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A Hockey Lover's Guide to Toronto

by ClaireBullen January - last edited February

Given the region’s notoriously chilly climate, it should come as no surprise that Toronto is a city made for ice hockey. On particularly chilly winter days, amateur skaters can be spotted gliding across the frozen-over edges of Lake Ontario. And professional hockey? Let’s just say that it’s a hugely popular local pastime.

 

Toronto is home to the Maple Leafs, a team whose history dates back to 1917. Though they’re currently suffering from a victory drought (keep the volume down on this conversation when visiting Leafs Nation!), the team is the most valuable in the National Hockey League, and star players like James Van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel (both recently nominated for the American Olympic hockey team) have fans screaming from the sidelines.

 

Air Canada Centre | A Hockey Lover's Guide to Toronto

Air Canada Centre © End User
 

 

For a hockey lover visiting during the season, snagging tickets to a game is the ultimate score, particularly given that they can be notoriously difficult to get hold of. Do what you can to book well in advance and be prepared to part with a hefty chunk of change. It’ll be worth it, though: the Air Canada Centre, the team’s home stadium, has an unbeatable atmosphere given the team’s loyal fans. If you can’t get tickets in time, don’t despair: the Toronto Marlies, an American Hockey League team, are also exciting to watch.

 

Hockey stick | A Hockey Lover's Guide to Toronto

Hockey stick © kathy libby/istock/Thinkstock
 

 

After enjoying a rink-side perspective on the game, it’s time to strap on those skates and take your own turn around the ice. Toronto is home to a number of top hockey schools that provide lessons aimed at novices. While the Toronto Maple Leafs run their own summer Hockey School aimed at children, adults can also improve their technique at a number of different courses. Future Stars Arena is one good option for out-of-towners as it offers one-day classes, available for all different levels. Visitors can also sign up for private sessions with former pro players if they’re looking to brush up on their skills.

 

Hall of Fame | A Hockey Lover's Guide to Toronto

Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame © Adam Campbell
 

 

No hockey lover’s trip to Toronto would be complete without a stop at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Home to the glittering Stanley Cup, the museum is packed with interactive exhibits, including displays that allow visitors to both take shots at goal, and try their hand at goalie for the day.

 

Hall of Fame statue | A Hockey Lover's Guide to Toronto

Hockey Hall of Fame statue © Universal Article 
 

 

The venue is also packed with historic memorabilia, including older versions of the Stanley Cup, player portraits, uniforms, equipment, and other artefacts.

 

For those planning a wintertime trip, the best way to wind down before leaving town is to take a turn around one of the city’s 50+ outdoor ice rinks. Bundle up and glide off: you’ll feel like a native Torontonian in no time.

 

Our partnership with Delta Air Lines means you can enjoy our award winning service on Virgin Atlantic flights to New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and San Francisco and then travel onwards to 44 North American destinations with Delta Air Lines – earning miles every step of the way.

 

You’ll also be able to book direct flights from London Heathrow to Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis. Plus, you can look forward to more frequent flights from Heathrow to New York and Boston, giving you even more choice.

 

Are you an Ice Hockey fan? Have you attended a game in Toronto? Let us know below.

Written by Claire Bullen


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About the author: ClaireBullen

Claire Bullen

Claire is a born globetrotter: before relocating to London, she spent time in New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. When she's not in pursuit of the next exciting meal, she can be found haunting indie bookstores and sketching outdoors. Follow Claire @ClaireMBullen