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They are one of cricket’s emerging nations and we’ve seen Canada perform at World Cups in the past. The country also plays host to a significant franchise tournament known as the Global T20.
As they look to rise up the cricketing ladder, Canada are aiming to improve their playing facilities. They already have a number of stadiums in place for major games, so let’s take a look at their main grounds.
At present, Canada has two stadiums hosting international cricket. These are as follows:
Toronto Cricket Club
The Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Ground was the first to hold an official international ODI in the country. As you will have guessed, this is a multi-sport facility, but it was the most important cricket ground in the early days of the sport here.
Toronto Cricket Club had been playing in the area since 1827. They were later merged with the skating and curling clubs, and all three needed a permanent venue. The ground in Toronto was subsequently opened in 1930, and it has been their home ever since.
The ground received international cricket from the 1990s onwards, when it played host to several Sahara Cups. These were bilateral One Day Series played between India and Pakistan.
The first official international cricket match to be played here was an ODI between India and Pakistan in 1996. Those teams have played many fixtures on neutral ground and, up until 2023, they had faced each other 16 times in Toronto.
The first official ODI to feature Canada followed in 2006 when the men’s national team took on Kenya. At that point, the Toronto Cricket Club Ground was the only one in the country fit for hosting international games.
In the present day, the Toronto Cricket Club has a capacity that comes in at just under 5,000, and it’s still the main ground used by Canada for their ODI and T20i matches.
Maple Leaf North West Ground
Located in the King City district of Ontario, the Maple Leaf Cricket Club have been playing in this stadium since 1954. It is Canada’s second international venue, and the country still use just two grounds for ODIs and T20is.
There are, actually, five playing areas in this complex, but the North-West Ground is the biggest and the most important. For international games, it can host up to 7,000 spectators.
The North-West Ground at Maple Leaf Cricket Club first hosted an international game when Canada took on Bermuda in June 2008. Four months later, the stadium saw T20 international cricket arrive when Sri Lanka faced Zimbabwe in a quadrangular series.
While the Toronto Cricket Club hosts the majority of international cricket in Canada, the Maple Leaf ground remains an important venue. In 2018, it hosted all of the matches in the inaugural Global T20 tournament.
With a capacity of 7,000, the stadium has the ability to welcome many teams here. If Canada are to progress, and take on the bigger sides, they will somehow need to expand and increase capacity or construct a new stadium.
Cricket is played all over Canada, but there are some significant grounds that we need to mention. As yet, these have yet to host international cricket.
Rosedale cricket ground is one of the oldest in Canada. It was opened in 1887 and the first game to take place here was a match between Rosedale and West Toronto.
Throughout its history, Rosedale only held one official first class cricket game. In 1914, a combined team of Canadian and American players took on an Australian touring party. Located in Toronto, the ground has since fallen into disrepair, and the last official game of cricket of any kind took place in 1954.
Also located in Toronto, the ground at Sunnybrook Park has hosted first class and other important cricket matches in the past. In 2001, six games were played here as part of that year’s qualifying campaign for the 2003 World Cup.
The competition was played exclusively in Canada, and Sunnybrook Park shared hosting duties along with other stadiums, including the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Ground.
Three years later in 2004, the facility was used for an ICC Intercontinental Cup match between Canada and Bermuda. This was part of a scheme designed to get emerging countries playing first class cricket.
In the present day, Sunnybrook Park is rarely used for any major cricket games, but it remains an important part of Canada’s sporting past.
CAA Centre, Brampton
If you watched any of the Global T20 tournament as it returned in 2023, you would have seen the CAA Centre in use. In fact, it hosted all of the games in the competition, and is likely to feature heavily moving forward.
The cricket ground itself is part of a major sporting complex that also covers hockey and basketball. A capacity of 5,000 is in place for games and, as the sport continues to develop across Canada, that figure is adequate for now.
While that capacity is a healthy one, the CAA Centre has yet to host an international game at any level. That could change in the future, but the focus is very much on Toronto right now.
The CAA Centre may well continue to host those Global T20 games for the next couple of years, but there is genuine talk of an upgrade moving forward.
As cricket continues to gain momentum around the country, there may well be a need for a much bigger stadium inside Canada. The biggest cricket ground at the moment is the Maple Leaf which can accommodate up to 7,000 spectators. That’s fine for most of Canada’s matches, but if they want to attract bigger sides and major tournaments, that figure needs to increase.
There is talk of constructing a purpose-built cricket stadium in Brampton, Ontario, close to the site of the CAA Centre. A 112-acre parcel of land is available in the region, and the City of Brampton is working through an expression of interest procedure.
A report was commissioned in 2021, which indicated that a cricket stadium could be constructed here. The capacity of 5,000 would remain for regular matches, but the use of temporary seating meant that this could be expanded up to 20,000 for bigger games.
While it may be some years before such a development is ready to be used, there is a need for a new facility in Canada. Faraz Saleem, who is the President of the Brampton Cricket League has already said there is demand for use of the current CAA ground which cannot be accommodated.
A new stadium would help to grow the game, but it would also help to elevate Canada to a point where they can take on new challenges on the international stage.
Closing Thoughts About Cricket Stadiums in Canada
Cricket is now a global sport, but those countries who are still developing have to provide adequate playing facilities. In the case of Canada, they already have two impressive international stadiums, together with other grounds that could be upgraded in the future.
It’s debatable whether Canada could press on and become an official member of the ICC. That would see the country playing test matches, but it’s likely that they would need to use a much bigger facility.
That’s why the proposed development in Brampton is so exciting. Irrespective of whether Canada ever plays test cricket, a 20,000 seater facility would really grow the game in this country. It would allow the bigger teams such as Australia, India and England to play here on a regular basis, and we could even see Canada host a World Cup in the years to come.
Cricket is already in a healthy position in Canada, but things could get even better in the next ten years and beyond.