It’s not hard to be athletic in Toronto, especially during the summer months. Between activities like indoor soccer, beach volleyball and seniors tai chi at various public parks, this city has you covered when it comes to recreational sports.
And that’s just the normal stuff…
If you’re not just looking for a winning experience but a unique one that you’ll never want to forget – or perhaps immediately want to forget – then Toronto is still the right city for you.
Going a little bit outside the batter’s box, here are some unconventional sports you can try out this year in Toronto…
We recently wrote an article about Archery Tag in Toronto and the response was insane. Turns out everyone does want the opportunity to injure their friends. The article has details on the rules and a few locations in the city, but in short, think dodgeball but with foam-tipped arrows. Right now the two hottest spots are in Mississauga and Scarborough.
Bubble Soccer/Bubble Sports
If you’ve ever enjoyed belly-blasting your friends in one of those sumo-suits and you fancy a good game of soccer – or as they call it in Europe, “European Soccer” – then you might just get a kick out of this. The folks at Toronto Bubble Factory can help you set up a venue and then bring along a bunch of bubbles as well as two game facilitators to referee and make sure nobody breaks out any sharp objects. For an idea of how this could go down once you get good, check out this YouTube video.
For all you uber-competitive cyclists out there who are getting bored and can’t afford a horse, listen up: Toronto Bike Polo is real and it wants you. Head over to Dufferin Grove Park with your bike and some knee pads, grab a mallet, and start whacking. They play Wednesday through Sunday, and from the looks of it, some of these people have legit moves. Check out this video for the rules and some game highlights.
Trampoline Dodgeball and Basketball Dunking
WHO DOESN’T WANT TO HAVE A TRAMPOLINE DUNK COMPETITION?? That’s right, nobody. Hit up Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Toronto, Mississauga or Vaughan and get yourself into a high-flying game of dodgeball or an old-fashioned, NBA-style dunk challenge. It’s the perfect event for a 10th or a 30th birthday party.
Sepak Takraw (aka: “Kick Volleyball”)
Originating in Malaysia, this sport is now being played all over Canada with plenty of resources available through The Sepak Takraw Association of Canada. The sport combines elements of soccer, football, volleyball, baseball, badminton, gymnastics and the ancient sport of Sepak Raga. In other words, imagine volleyball combined with The Avengers. Of course there are all kinds of skill levels, but just look at some of the clips from professional matches…unreal.
Unicycle Hockey & Basketball
Every week, the Toronto Unicyclists meet up for practice and play a few games of hockey and basketball… while looking like a Russian circus bear. And you can join them any time you want. According to the website, “After about 10 hours of practice you should be able to ride a few meters without any assistance,” so it’s not necessarily quick to pick it up, but once you do… OHHHH BOY! We can’t tell if it’s BYOU, so you might want to contact them before going. The only thing more embarrassing than being on a unicycle is forgetting one.
Underwater Hockey (aka: “Octopush”)
The Toronto Underwater Hockey Club plays out of the Trinity Bellwoods pool on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays and welcome any and all skill levels. Essentially, it’s hockey, but the puck is moved along the bottom of the pool using a small stick as you hold your breath in a speedo and snorkeling gear. The game is typically played 6-on-6 with four players available for substitution. Penalties include hitting people with your stick, “blocking” for teammates with the puck, and choking to death. Strong swimming skills are recommended for players, while a strong imagination is recommended for spectators.
Nope. Not joking. Granted, it has been since 2009 that Toronto has hosted the annual Canadian Wife Carrying Championships, but that doesn’t mean you can’t round up a few couples and combine athletics with some good old-fashioned chivalry… or if you’re being historically accurate, good old-fashioned Viking-Style Village Pillaging and Wife-Stealing. But even though we’re no longer hosting qualifying events in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you can’t practice here and make your own way to the World Championships in Finland. Here is some footage of the 2007 Canadian Championships.