Experience the best of Canadian ice hockey
Not surprisingly, modern ice hockey was shaped in Canada and some of the greatest professional hockey players in the world grew up in this country, including Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby.
Canada’s deep passion for ice hockey provides a thrilling avenue for locals and visitors to bond over the sport and support their favourite teams together.
So, get in on the action, cheer, chant and enjoy ice hockey like the locals do. From catching an NHL or OHL game, to buying hockey merch and dining at hockey-themed restaurants, there are plenty of ways to experience this exciting sport firsthand.
Rally behind top NHL teams
The National Hockey League (NHL) is the major sports league in Canada and the United States for professional ice hockey.
Each year, 32 NHL teams made up of the top hockey players from North America and around the world compete with teams split by various geographic divisions.
The regular NHL season generally runs from early October to April, when just 16 teams advance to the elimination playoffs which run over the following two months. The winning team is awarded the prized Stanley Cup, North America’s oldest professional sports trophy.
The annual NHL all-star game is a special tournament held mid-season. The 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend will take place in Toronto, from February 1 to 3, with some of the league’s top players competing at Scotiabank Arena. See your favourite hockey stars shine with a full schedule of games, events and activities. Get your tickets now.
Two spirited teams represent Ontario in the NHL: the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, affectionally called “the Leafs”, is one of the oldest teams in the NHL. First founded in 1917, it was one of the league’s “Original Six” hockey teams. This historic team has won 13 Stanley Cup Championships and several exceptional players have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, including Darryl Sittler, Red Kelly, Ed Belfour, Terry Sawchuk, Doug Gilmour and Mats Sundin.
The Leafs enjoy a passionate and dedicated fanbase, helping cement them as one of the NHL’s most memorable teams.
The Ottawa Senators, also known by locals as the “Sens,” is the city’s second NHL team. The original Ottawa Senators boasted a celebrated past, having won the Stanley Cup 11 times during its 50-year history, before moving to St. Louis.
In 1990, 54 years later, a public campaign by devoted hockey fans successfully convinced the NHL to grant Ottawa a new hockey team.
The current Senators, with the help of top players such as Daniel Alfredsson, Dominik Hasek and Marian Hossa, have made it to the playoffs 16 times and won four division titles.
Cheer on local OHL and AHL teams
Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm for hockey in Ontario, tickets for NHL games are in high demand.
If you’re having trouble scoring tickets, consider attending an exciting Ontario Hockey League (OHL) or American Hockey League (AHL) game.
The OHL is a junior ice hockey league comprised of talented, young players. There are 20 teams from various cities and towns across the province, including the Sudbury Wolves, Kitchener Rangers, Barrie Colts, Niagara IceDogs, Sarnia Sting and Windsor Spitfires. Find the teams’ ticket information, upcoming game dates and arena locations on their individual websites.
The AHL is a professional ice hockey league based out of the United States and Canada. These are the “farm teams” for the NHL, allowing young players the chance to train and hone their craft before joining the big leagues.
Get tickets to a Toronto Marlies game, affliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs, or a Belleville Senators games, affliated with the Ottawa Senators. See up-and-comers get their start before they become stars.
Learn about hockey history
Both hockey enthusiasts and those new to the sport will enjoy being immersed in hockey history at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
This museum is committed to preserving the history and celebration of ice hockey. Established in 1943, the Hockey Hall of Fame recognizes players, coaches, referees and other influential people who have made significant contributions to the world of hockey.
Stroll through an enormous collection of NHL trophies, records and memorabilia. The museum exhibits hockey artifacts, equipment and interactive media presentations that highlight the rich history of the game. Before you leave, stop by the gift shop and browse through the wide variety of hockey merchandise available—it’s the perfect place to find great presents for the hockey fans in your life.
Located on the first floor of Brookfield Place just steps away from Union Station, the museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 30 Yonge Street, Toronto
Shop for hockey merchandise
At Peace Collective, find quality sports apparel that looks and feels good to wear.
The “Fan Shop” collection features a wide selection of sports merchandise, such as summer caps, shorts, T-shirts, beanies, satin jackets, crewnecks and hoodies to show your love for the Toronto Maple Leafs or Ottawa Senators.
Clothing sold by Peace Collective is 100% Canadian-made, so each item is knit, dyed, cut and sewn on Canadian soil. Products are also made with plant-based materials grown without harmful pesticides.
Part of the proceeds from every garment sold is donated to various community foundations, including food refugee aid and mental health awareness.
Shop in person or online.
From jerseys, caps, active wear and lounge wear to collectables and accessories, get all your must-have game gear for the Maple Leafs, Marlies and more.
Located in the arena at the Canadian Tire Centre, The Sens Store will outfit you for your next game with jerseys, caps and toques.
Shop in person or online.
Celebrate at hockey-themed bars and restaurants
Join dozens of other Leafs fans cheering on Toronto’s hockey team at Real Sports and Grill.
Conveniently located across the street from the Scotiabank Arena, in the heart of Toronto’s bustling sports district, Real Sports (RS) is owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and is one of the largest sports bars in North America.
With an upscale, modern design and a menu of comfort food made with local ingredients, this vibrant sports bar helps ignite Leafs fans’ passion for their team. The facility features 2,323 square metres of space with 199 TV screens, making it a prime location for watching the game.
Choose from over 100 beer taps and order one-of-a-kind pub grub like butter chicken poutine, Korean barbecue tenders and nacho pizza.
Real Sports is open Mondays to Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Location: 15 York Street, Toronto
Root for the Ottawa Senators at the top-floor Sens House in the ByWard Market.
This sports bar is locally owned as a partnership between Ottawa Venues and the Ottawa Senators. During the hockey season it is regularly packed with die-hard hockey fans watching the games aired on giant, state-of-the-art TVs mounted around the room.
Find a comfortable booth, table or bar seat for your group, and order classic pub favourites like cheeseburgers, sandwiches, chicken wings, sweet potato fries and more. Pair your dish with cocktails, martinis or ice-cold craft beer.
Sens House opens on Mondays to Thursdays starting at 4:00 p.m. and Fridays and Sundays starting from 11:00 a.m.
Location: 73 York Street, Ottawa
Enjoy the lively atmosphere and creative dishes at Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill & Bar east of Toronto in Oshawa.
This contemporary sports bar is owned and operated by Wendel Clark, a former fan-favourite Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player who was active from 1985 to 2000. With several flat-screen TVs and Leafs decor decorating the walls, this place is a popular spot for fans to watch the OHL’s Oshawa Generals or another high-stakes hockey game.
Start with a delicious calamari or cauliflower bites appetizer to share. For your main choose from tasty hockey-themed dishes like First Line Fish Tacos, Breakaway Turkey Burger, Wendel’s (Chicken) Wings and the Carlton Street Club Sandwich, named after the street where the Maple Leaf Gardens was located. Finish with the Hat Trick brownie platter, which comes with three squares of chewy brownies.
Wendel’s is open Mondays to Thursdays from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m., Fridays from 3:00 to 11:00 p.m., Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sundays from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 67 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa
Sip handcrafted cocktails, graze on charcuterie and shareable platters and skate on Wayne Gretzky’s “backyard ice rink” at Wayne Gretzky Estates.
Wayne Gretzky, also known as “The Great One” for his legendary hockey skills, partnered with famed Canadian wine producer Andrew Peller to create Wayne Gretzky Estates in the heart of Ontario’s wine region.
The ice rink situated behind the estate offers an authentic Canadian skating experience. Join the other skaters in circling the rink, then take a break at the heated Whisky Bar Patio or the Cocktail Lounge with a specialty cocktail and warm winter-inspired snacks.
There is a small admission fee to skate on the ice rink. You are encouraged to bring your own skates, but a limited number of hockey skates are also available for rent.
If you’re not only a hockey fan but a wine enthusiast as well, you can taste full-bodied wines made from the finest Niagara and Okanagan grapes. 40-minute estate tours are offered daily, which include sampling and learning about the crafting process behind Gretzky’s favourite wines.
Last updated: January 15, 2024