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Toronto Blue Jays

Get set for Summer: Cheer on the Hometown Team

BELOW ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR SPORTS FANS VISITING TORONTO THIS SUMMER

Bautista5

Cheer on José Bautista and the rest of the Blue Jays this summer at the Rogers Centre.

The Toronto Blue Jays are arguably the hottest sporting ticket in town, and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon early this year to root for 2015’s AL East champions. Don’t miss the star-studded lineup at the Rogers Centre, which includes José Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Marcus Stroman.

The city’s major league soccer team, the Toronto FC, and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, both call BMO Field home. Though the TFC have been playing here since 2007, this is the Argos’ inaugural season. Italian forward Sebastian Giovinco is the one to watch when the TFC play on the pitch; last year he won the MLS Golden Boot, making him the first TFC player to hold the honour. The Argos welcome back quarterback Ricky Ray, who sat out most of the 2015 season due to a torn labrum, while kicker Lirim Hajrullahu is new to the roster.

If you’re counting down the days to when the puck drops, then head to the Hockey Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to Canada’s game. The coveted Stanley Cup is here, as is a replica of the Montreal Canadiens dressing room. Interactive exhibits let you be part of the action, like a shoot-out against a computer-simulated version of Jonathan Bernier or calling the action on classic games in the TSN/RDS Broadcast Pods.

EAT Hockey fanatics won’t want to miss surrounding themselves with The Great One’s personal memorabilia at Wayne Gretzky’s The namesake restaurant of the former Edmonton Oilers player is a casual spot for burgers, pizza, poutine, and family favourites like Grandma Gretzky’s meatloaf.

 Can’t get tickets to the game but don’t want to miss any of the action? Real Sports Bar & Grill doesn’t disappoint with its 39-foot-long big screen and 199 additional televisions. Nachos, burgers, ribs and wings—choose from 10 different sauces including suicide and spicy jerk—can all be washed down with more than 126 beers on tap. Not to be outdone, Shark Club  at Yonge-Dundas Square boasts a 15-foot big screen, 57 TVs and a 90-foot sports ticker with menu offerings like the double-fisted burger.

Fans of European “footie”—soccer to us Canucks—needn’t miss a match at The Football Factory, where screens line the walls as well as in the booths if you prefer watch something else. Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub offers an upscale fan experience with classic Canadian pub fare alongside bistro offerings, while watching nationally-televised games. —Linda Luong Luck

Toronto’s Sports Teams Man Up for a Month of Big Games

ALL FIVE OF TORONTO’S MAJOR PROFESSIONAL SPORTS SQUADS ARE LINED UP FOR ACTION IN OCTOBER, AND HOPES ARE HIGH THAT THEY’LL EARN SOME IMPORTANT WINS

Toronto sports teams jose bautista michael bradley demar derozan vidal hazelton dion phaneuf

Jose Bautista, Michael Bradley, DeMar DeRozan, Vidal Hazelton and Dion Phaneuf are ready to defend home turf this fall

Whether or not they’re deserving of the attention, the Toronto Maple Leafs are inevitably the talk of this town as soon as the weather begins to cool. But there’s a decidedly different atmosphere surrounding the Blue and White’s upcoming season. Following years of subpar returns from highly paid players who never quite seemed to coalesce, the Leafs seem to have accepted their fate and entered rebuilding mode. Stalwarts like Dion Phaneuf and Joffrey Lupul anchor an otherwise unremarkable lineup; it’ll be reasonably competitive, but few fans are expecting the team to contend this season. Local puckheads instead have their sights set on the future: team president (and hall of fame player) Brendan Shanahan has brought on marquee hockey minds, including GM Lou Lamoriello and head coach Mike Babcock, to mold the squad in their image, a job facilitated by a preponderance of future draft picks, and, ideally, the continued development of young contributors such as Nazem Kadri, Morgan Reilly and James van Riemsdyk.

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Quick Pick: 5 Restaurants Near the Rogers Centre

PEANUTS, CRACKER JACKS AND HOT DOGS ARE A BALLPARK TRADITION, BUT THEY DON’T NECESSARILY ADD UP TO A SATISFYING MEAL. HERE ARE 5 RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS NEAR THE ROGERS CENTRE—GREAT FOR BEFORE OR AFTER YOU TAKE IN A TORONTO BLUE JAYS GAME.

Where to eat near Rogers Centre O&B Canteen

The O&B Canteen is just one of the many great restaurants near the Rogers Centre

• A few blocks directly north of the stadium you’ll find the popular O&B Canteen, which boasts a sizable patio and a menu of fresh-market fare—plus many grab-and-go items if you’re in a hurry. 330 King St. W., 647-288-4710; oliverbonacini.com

• The downtown location of Milagro features zesty Mexican cooking and a vibrant ambience to match. Celebrating a Jays win on a balmy afternoon? You can’t go wrong with tacos and a refreshing margarita or two. 5 Mercer St., 416-850-2855; milagrorestaurant.com

• Contemporary, upscale Indian food at 259 Host makes for a winning alternative to traditional game-day meal. 259 Wellington St., 416-599-4678; 259host.com

• Wander west from Rogers Centre through the veil of condo towers and you’ll find new gourmet Italian spot Citta, which, in addition to its dinner service, offers an intriguingly rustic brunch on Saturdays. 92 Fort York Blvd., 416-623-9662; cittatoronto.com

• Or, march south to the harbourfront’s Amsterdam Brewhouse and talk balls-and-strikes over a few beers on the huge lakeside patio. 245 Queens Quay W., 416-540-1020; amsterdambrewhouse.com

—Craig Moy

The Toronto Blue Jays’ Baseball Season Opens with Many New Faces

Toronto Blue Jays Baseball 2013 Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista is back and hoping to lead a bevy of new Toronto Blue Jays teammates to Major League Baseball glory this season (photo: Toronto Blue Jays)

STARTS APRIL 2  There’s a lot of excitement under the dome as the Toronto Blue Jays open what could be a stellar baseball season. Retooled over the winter, the team now boasts a pitching staff headlined by Cy Young Award-winning knuckleballer R.A. Dickey—acquired from the New York Mets—plus ex-Miami Marlins aces Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson. An already potent offence led by Jose Bautista has also added some punch with speedy Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and others. Can all these high-priced players be successfully molded into a dominant club? Head down to the ballpark to find out! Rogers Centre, $14.25 to $216.25; call 416-341-1234 or visit bluejays.com for a complete schedule and tickets.  —Macrina Smart

Toronto Blue Jays Winter Tour Comes to Edmonton!

Fans of Canada’s only Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, will have the opportunity to meet their favourite players at an exclusive stop in Edmonton during their 2012 winter tour – one of only 4 stops across Canada!

Drew Hutchison, JP Arencibia, GM John Gibbons, Anthony Gose, and Colby Rasmus at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton, January 12, 2013, during their final stop on the Blue Jays Winter Tour.

The Blue Jays Winter Tour is an annual event that re-launched in 2011 in order to bring the excitement of Major League Baseball to fans across Canada:

 “When we re-launched [the tour] we had a  vision of sharing our enthusiasm for baseball with all our fans across the country. The ability to reach out to communities outside of [Toronto] has signified our commitment as a representative for baseball for the entire nation. The reaction we have received from our fans on recent tours is an indication that the passion for baseball and the Blue Jays is alive and well and we look forward to each tour stop with much anticipation” – Blue Jays President, Paul Beeston 

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Staff Picks: 5 Fun Activities for Canada Day

photo by Michelle Lee

Sunday, July 1 marks our country’s 145th birthday. It’s easy to celebrate the nation’s diversity and heritage in Toronto, thanks to a number of excellent events and outdoor activities! (more…)

Take Us Out to the Ballgame—Toronto, Ontario

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Why we chose it: Major League Baseball season swung into action this month and Canada’s sole MLB team, the Toronto Blue Jays, had their home opener this week. While we hope the Jays attract more fans than in this photo, we love the composition here and unique view of the Rogers Centre stadium seating from above. (more…)

Where in Toronto: Ghosts of Seasons Past

Jose Bautista leads the Jays into a hopeful new season (photo courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays)

Ever since Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista graced the cover of Where Toronto’s April issue, it seems as though I’ve been seeing the team everywhere. No—I wish I’d been running into the likes of Adam Lind and Ricky Romero around town; I mean that I’ve started noticing Jays hats, sweatshirts, merchandise in the windows of every sporting-goods store, and, of course, even an entire section dedicated to the Jays in Sears at the Eaton Centre. It might be that I’m just beginning to take notice of our hometown team, or maybe it’s just Toronto getting into the spring swing of things. (more…)

The Blue Jays’ New Insignia, and a Look Back at Logos Since 1977

The 2012 Jays are sporting a new logo that evokes past glories while adding a bit of slick modernity. The latest in a series of visual revamps, its classic appeal could make it a keeper. Check out our slideshow for a closer look at the team’s insignias since 1977. (more…)

Fielding a Winner: the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012

Jose Bautista (photo courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays)

Ah, spring! The time of year when Torontonians find any excuse to dust off their patio furniture and their hopes for our beloved Major League Baseball team. At Where we’ve been dutifully doing the latter for the past few years—sure, the Toronto Blue Jays may be in the midst of a rebuilding process, but sometimes it seems as though the squad is just one more top player and a bit of luck short of squeaking into the playoffs. (more…)

Where in Toronto: Springin’ Forward

Spend a sunny spring day exploring the Evergreen Brick Works (photo by Craig Moy)

This week, seemingly just as I had become comfortable using it, I left the sheltered PATH system in favour of my original ground-level route between Union Station and Where‘s offices on Queen Street. I traded my Ugg boots for flats, switched my winter coat for a light spring jacket and strutted up Yonge Street. With the sun in my face and the snow gone (or rather, averted), it seemed as though hibernation season had ended. Thermometers have already donned double-digit temperatures, after all—the sort of warmth we don’t typically feel until April; It’s only mid-March, but the timing is perfect to get a head start on spring.

What’s the first thing to do under these conditions?
Get out. Out of the house, the office, wherever. Just
get outside. We don’t get much time to spend outdoors, comfortably at least, so it’s best to take advantage of the few months we do get. And Toronto has a plethora of ways that city dwellers can enjoy
the pleasant weather. (more…)