Canada is known for several things — majestic landscape, friendly people, low crime rate, and the love of sports, most notably those related to winter. Yes, we mean ice hockey, curling, and many other sports that have helped Canada become a dominant force in world sports.
Hockey is by far the most popular sport among adolescents aged between 18 and 24 countrywide, with 21.8% of them claiming it’s their favourite pastime activity. In this article, we venture to see how hockey and other sports fare in each province and look for some unusual suspects.
Hockey remains the most popular sport in Alberta, judging by the poll conducted by Leger for the Association for Canadian Studies. The findings indicate that 44.7 per cent of Albertans follow hockey closely, which, in fact, makes Alberta the one province where hockey is the most popular out of all provinces. The home teams of the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames play in the Battle of Alberta, one of the province’s most heated rivalries.
Hockey is the primary sport in British Columbia as well, with 24.3% of participants in the survey by Leger of the Association for Canadian Studies putting it at number one. The Vancouver Canucks of the NHL, even though they are far from the most valuable NHL teams, still have great support from the local community. They play home games at Rogers Arena, one of the country’s most visited BC sports venues.
Manitoba is home to the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and AHL’s Manitoba Moose, making hockey the province’s go-to sport. In fact, 14.8% of participants in the poll are Winnipeg Jets fans, known to stick around and support the team, even though the Winnipeg Jets odds are not great, to say the least, judging by LegalBetCanada.
Still, their survey on how badly the Canadians want the local team to win the Stanley Cup shows that the fans are desperate for their Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, and others to win it all. Next up are football, soccer, and basketball.
During the last ten years, soccer has recorded a growth of over 500% in New Brunswick, surpassing hockey player’s registrations, making it the most played sport in the province.
Newfoundland and Labrador
According to Professor David Liverman of Memorial University, cricket was the most popular sport in Newfoundland and Labrador at the end of the 19th century. However, hockey took over after the First World War, and it remains the most popular sport in the province.
In Nova Scotia, there are two minor professional hockey teams, the Cape Breton Oilers in Sydney and the Halifax Citadels, which makes hockey the most popular sport.
Throughout Nunavut, hockey is a way of life, not just the most popular sport. Temperatures may drop to -25C, so both children and adults play hockey year-round,
In the sports-loving province of Ontario, hockey reigns supreme, with 24.3% of residents declaring it their most-watched sport. However, baseball also enjoys significant popularity, capturing the attention of 11.7% of the populace.
Among the younger demographic, those aged 18 to 24, hockey still leads the pack, with 21.8% favouring it. Yet, basketball is rapidly gaining ground, with 17.6% of young adults showing a strong preference for it.
Prince Edward Island
Hockey is king on Prince Edward Island, but baseball, football, and basketball are also followed and joined by many. Curling is also popular on the island.
About 37.9% of Quebecers say they follow hockey most closely, even though there’s no NHL team in the province.
Saskatchewan has more sports teams per capita than any other province in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. Even though most of these clubs play hockey, we also have soccer as a sport with a considerable rise in popularity, with two of the three matches of the SK Summer Soccer Series in Saskatoon drawing over 3,000 fans.
Hockey is also the number one sport in Yukon. Still, it’s dog sled racing, thanks to the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race, which is the longest non-motorized race on the planet and the only professional race in North America, also quite popular.
Exactly 1,705 Canadians participated in the online survey by Leger for the Association for Canadian Studies, giving us a proper insight into the popularity of different sports across different Canadian provinces.