Brampton is a city scoring goals, hitting boundaries, and slam-dunking its way into the spotlight. Known not just for its young population and bustling start-up activity, but also as an emerging, pulsating sports center in North America.
In 2023 alone, Brampton hosted several massive sporting events, including the Brampton Cup Olympic Boxing, IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships, and Field Hockey Nationals. Brampton also hosts a long list of annual sporting events like Skate Canada STARSkate Championships (figure skating), Ontario Sledge Hockey Association Cruiser Cup, Brampton BLAST College/University Softball Showcase, and is also becoming an upcoming hotspot for sports like Cricket and Kabaddi!
Major Sports & Teams in Ontario
Here’s a breakdown of the province’s top sports and major teams:
Ice Hockey (NHL)
In Ontario, ice hockey is a treasured tradition. Steeped in a rich history, the province has birthed countless NHL legends and hosted iconic outdoor pond games in its frosty winters. In fact, Ontario has produced more NHL players than any other Canadian province!
Famous teams to be familiar with:
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Based in Toronto, they’re one of the ‘Original Six’ teams of the NHL and have a long history.
- Ottawa Senators: Based in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, this team competes in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
Basketball has surged in popularity and prestige in Ontario. Fueled by rising stars, the province has proudly watched as homegrown talent takes centre stage in the NBA. Of course, the historic 2019 NBA Championship win by the Toronto Raptors not only solidified Ontario’s place on the basketball map but also ignited a basketball fever across the province!
The Basketball team you must know is:
- Toronto Raptors: Based in Toronto, they made history by winning the NBA Championship in 2019. They’re Ontario’s only NBA team.
Baseball is a popular sport in Ontario. The province vibrates with excitement every time the Toronto Blue Jays take the field, a testament to their legendary World Series titles in the early ’90s. There are many amateur and youth baseball leagues throughout the province providing opportunities for players everywhere.
- Toronto Blue Jays: They’re Canada’s only Major League Baseball team and have won two World Series titles.
With the rise of teams like Toronto FC capturing the MLS Cup, the province has experienced a soccer surge unlike any other. Every weekend, it’s very common to see community pitches brim with aspiring players, showcasing the province’s love affair with the game.
- Toronto FC: Competing in Major League Soccer, this Toronto-based team has won the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, and the Canadian Championship multiple times.
Canadian Football (CFL)
Canadian Football, uniquely characterized by its larger playing field and three downs, stands as a symbol of pride and tradition in the Great White North. The Grey Cup; the CFL’s championship trophy, is one of the oldest championship trophies in North American professional sports.
Famous teams to be familiar with:
- Toronto Argonauts: Based in Toronto, they’re one of the oldest existing professional sports teams in North America.
- Ottawa Redblacks: Based in Ottawa, they’re a relatively newer team but have already clinched a Grey Cup victory.
Lacrosse, often hailed as Canada’s national summer sport, is deeply rooted in Indigenous cultures. It’s a sport that predates even hockey in Canadian history.
- Toronto Rock: Competing in the National Lacrosse League, they’re based in Toronto and have won multiple championships.
Major Teams in Brampton
Brampton has long been quietly churning out stars that have gone on to make some serious noise on the international stage.
Ever heard of Tristan Thompson snatching those rebounds in the NBA, or perhaps the swift moves of Rick Nash on the ice? That’s Brampton pride right there! NBA players like Tyler Ennis and Anthony Bennett call Brampton home, and NHL star Jason Spezza started his major junior career with the Brampton Battalion in the Ontario Hockey League.
So let’s get down to our home turf and talk about what’s big in Brampton:
Brampton’s streets, parks, and schools brim with youngsters dribbling and shooting. The number of annual tournaments, local league matches, and basketball training academies attest to the city’s love for the sport.
Although teams like the Brampton A’s will always be remembered for those unforgettable seasons at the National Basketball League of Canada, now Brampton’s got a new beast on the court to cheer for – Brampton Honey Badgers! This Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) has recently been relocated to Brampton.
Brampton holds a special bond with ice hockey. The city’s ice rinks have reverberated with the sounds of skates carving the ice and sticks striking pucks for decades. Beyond the professional arenas, community rinks across Brampton come alive each winter, fostering talent and nurturing dreams!
Known for hosting teams like the Brampton Beast in the ECHL, the city has been a stalwart supporter of its local hockey heroes.
Brampton also has a deep history of women’s hockey, probably deeper than any other city in the world. In 1963, the Brampton Canadettes Girls’ Hockey Association was the world’s first association dedicated solely to promoting women’s hockey. By 1967, they introduced the Brampton Canadettes Annual Easter Tournament, which swiftly expanded to become the world’s premier female hockey tournament. Now, it witnesses global teams competing in over 600 matches every Easter weekend.
While cricket might seem an unusual mention in a Canadian city’s sports roster, Brampton has actually been cementing its status as the “Cricket Capital of North America.” The Global T20 Canada cricket tournament, a professional Twenty20 cricket league in Canada was launched in 2018, Brampton has hosted 2 tournaments already in 2019 and 2023. The Brampton Wolves cricket team keeps the passion for the pitch alive and kicking in the city!
Over the last 3 years, Brampton has channeled CA $2,000,000 into elevating cricket facilities. And the momentum doesn’t stop there, as another CA $7,000,000 has been earmarked for upcoming ventures. On the horizon is a fully lit cricket ground at Turner Fenton Secondary School, enhancements at Creditview Sandalwood Park, and the 3 new fields at Gore Meadows East Community Park.
Source: Brampton Guardian
Brampton, with its diverse community, especially a significant South Asian population has seen a rise in popularity of unique sports like Kabaddi; a Punjabi contact sport. Local tournaments have found fervent audiences, and the sport has become an integral part of Brampton’s cultural tapestry.
Grounds & Sports Facilities in Brampton:
One of the major reasons Brampton is able to birth world-class athletic and sporting talent is it’s many sporting facilities! Brampton boasts of:
- 53 Multi-purpose natural fields – one 14-field complex
- 48 Softball and 6 hardball diamonds – one 8 diamond complex
- 20 Ice pads – 2 four-pad complexes, seating up to 5,000
- 15 Cricket pitches
- 14 Beach volleyball courts
- 9 Indoor/outdoor artificial turf fields
- FIH Global-certified field hockey field
- Kabaddi stadium – seating for 3,000
- Track and field stadium – IAAF 400 m eight-lane track with nine field event sites
The city has professional arenas that allow it to host national and international level tournaments. Some of these arenas include:
The CAA Centre is one of the busiest, most versatile sport arenas in the GTA, offering 4 ice pads, seating for 5,000 in the central bowl, and a full service 250 seat restaurant, with broadcasting capabilities. Over 1.2 million people visit the CAA centre every year.
The Cassie Campbell Community Centre offers a range of indoor amenities including two ice rinks, pools, a fitness centre, and various rooms for activities, along with outdoor facilities like basketball courts, a skate park, and specialized sports pitches like a Cricket pitch, Field hockey pitch, and more.
The Brampton Save Max Sports Centre (previously Brampton Soccer Centre) boasts indoor features like 3 turf field houses, a gym, dance studio, and meeting spaces, along with outdoor basketball courts, a splash pad, and a playground.
Startup Opportunities in the Sports Industry in Brampton:
Brampton is actively promoting sports tourism through its Sport Tourism Hosting Program. The program supports sport tourism events hosted in the City of Brampton that increase tourists and spend in the city. Brampton recognizes the strength of its diversity and when combined with sport tourism events, can have an amazing impact in city-building, generating a positive impact on the local economy, community development, and civic pride.
For all the sports enthusiasts with an entrepreneurial spirit, here’s some inspiration for you!
- Sports Tech Solutions: Develop apps or platforms that cater to local sports communities, help tourists navigate the country’s sports offerings, book tickets, or find amenities.
- Virtual Sports Experiences: Use AR and VR to create immersive experiences centered on Canada’s sports events, allowing fans from around the world to feel as if they’re in the stadium.
- Fitness Tech: Create wearable devices or apps tailored for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, possibly integrating localized coaching advice or training regimens.
- Sports Analytics and Scouting: Use AI and machine learning to offer services in player analytics, game analysis, and talent scouting specifically tailored for Brampton’s sports ecosystem.
Other Sport-Related Startup Ideas:
- Cultural Sports Fusion: Use Brampton’s cultural diversity as a foundation for introducing traditional sports from various cultures around the world.
- Athlete Training and Development: Start sports academies or training centres that focus on honing local talent through a blend of traditional and modern techniques.
- Sports Tourism Packages: Collaborate with hotels, restaurants, and local attractions to create sports-centered vacation packages.
- Healthy Food Stalls and Kiosks: Establish health-focused eateries or kiosks near sports venues to cater to health-conscious sports fans and athletes.
Whether you’re a tech guru or a community organizer, Brampton’s sports scene offers a plethora of opportunities to hit a home run with your startup.
Want to Launch or Expand a Sports Startup in Canada?
We are BHive, a startup incubator located in Brampton, Ontario. We offer international startups the tools, resources, and space to establish – and quickly scale – their businesses in Canada and North America. To apply to our Global Entrepreneur Incubation Program, click here!