As a nation, Canada is certainly no stranger to the sporting sector given that a number of Canadian citizens will often partake in a variety of available sports and hobbies that have since become staples of the country’s culture.
Yet with more sporting leagues and tournaments now garnishing a greater popularity from mainstream media sources and betting markets, there has since been a major uproar of new frequently viewed and played sports that has attracted the attention of a vast number of Canadian audiences.
When a conversation is often aroused surrounding the major sports tailored or often familiarised with Canadian culture, ice hockey is mainly the first and primary sport that is raised by audiences.
This year, hockey fans are already heightening their interests towards the Stanley Cup with the reigning champions Tampa Bay Lightning looking to complete a three peat and are since proud favourites in the current online bets.
However, there has since been a great uproar of other major sporting outlets that Canadian audiences now frequently tune in on a regular basis.
These are the fastest growing sports that have spiked the attention of mainstream Canadian audiences:
- Basketball (NBA):
Canada is no stranger to housing basketball teams given that since the merger of the NBA and ABA, the country has housed teams from major cities including Vancouver and more recently Toronto with further expansions likely to happen further down the line.
While the interest of basketball has often fluctuated across the past decades, as the Vancouver Grizzlies have since moved to Memphis, the Toronto Raptors 2019 championship winning team has since perked the interest into the stratosphere.
The Raptors became the first ever Canadian franchise to win the Larry O’Brien championship since the inception of the league and has since carved the way for further interest in basketball and the NBA for years to come, given that more Canadian athletes are now competing in the NBA.
- Soccer (World Cup & MLS):
Given that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be taking place across the entire continent of North America (including Mexico and the US), Canadians have already begun to incite their interests into the world’s most popular sport.
(North America selected to host the FIFA 2026 World Cup)
The Canadian National team has already begun to gather a wide array of talent in recent years with the biggest name being former Vancouver Whitecaps winger, now turned Bayern Munich superstar, Alphonso Davies.
The 2026 World Cup will mark the countries first entry into the fabled competition since 1986 which has since been their only ever appearance at a World Cup competition, further emphasising how important this hosting will be for the country’s exposure and future interest into the world of soccer.
Canada’s interest of soccer has also continued to increase in recent years given that the country now houses a number of teams in the MLS (Major League Soccer) with more teams being rumoured to be added at later dates given that the league itself has also seen greater interest throughout the past number of decades in the US.
- Baseball (MLB):
While the MLB remains one of the United States most frequently viewed sporting leagues, there is still further room for expansion franchises and support from fans north of the US border.
The MLB only houses one Canadian franchise who just so happen to be the Toronto Blue Jays, one of the league’s most popular and well-respected franchises given the major support they have amassed over the decades and the major success that has since followed.
Arguably, the interest of baseball among Canadian fans would likely have spiked during the early to mid-1990s given that the Blue Jays completed a two-peat in 1992 and 1993 which remains the only two World Series championships in franchise history.
This sudden surge of interest has seen the franchises’ net worth grow to a staggering $1.7 billion dollars marking it as one of the league’s most valuable teams with further room to grow in the coming years as the city of Toronto has proven to be a beneficial and vastly suitable market for all major franchises in American sports.
Much like the other sporting leagues listed above, there are certainly future plans in place for the hierarches of these leagues to consider expanding and further testing the market viability of other cities throughout the country of Canada with the likes of Vancouver and Montreal also being likely destinations for future franchises in later years.
Canada is still a nation that many sporting leagues are experimenting on to test the interest and viability within the countries major markets meaning that should fans not frequently attend games that feature any lively expansion teams, they could soon inform any major leagues of the disinterest present at such markets for any future franchise destinations, with the aforementioned Vancouver Grizzlies being a particular example.
Yet with more Canadian citizens now willing to sink their interests into further mainstream sporting leagues and tournaments, there is expected to be a huge influx of intrigue from all major parties that can likely bring further franchises north of the US border.