People in Toronto love to play sports, and as a result there is a wide selection of sports facilities spread out all across the city.
Indoor athletics are particularly popular since they can be played year-round, even in the snowy depths of winter. Some of the most popular indoor recreational sports include soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, tennis, squash, and even dodgeball.
There are several large sporting complexes in the city that offer space for a wide variety of sports and activities. Some of these facilities feature artificial turf that mimics grass surfaces, allowing for sports like soccer and football to continue all year.
One such location is the Hangar Indoor Recreational Facility, located in the north end of the city at Downsview Park. This 45,000 square-meter multi-purpose facility was formerly an aircraft hangar for the Havilland Aircraft Company, and now offers indoor fields, indoor beach volleyball courts and an indoor ball hockey arena. Find out more about this facility
Just east of the Don Valley Parkway, the Toronto City Sports Centre features an air-supported dome structure which houses a state-of-the-art artificial turf playing field.
It is used primarily for soccer, although it also hosts indoor baseball, flag football, and even has an indoor driving range. Soccerworld is another indoor turf facility with two fields used mainly for soccer, and is located within the waterfront Polson Pier complex.
Many of the city's schools serve a secondary purpose off-hours as the location for many indoor sports leagues. Basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, dodgeball and soccer are all popular recreation activities that are regularly played in the gyms and auditoriums of Toronto elementary and secondary schools.
Most of these activities are organized by one of the numerous recreational sports leagues in the city. Depending on the game, these schools provide a cheap and easy venue for indoor sports.
The leagues themselves provide the opportunity for anyone to play sports, even if they don't have their own team.
Of course, this being Canada it would be negligent to forget the city's many indoor ice rink facilities. Hockey is arguably the most popular sport in Toronto, and certainly one of the largest in terms of participants.
The city operates over 40 arenas in the Greater Toronto Area, and that number does not even including the numerous outdoor rinks. The primary sport played in these arenas is obviously ice hockey, but depending on the time of year they are also used for soccer, lacrosse and ball hockey.
In addition to the city-run arenas, there are a number of private ice surfaces. Some of the bigger rink complexes include Chesswood Arenas, located just north of Highway 401 not far from Downsview Park; Westwood Arenas, located in Etobicoke; and De la Salle Arena, near St. Clair West and Avenue Road.
Both public and private rinks tend to be used primarily for organized hockey leagues, and secondly for figure skating. The city-run rinks tend to offer more opportunities for other ice sports and public free-skating sessions.
Racquet sports are also popular in Toronto - tennis, squash, racquetball and badminton. There are both privately-run and municipally-run indoor facilities scattered across the city, including outdoor tennis courts that can be converted for the winter with domes.
As is also the case with ice rinks, demand is high for racquet sports in the city, so privately-run clubs will usually require a membership to play.
Meanwhile, for those looking for a little structure the city runs a series of courses and lessons which are designed for all skill levels.
On a sweltering day, there is nothing better than going for a swim to cool off. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that the weather needs to be hot in order to enjoy a pool.
There are 70 municipal pools in Toronto that are open to the public year-round. They come in varying shapes and sizes, and offer a range of instructional programs.
Games like water polo are also popular, and there are even organized leagues. There are further privately-run pool facilities, including The Wave Pool
in Richmond Hill
, which features simulated waves and waterslides. You can find out more at www.wave.sites.toronto.com
When it comes down to it, Toronto has a huge selection of indoor sports facilities. Beyond the ones previously mentioned, there are also specialized rock climbing gyms, indoor driving ranges and golf simulators, bowling alleys (arguably a sport), and bars where you can play billiards and darts (maybe a more difficult argument). If you can think of it, Toronto probably has it.
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