Toronto

First of all, thank you to @CoventryBearsRL for coming up with such a great idea in sharing the history and beauty of your city with us.  We doubt we will come close to being as entertaining and informative as you were and we are certainly not trying to be competitive either. After all we don’t have anything in our history that come’s even close to Lady Godiva. We concede… Coventry wins!

Where are we?

Toronto is located just over 5500 kms west of Coventry and a bit south. It is the 4th largest city in North America (2.7 million people in 2016) behind Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles.

What is it like?

Toronto is a city unlike any other as it provides people with a plethora of choices whether it is in business, art, sports or dining. People always seem to be in a hurry and multitask whenever possible. It is not that we don’t take time to stop and smell the roses, it is just that we can only do it every other Thursday at 3:05pm for 7 minutes or wherever it fits in everyone’s hectic schedule.  But in fairness, if it comes to a crisis like when the city was blacked out for a couple of days this city does come together and we help each other out.

What landmarks can we see?

The CN Tower was at one point the tallest freestanding structure in the world. It may be second or even third now, but it still is a main attraction with a restaurant that rotates 360 degrees so you literally can see the whole city during dinner. You can also visit Casa Loma (our one true castle) that was built in 1914 and is now a museum and popular filming location. Niagara Falls is about 90 minutes away and worth the drive to see this natural wonder. You can also visit Liberty Village which is right beside Lamport Stadium and they have some nice places to dine including Brazen Head Pub, which many of the Wolfpack supporters visit before and after the game.

What sports are enjoyed?

The sport of rugby is not completely foreign to Torontonians despite how we behave at Wolfpack games. Most recently during the 2015 Pan Am games, Rugby 7s were introduced and they were quite a popular hit. Canada did very well winning both Women’s and Men’s Gold Medals in front of 20,000 fans. Above anything else, Toronto loves a winner. In terms of the main sport in the city, that has always been ice hockey. The Toronto Maple Leafs are as important to Toronto as any Premiere League team is to their city. The Maple Leafs have just celebrated their 100th anniversary and after decades of losing, they may have finally turned the corner and have a bright future ahead of them. We also have the Toronto Blue Jays for baseball, the Raptors for basketball, the Argonauts for Canadian football and for your football (aka our soccer) we have Toronto FC. Some of the Toronto Wolfpack players have already attended a Blue Jays game as well as Toronto FC, so I will leave it up to them to comment on how good the “footy” is on this side of the Atlantic.

What is the Toronto sports scene like?

The fans in this city are really passionate. Not only do we often sell out stadiums, but during special games thousands of fans gather outside the arena just to watch it on a big screen. The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t been to the championships since 1967. So trust us when we tell you that we are ALL too familiar with losing. Therefore if during a rugby game, we seem a little over zealous in our victories, it isn’t anything personal… we get so few of them, we just try to enjoy them to the fullest. Lately though, all of our teams seem to be doing quite well and we are trying to get used to that “we are good again” feeling.

Who is a Torontonian you might have heard of?

The most recognizable Torontonian at the moment would be Drake who just won 13 trophies at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. He is also a huge sports fan and was a Toronto Raptor Ambassador. Right… not really sure what that meant either.

Strength in diversity

The city is made up of many different cultures and races. We are not like the United States where you tend to lose your heritage as you become part of the melting pot. In Canada and Toronto, you become part of a mosaic where ideally, we learn to appreciate each other’s differences. This is extremely noticeable when it comes to dining, therefore if you are coming to Toronto, bring an appetite. But fine dining in Toronto can be expensive, so bring a bigger wallet as well

So to all teams in the Kingstone Press League One that may one day be visiting, we hope this helps get you a tad better acclimatized and we sincerely hope you have a fantastic time. So far we have heard that Toronto crowds have been hospitable and we see that continuing. A few words of warning though, we have been told (thanks Coach Rowley) that we may cheer and boo at the wrong times during a rugby match.

Be gentle with us, we are still learning.