up to bat. But if you’ve only got a day or two in Canada’s sports capital this summer, what should you do?
#1 Axe Throwing
Axe throwing is Toronto’s very own homegrown sport and it’s not for spectators (sure, you can watch, but you won’t want to miss out once you see how much fun it is). A little more than ten years ago, a man named Matt Wilson, the founder of Toronto’s Backyard Axe Throwing League, got together a small group of bartenders and bouncers and organized axe throwing games behind a local restaurant. As word got out, the league broke its boundaries and they opened up shop in a warehouse location. In order to help pay for it, they also started renting out their pitches to private parties, complete with instructors (veterans from the league) who teach everyone how to throw an axe. It quickly became the place to plan an axe throwing party in Toronto, spawning countless more leagues as well as more of their own locations across Ontario.
Axe throwing is as addictive as it is simple: you play one-on-one in a round robin tournament, and get five throws each time. The target has a bullseye and two concentric rings (worth 5, 3, and 1 point respectively), while on your fifth and final throw, you can call the clutch, and aim for one of two green dots tucked away in the top corners. These are worth 7 points and they’re the number one cause for upsets at BATL. Just be sure to book ahead as space always get snapped up fast at Toronto axe throwing leagues.
#2 Raps, Reds, Leafs, or Jays
Every year, millions of people visit of Toronto from around the world, and plenty from just outside the city as well. Whether you’re hoping to catch your home team battle it out against Toronto on the road, or a fan of the good guys, you won’t have any shortage of teams to pick from. What used to be exclusively a hockey town is now home to a franchise in 4 out of 5 North American major leagues, plus the Argos in the CFL. If you’re traveling on a budget and can’t spring for tickets inside the arena, NBA fans have no reason to worry. Everyone knows the real party is out in Jurassic Park during the NBA playoffs, when Raptors fans take over Maple Leaf Square to watch the games on the big screen.
#3 Hockey Hall of Fame
For true-blue hockey fans, you don’t have to wait for fall to see the boys back on the ice – and after 2017’s brief but passionate playoff run, it finally seems like they’re playing for keeps. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a must-see for any hockey fan in Hogtown, where you can go to remember the dynasties, honour the legends, and brush up on your hockey lore.
Now that you know what to do, you won’t have any trouble filling up your time spent in North America’s next great sports city, whether it’s just for a holiday or to celebrate a bachelor party. Watch the pros, pay your respects to the legends, and throw your own axe throwing party with the boys.