Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (2023)

Canada is a sports enthusiast nation. Whether it is professional or amateur sports, Canadians always find interest in any kind of sport. That is why the study found that around 77% of Canadians, which is more than three-quarters of the population, follow professional sports.

Usually, Canadian sports fans are more educated than any other sports-loving nation in the world. They also come from socially engaging, high economic cultural values. You will be surprised to know that almost one-third of Canadians watch sports every day.

All this data may wonder you, and you may ask, what are the most popular sports in Canada?

Well, we will give you an idea about that in this article. Read on to know the 10 most popular sports in Canada.

#10. Golf

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (1)

Brooke Henderson of Canada plays her second shot on the fifteenth hole during Day Four of the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie Golf Links on August 22, 2021 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Chloe Knott/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

With around 2,700 golf facilities, including 921 9-hole courses, Canada is the third biggest golfing nation. Although the country has 310,000 registered and overall 1.5 million golfers, golf is not very popular in Canada.

Canadians started playing golf from the 1850 to 1900 centuries, and the country has had numerous professional golfers over the centuries. Unlike other countries, 90% of the golf courses in Canada are open to the public. However, Montreal Golf Club was the first golf club in Canada, which was founded in 1873, and since then, golf has become popular in Canada.

#09. Basketball

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (2)

Canada’s men’s basketball team. (Matt King/Getty Images)

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Both men and women in Canada play basketball year-round in different levels of competition. Although professional basketball started in 1946 in Canada, it got popular in 1994 after Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies enlisted in the NBA.

Around 354,000 youth aged between 3 to 17 play basketball in Canada, and it is the sixth most popular sporting activity for Canadians. However, basketball is getting popular among adults too. The Millennials, immigration, and the NBA have been contributing to gain the popularity of Basketball in Canada.

#08. Curling

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (3)

Team Canada competes against Great Britian during the Women’s Round Robin Session 11 at Gangneung Curling Centre on February 21, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Outside of Canada, curling is known as bewilderment. Curling was invented as far back as 1511 in Scotland but came to Canada in 1985, and the first curling club was established in 1987 in Lethbridge, Alberta. After that, curling became an essential sport for grassroots Canada, and gradually all ages of participants from all levels found a lifetime persuasion.

Among the Canadians, 1,986,000 people curled at least once in their life. Nevertheless, around 80-90% of the world’s curlers are from Canada.

#07. Rugby

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (4)

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Team Canada huddle before the Women’s Placing 9-10 match between Team Canada and Team Kenya during the Rugby Sevens on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 31, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Rugby union is moderately popular in Canada. An early form of rugby was first played in 1923 in Canada, mostly in east Canadian towns. Although there are not many rugby players in Canada, there are around 30,000 adults who play rugby at some level.

Despite being a moderately popular sport, Canada participates in many international events such as Rugby World Cup, Churchill Cup, etc. Canada doesn’t have any full-time professional league as they are a tier two rugby nation.

#06. Soccer

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Toronto FC players in action during the MLS game between between Toronto FC and New England Revolution at BMO field. (Photo by Angel Marchini/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Soccer is the fastest growing and largest participatory sport in Canada. According to FIFA, 2.6 million Canadians played soccer in 2006. Hence, in terms of participation rate, soccer is the most popular sport in Canada. However, Canada participates in Major League Soccer, United Soccer League, and Canadian Premier League for professional soccer.

Currently, there are 1 million registered soccer players in Canada who play in 1200 clubs available in 13 provincial/territorial member associations. Canada’s men’s national soccer team ranked at 78th in the FIFA World Ranking, and the Women’s national soccer team ranked at 7th.

#05. Cricket

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Mihir Patel of Canada bats during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. (Photo by Jan Kruger-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

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Until the popularity of Ice Hockey exploded in the early 20th century, Cricket was considered the most popular sport in Canada. Due to its popularity, the first Prime Minister of Canada, John A. Macdonald, declared Cricket as the national sport. With more than 40,000 active cricket players, it is now the fastest-growing sport in Canada.

Canada has participated in four Cricket World Cups in 1979, 2003, 2007, and 2011. However, Canada is yet to be approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to play test matches. In 2018, Canada got the approval from ICC to start Global T20 Canada, the first franchise-based Twenty20 league in North America.

#04. Baseball

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (7)

Toronto Blues Jays celebrate after the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The world’s first baseball game was played in Beachville, Ontario, on June 4, 1838. During the 19th century, Canadians participated in numerous level competitions in the country. Currently, the Toronto Blue Jays are the only major league team.

However, minor league baseball is played in around 75 Canadian cities and towns. Reportedly, 120,000 Canadians played baseball in 2016, which is increasing approximately 14% rate each year.

#03. Canadian Football

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (8)

(Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

In terms of the spectator, Canadian football is ranked second in the list of most popular spectator sports in Canada. Moreover, the Grey Cup, the annual championship of Canadian football, is considered one of Canada’s largest annual sports events. During the grey cup festival many casino platforms offer lucrative deals on online casinos for real money, which enables the fans to earn a hefty amount of bucks. It is fun and a way to connect better with the game.

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Although Canadian football originated from rugby in the early 1860s, Canadians did a unique modern football sport. The first documented football game was played at the University of Toronto on November 9, 1861. Canada has their own national football league named Canadian Football League (CFL).

Nevertheless, CFL is the third biggest sports brand in Canada, and almost 50% of Canadians follow this league at some level.

#02. Lacrosse

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (9)

(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Lacrosse is the national summer sport in Canada. Beginning of the 20th century, lacrosse has become one of the most popular sports in Canada, and modern lacrosse got its popularity in the 1800s. Whenever there is a lacrosse game, the stadiums are always full. It is considered an integral part of Canadian culture.

Currently, more than 100,000 registered players play lacrosse across Canada. However, there would be more unregistered participants. Lacrosse might not be popular in other parts of the world, but it has immense popularity in North America. Due to its popularity, it was included in the Summer Olympics.

Moreover, Canada is a major rival in world lacrosse, and in 2006 they won the World Lacrosse Championship after 28 years by defeating the USA.

#01. Ice Hockey

Ranking the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada - Sportszion (10)

NHLI via Getty Images

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If you wonder, what is the number 1 sport in Canada? Ice Hockey is the answer.

Ice hockey is the number one popular sport in Canada, and it is the national winter sport of Canada. Although hockey was played in Europe and Canada, it found its home in Canada. Currently, 42.7% of the NHL players are Canadian-born.

In 2010, 1.3 million Canadian adults participated in ice hockey. When it comes to the most popular hockey teams, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens are the top favorite teams.


What is the top most popular sport in Canada? ›

Ice Hockey is a religion in Canada and it is by far the most popular sport to watch and play. The highest level of Ice hockey is the National Hockey League, or NHL. Famous Canadian Hockey teams playing in the NHL include household names like the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

What are the top 10 played sports? ›

10 Most played sports around the world
  • Volleyball. According to research, there are approximately 800 million people who play volleyball at least once a week worldwide. ...
  • Basketball. ...
  • Table Tennis. ...
  • Football/Soccer. ...
  • Badminton. ...
  • Field Hockey. ...
  • Cricket. ...
  • Tennis.

What is Canada's 1 sport? ›

2 The game commonly known as ice hockey is hereby recognized and declared to be the national winter sport of Canada and the game commonly known as lacrosse is hereby recognized and declared to be the national summer sport of Canada.

What are top 5 popular sports? ›

Top 10 Most Popular Participation Sports In The World
  • Soccer/football. ...
  • Badminton. ...
  • Field Hockey. ...
  • Volleyball. ...
  • Basketball. ...
  • Tennis. ...
  • Cricket. ...
  • Table Tennis.

What is Canada's biggest sporting event? ›

One of the biggest and most famous annual sporting events in Canada is the Stanley Cup which has been organised by the country's National Hockey League (NHL) since 1893.

What is Canada's best sports team? ›

Toronto Argonauts

This might be a controversial choice, considering the CFL's popularity — or lackthereof — relative to other leagues or franchises in Canada, but the Toronto Argonauts' reason for topping this list is very simple: they won a championship.

Which sport is most popular? ›

With 3.5 billion fans around the world, soccer is the one sport that pretty much the whole world can agree upon can be claimed the most viewed sports in the world. With its combination of adrenaline-pumping excitement, man-on-man aggression, tough competition, it's really no wonder it comes on top.

What is Canada most known for? ›

Due to the safety and wide open spaces, it's also the perfect country for adventure travel and road trips. We're known worldwide for being great at hockey, having cold winters, and maple syrup. All of these things and a lot more make Canada what it is.”

What is the top 10 hardest sport? ›

According to Sports Virsa, the top 10 hardest sports in the world to play in 2022 are as follows: Boxing (hardest), American football, mixed martial arts, ice hockey, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, wrestling, rugby, and water polo.

What are the top 10 least popular sports? ›

11 Least Popular Sports in the World
  • 8 | Weightlifting. ...
  • 7 | Canadian football. ...
  • 6 | Sailing. ...
  • 5 | Archery. ...
  • 4 | Polo. ...
  • 3 | Fencing. ...
  • 2 | Motocross/motorcycle racing. ...
  • 1 | Kabbadi. Kabbadi is the national sport of Bangladesh and, from what I can tell, it's a mix of rugby without a ball and red rover.
Feb 8, 2023

What are the top 4 most popular sports? ›

The most popular team sports in the United States are American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer.

What are 4 major sports in Canada? ›

Sports in Canada consist of a wide variety of games. The roots of organized sports in Canada date back to the 1770s, culminating in the development and popularization of the major professional games of ice hockey, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, soccer, football and cricket.

Did Canada make a sport? ›

The Canadian invented sports, lacrosse, basketball, five-pin bowling, ringette, and wheelchair rugby, all exemplify those social functions. Among these sports, lacrosse has the richest history because it developed as an Aboriginal game that was played out as a ritual rather than as a competition.

What is the order of Canada sports? ›

The Order of Sport is a National Level Award established in 2019 by Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and a symbol of the organization's purpose, to build Canada through the transformative power of sport.

What is the top 3 most popular sport? ›


250 million people play the sport in 200 different countries, and there are around 3.5 billion fans worldwide. The next three most popular sports are field hockey, which has 2.2 billion fans globally, basketball, and cricket, which has 2.5 billion fans (2 billion).

What are the 6 major sports? ›

Let's understand these leagues better.
  • Major League Baseball. In the US, MLB is the oldest professional sports league. ...
  • National Football League. ...
  • National Basketball Association. ...
  • National Hockey League. ...
  • Major League Soccer. ...
  • Canadian Football League.

Is Canada a sporty country? ›

Canada has a wide range of popular sports from ice hockey to curling. Lacrosse is one of its most popular sports and traditionally has Native American roots. Other popular games include basketball, baseball, football and ice hockey. Lacrosse was declared Canada's national game in 1859.

What is Canada most popular winter sport? ›

Dubbed the most popular winter sport in the country, one can enjoy Ice Hockey by playing in a team game or just by being a great spectator of the professional league National Hockey League (NHL) comprised of Canadian ice hockey teams and American ice hockey teams.

Which sport is played the most by Canadian 15 years and older? ›

Ice hockey is immensely popular in Canada, where it is the national winter sport and arguably the country's most popular game.

Who is Canada's best athlete? ›

While Davies is Canada's most globally marketable athlete, he ranked 16th within Canada.
Active Canadian AthleteSportGlobal Rank
Alphonso DaviesFIFA1
Tristan ThompsonNBA2
Lance StrollFormula 13
Sidney CrosbyNHL4
6 more rows
Apr 1, 2022

What NBA team is Canada? ›

Recent News. Toronto Raptors, Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto that plays in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Raptors have won one conference title and one NBA championship (both 2019).

What are the three sports in Canada? ›

Most Played Sports in Canada
1Ice Hockey1.3+ million
2Football (Soccer)1 million
1 more row

What is America's #1 sport? ›

American football takes the crown when it comes to popularity, and this is the most-watched sport in the US.

What is the 5th most popular sport? ›

Volleyball contains 900 million global following and over 200 national federations registered. It is the 5th most popular sports and has the most registered federations than any other sport. Volleyball is an extremely simple game with little equipment and few rules.

How do they say hello in Canada? ›

How do Canadians say hello? Most Canadians will simply say “hello,” with French Canadians sticking to the usual greeting of “Bonjour”. How do you greet someone in Canada? In Canada, the customary way to greet someone is by shaking their hand.

What is Canada's nickname? ›

View. There are many stereotypes about Canada and Canadians that other nationalities get wrong. But when the country received the nickname of the Great White North, people were telling the truth. Here's why Canada is sometimes referred to as the Great White North.

Is hockey harder than baseball? ›

Hockey is by far the hardest. It's as if you had to relearn how to walk to play another sport. Even if you took away the skating aspect, ball hockey is harder than the vast majority of sports as well.

What are the top 10 hardest things to do in sports? ›

Most Difficult Things To Do In Sports
  • Hitting . ...
  • Winning consecutive Super Bowls in the salary cap era. ...
  • Setting a world record in the pole vault. ...
  • Finishing with a quadruple double in an NBA game. ...
  • Winning the Grand Slam in golf. ...
  • Throwing touchdown passes in 40-plus consecutive games. ...
  • Pitching back to back no-hitters.
Jun 13, 2008

Does Canada have football? ›

Professional gridiron football is one of the most popular sports in Canada.

Why is hockey the least popular sport? ›

Many families simply cannot afford to have a child to play hockey. Some people don't have easy access to a hockey rink. Ice time can be pricey, and there may be select hours to practice. Markoulis also said the marketability of the NHL's top prospects is lagging when compared with basketball, baseball and football.

Is dance a sport yes or no? ›

Is dancing a sport? Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill, with an individual or team competing against others for entertainment. In all senses of this definition, yes – dance can be considered a sport.

What is the 2nd most popular sport? ›

Cricket is an immensely complex game, but it is also the world's second-most popular sport.

What is the 7th most popular sport? ›

Known as “America's pastime,” baseball is the second most popular sport in the United States and is the 7th most popular sport in the world. Professional baseball in the United States is played by the teams that make up the Major League Baseball (MLB).

What are the 4 main sports in the world? ›

MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL are commonly referred to as the "Big Four." Each of these is the wealthiest professional club competition in its sport worldwide, and along with the English Premier League they make up the top five sports leagues by revenue in the world.

What are 4 famous Canadian athletes? ›

Olympic athletes
  • Alex Baumann, Sudbury, swimmer.
  • Josh Binstock (born 1981), volleyball player.
  • Patrick Chan, Ottawa.
  • Victor Davis, Guelph.
  • Andre De Grasse, Scarborough/Markham.
  • Lori Dupuis, Cornwall.
  • Dave Edge (born 1954), British-Canadian Olympic long-distance runner.
  • Terry Farnsworth (born 1942), Olympic judoka.

How many sports are in the Canada Games? ›

From Archery and Alpine Skiing to Wrestling and Wheelchair Basketball, the Canada Games features more than 30 different sports across our summer and winter events.

What sports are in Canadian culture? ›

Canada's two most popular professional sports are hockey and football. The seven Canadian teams in the National Hockey League all have incredibly loyal fans and strong brand identities. Lacrosse and curling are two highly iconic Canadian sports, but have only limited public appeal.

Did a Canadian invent baseball? ›

Some fans may not know it, but the first recorded game of baseball took place in Canada, a year before Abner Doubleday supposedly "invented" the game in Cooperstown, New York.

What sport did Canada's first peoples invent? ›


One of the oldest sports in the history of North America as well as the other national sport of Canada, lacrosse was a sport that was originated by the First Nations.

Did a Canadian invent basketball? ›

James Naismith (NAY-smith; November 6, 1861 – November 28, 1939) was a Canadian-American physical educator, physician, Christian chaplain, and sports coach, best known as the inventor of the game of basketball.

What is safe sport Canada? ›

The Safe Sport Training module developed by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) will help anyone involved in sport identify and prevent situations of maltreatment. Together, we can make sport safe for everyone.

What major sports teams are in Canada? ›

As far as the specific teams go, there are currently seven from Canada and the below are just a few of the most successful and popular.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs. mapleleafs. ...
  • Ottawa Senators. senators. ...
  • Montreal Canadiens. canadiensmtl. ...
  • Toronto Rock. thetorontorock. ...
  • Calgary Roughnecks. ...
  • Montreal Impact. ...
  • Toronto FC. ...
  • Toronto Blue Jays.

What ranking is the Order of Canada? ›

The Order of Canada (French: Ordre du Canada) is a Canadian state order and the second-highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, after the Order of Merit.

What is the 5 most popular sport in the world? ›

The World's Most Watched Sports
  • NFL. Fans: 400 million. Outside of the U.S., this sport has limited following. ...
  • Basketball. Fans: 400 million. ...
  • Golf. Fans: 450 million. ...
  • Baseball. Fans: 500 million. ...
  • Table Tennis. Fans: 850 million. ...
  • Volleyball. Fans: 900 million. ...
  • Tennis. Fans: 1 billion. ...
  • Field Hockey. Fans: 2.2 billion.

What is the number 1 popular sports? ›


It is the most popular sport in the world, with 250 million players in over 200 countries.

What are the 4 most popular sport? ›

SportFavorite sportMajor professional league
American football37%NFL
Association football (soccer)7%MLS
1 more row

What are the three national sports of Canada? ›

TRUE: Canada has two national sports: ice hockey and lacrosse. Lacrosse was the official sport of Canada between 1859 to 1994. In 1994, Bill C-121 made hockey the official Canadian winter sport and lacrosse became Canada's official summer sport.

What sport has 5 people? ›


Who is the number 1 athlete? ›

100 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World 2022
2022 RankAthleteTeam
1LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers
2Lionel MessiParis Saint-Germain
3Cristiano RonaldoManchester United
4NeymarParis Saint-Germain
58 more rows


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