Zamboni ice resurfacers are used in arenas across Canada and around the world. Although Zamboni is a registered trademark, many Canadians use the term to refer to all ice resurfacers, including those produced by other companies. American Frank J. Zamboni invented the original Zamboni ice resurfacer in 1949. His namesake company is based in Paramount, California, but also has a large manufacturing facility in Brantford, Ontario. The Zamboni Company’s major competitor, Resurfice Corporation (based in Elmira, Ontario), produces the Olympia line of ice resurfacers that are used in arenas across Canada and around the world. In 2016, ICETECH Machines began producing the Okay Elektra, an electronic ice resurfacer, in Terrebonne, Québec.
Lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports in North America. While at one point it was a field game or ritual played by First Nations, it became popular among non-Indigenous peoples in the mid-1800s. When the National Lacrosse Association of Canada was formed in 1867, it was the Dominion of Canada’s first governing body of sport. Lacrosse was confirmed as Canada’s official summer sport in 1994. The Canadian national lacrosse teams (men and women) rank highly in the world standings, both in field and box lacrosse.
Toronto FC (also known as TFC or “The Reds”) is a men’s professional soccer team that plays in Major League Soccer (MLS). Founded in 2006 by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the club has won the Voyageurs Cup six times (2009–2012 and 2016–17). They have made it to the MLS playoffs twice (2015, 2016), becoming the first Canadian club to reach the MLS Cup final in 2016. TFC has competed in the CONCACAF Champions League four times, making it as far as the semifinals in 2012. The club is one of three MLS franchises in Canada, including Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is Canada's national museum of sport, dedicated to preserving and increasing Canadians' awareness of their sport heritage. Founded in 1955 through the efforts of Harry I. Price, a former assistant athletics commissioner of Ontario, it was originally located in Toronto but it moved to Calgary in 2011.
The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded annually to the player judged most valuable to his team in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The player is selected following the final game of the playoffs by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The trophy was first presented in 1964 in honour of Conn Smythe, former coach, manager and owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the only Maple Leaf to win the award was Dave Keon (1967). Two-time winners are Bobby Orr (1970 and 1972), Bernie Parent (1974 and 1975), Wayne Gretzky (1985 and 1988), Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992) and Sidney Crosby (2016, 2017) while Patrick Roy won the award three times (1986, 1993, 2001). Five players have won the trophy despite their team losing the Stanley Cup Final: Roger Crozier (1966), Glenn Hall (1968), Reggie Leach (1976), Ron Hextall (1987) and Jean-Sébastien Giguère (2003).
The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America. Donated by Governor General Lord Stanley in 1892 for presentation to the top hockey team in Canada, it was first awarded to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (1892–93). Since 1926, the Stanley Cup competition has been under the control of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team in Stanley Cup history, with 24 victories, followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise with 13. These two “Original Six” teams dominated the championship from the 1940s to the 1970s.
With our national game now a multi-billion-dollar professional sport, it is perhaps comforting to look back to simpler times when hockey was closer to community, and was played for love and glory by amateurs. In the early days of Stanley Cup competition, any Canadian team with some success at the senior level could challenge the current champs. In 1905 one of the strangest challenges came from Dawson City, Yukon.
The Art Ross Trophy is awarded annually to the player who leads the National Hockey League in scoring points during the regular season. If there is a tie at the end of the season, the trophy is awarded to the player with the most goals. The trophy was donated in 1948 by Arthur Howey Ross, general manager of the Boston Bruins. Several players have won the award multiple times, including Wayne Gretzky (10 times), Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux (6 times), Phil Esposito and Jaromir Jagr (5), Stan Mikita (4), and Bobby Hull and Guy Lafleur (3).
Special Olympics is a global sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. The impetus for the organization was research done by Canadian sports scientist Dr. Frank Hayden, who helped develop the first International Special Olympics Games in Chicago in 1968. The World Games are now held every two years and alternate between summer and winter events. The 2015 Summer Games were held in Los Angeles, California, and the 2017 Winter Games will be held in Austria. Canada began holding National Games in 1969, thanks to the efforts of broadcaster Harry “Red” Foster. Like the World Games, the National Games alternate between summer and winter events, with the 2014 Summer Games held in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the 2016 Winter Games held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. Special Olympics Canada has chapters in all provinces and territories, except Nunavut, and there are currently more than 40,000 children, youth and adults registered in Special Olympics programs across the country.
Kay MacBeth (née MacRitchie) was the last player to join the Edmonton Grads, a women’s basketball team James Naismith, inventor of the game, considered “the finest basketball team that ever stepped out on a floor.” At 95 years old, MacBeth is also the last surviving Grad, a club that played from 1915 to 1940. In those 25 years, the Grads accumulated a record that is quite possibly beyond parallel. Over the course of some 400 official outings, the Grads lost only 20 games. The Grads were both national and world champions who often defeated their opponents by lopsided scores. MacBeth played for the Grads in 1939–40. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For hundreds of years, very few sports were considered appropriate for women, whether for reasons of supposed physical frailty, or the alleged moral dangers of vigorous exercise. Increasingly, women have claimed their right to participate not only in what were deemed graceful and feminine sports, but also in the sweaty, rough-and-tumble games their brothers played.