History of Canadian sports
The History of Canadian sports falls into five stages of development: early recreational activities before 1840; the start of organized competition, 1840-1880; the emergence of national organizations, 1882-1914; the rapid growth of both amateur and professional sports, 1914 to 1960; and developments of the last half-century. Some sports, especially hockey, lacrosse and curling enjoy an international reputation as particularly Canadian.
Canadian sports attract large numbers of participants and huge audiences; hockey, played by 1.4 million Canadians, has become part of the national identity. Team sports often involved informal gambling. More formal bigger-stakes wagering and prize competitions were characteristic especially of horse racing and boxing. In the 21st century the major team sports are hockey, baseball, softball, football, and basketball. Women, once shunted aside, are now actively competing in most of these sports; the nation celebrated the medal performance of its Olympic athletes. As in many modern nations the challenges faced by sports in recent decades include violence, racism, illegal drug therapies, ridicule of women, the increasingly disproportionate salaries of professional athletes, and the soaring cost of the newest model stadiums . Such problems stand in contrast to the fundamental values of sports including personal health, teamwork, striving for responsibility, loyalty, equality, winning, pleasure, and freedom.
Individual sports have long been important, including skating, skiing, golf, paddling, swimming, and track and field; in recent years there has been a surge of interest in more "extreme" sports such as snowboarding, rollerblading and mountain climbing, not to mention personal athletic training.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Sports fans
- 3 Organizational infrastructure
- 4 Hockey
- 5 Football, rugby and soccer
- 6 Other sports
- 7 Women
- 8 Olympics and Commonwealth Games
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
Immigrants brought along their favourite sports, often adapting them to the snowy environment. The influence of the games of the First Nations can be seen especially in the evolution of lacrosse. British officers, soldiers, and royal officials, and indeed ordinary British immigrants as well, transplanted such games as football, rugby, curling, and cricket; sailors brought rowing competitions. Britons considered these sports to be conducive to relieving boredom on remote outposts, and more generally produced team spirit, good health, hardiness, and manliness; they were a sophisticated alternative to "blood sports", such as cock-fighting, bull fighting or bear baiting.
Paraschak, identifies two approaches to the history of Native American sports. On the one hand, there is the history of First Nation athletes playing within the Euro-American mainstream culture. Important topics include the issues of racism, exploitation, and ethnocentric distortion. Secondly there is the history of the sports played among the natives, especially the history of lacrosse as well as other games. The different tribes played (and wagered bets on) toboggan, snowshoe, and canoe races as well as archery, wrestling, spear throwing and running events. They provided entertainment for the community and a way to sharpen essential survival skills, including the ability to endure pain and hardship.
First organized sports
The roots of organized sports in Canada date back to the 1770s, often originating in horse racing at British military garrisons, curling in Scottish settlements, and lacrosse among the Indians. perhaps the first athletic celebrities were the Canadian scullers who won several international championships.
Cultural influences of sports
French Canadians by 1700 were influenced by native culture to the degree that they began to measure themselves and their masculinity against their native counterparts by competing against them in such activities as canoeing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing and in the team sport of lacrosse. In building on this mix of French and native traditions, the French Canadiens expressed not only their masculinity and identity through sports, but also builds a sense of national identity that contrasted sharply with the Anglo spirit sports for bourgeois gentlemen during the Victorian era.
Much of Canadian historiography on sports education deals with the linkage between sports education and the construction of a national identity. Hudon (2005) examines the history of sports education from 1870 to 1940 in Quebec's classic schools for boys from ages 11 to 18. He finds an impact of religious pedagogy on sports education, arguing that it promoted a Catholic spirituality with masculine undertones.
In Anglophone Canada a strong influence came from the ideals of English author and reformer Thomas Hughes, especially as exemplified in Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857). Hughes's notions that sportsmanship exemplified moral education and provided training for citizenship, have had a powerful influence on the Canadian sport community. Despite commercialism and the celebration of high-performance athletes, the Hughesian principles of Christian socialism continues to influence sports programs for youth. Outside of sports the social and moral agendas behind muscular Christianity influenced numerous reform movements, thus linking it to the political left in Canada, contrary to its right-wing reputation in other parts of the world.
Canadians in the 19th century came to believe themselves possessed of a unique "northern character," due to the long, harsh winters that only those of hardy body and mind could survive. This hardiness was claimed as a Canadian trait, and such sports as ice hockey and snowshoeing that reflected this were asserted as characteristically Canadian. Outside the arena Canadians express the national characteristics of being peaceful, orderly and polite. Inside they scream their lungs out at ice hockey games, cheering the speed, ferocity, and violence, making hockey an ambiguous symbol of Canada.
The advantage of the larger cities was the potential availability of a large paying crowd; the problem was providing cheap transportation for people not living close by. The solution was to use steamers, and later railways and trams to run special schedules to bring fans to an outlying event. As early as the 1830s steamers were making special trips to horseracing events to horse races. By the 1860s there were special trains or steamers to take fans to rowing contests, track and field events, bicycle races, and other contests.
Baseball emerged in the 1870s, as a nonviolent, rules-oriented game that appealed to middle-class reformers seeking antidotes to crime, rowdiness and social disorder. However, when professional baseball emerged in the 1880s, unruly behavior by players and fans contradicted the reformers ideal of a gentleman's game played before a well-behaved audience. Gambling became a major feature, as did the rise of working-class players and rowdy working-class fans. The only solution the reformers found was to separate gentleman elite amateur baseball from the professional version that was getting out of control.
Although many small cities and towns had their own local teams, the residents paid special attention to the celebrity players on the great big-city teams. Advancing technology of the telegraph, the radio, and television allowed real time reporting of major games, often to public gatherings or restaurants or bars. Further details were sure to appear the next newspaper, keeping up local interest, and wagering, on a daily basis. Vicarious participation as the fan of a particular team enhanced a sense of belonging to the Canadian nation and its rapidly developing popular culture.
In recent decades professional sports has involved large scale funding for stadiums. The intense interest shown by the fan base in their community's teams encourages the political leadership to invest heavily in public subsidies for new arenas. There is a "honeymoon" effect producing a surge in attendance in the first few years of the new arena. In the 1972-2003 era, the honeymoon effect for major new arenas in hockey, baseball, and basketball is an increase in attendance of 15-20% in the first few years. The honeymoon ends after 5 to 8 years.
As the popular daily press emerged in all Canadian cities in the late 19th century, they broadened their audience appeal by detailed coverage of local provincial and national sporting events. Readers developed a sense of community pride, while also involving fans in the national and international "world of sport." The telegraph provided near-real-time coverage of events. Despite the vast distances separating them from other Canadians, local fans discovered that they were part of a common national audience as they followed the successes and disappointments of Canadian and American hockey and baseball teams, as well as such sports as rowing and boxing.
In the early 20th century the major sports set up volunteer national organizations to take jurisdiction ; by 1914 there were 20 governing bodies. By 1919 the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada (AAU) provided over all leadership by 1919, provided international recognition. The AAU promoted participation in the Olympics. All the governing bodies saw sport as a suitable training ground or productive citizenship, allegiance to the social order, and English Canadian nationalism. They they fought against professionalism through a "Canadian Parliament of Sport". However, in the 1930s the amateur leaders split bitterly over the issue of a liberalized amateur code, as the ice hockey, basketball and lacrosse walked out of the AAU. By 1939, the jurisdiction of the AAU was reduced to track and field and the other individual Olympic sports. The Canadian Olympic Association broke away in 1948.
From 1909 until 1967, the Canadian Track and Field Association (C.T.F.A.) controlled track and field sports. It operated under the umbrella of the A.A.U. of C. (Amateur Athletic Union of Canada). In 1968, the C.T.F.A broke loose from the A.A.U. of C. The A.A.U. of C. dissolved in the early 1970s as all national the federations in the different sports went their own ways. In 1991 the C.T.F.A. changed its name to Athletics Canada.
Informal stick-and-ball games on ice had been played for years, especially in the Maritimes and at military garrisons. In its modern form hockey was standardized by students at McGill University in 1875. The game rapidly spread nationwide; recognition came in 1893 when Lord Stanley, Canada's governor general, established the Stanley Cup. Ice hockey was distinctly Canadian; it was a winter sport with vague rules, played on conveniently available outside ice. There were few spectators. Professional teams appeared around 1900; in 1904, five cities in the United States and Ontario formed the International Hockey League (IHL). The American-based league paid salaries that attracted many Canadian stars. Canadian amateur teams were forced to secretly pay their players, even as they proclaimed the principles of amateurism. The IHL collapsed in 1907. in 1908 came the first Canadian-based professional league, the Ontario Professional Hockey League.
Canadians explored polar extremes of masculinity by a watching the Ottawa Silver Seven battle the Montreal Wanderers in 1907. Reporters depicted the game as a combination of "strenuous spectacle" and "brutal butchery." Middle-class ideals of gentlemanly masculinity and genteel sportsmanship stood opposed to a rough, working-class expression of violent masculinity. They both coexisted within the fast, skilled, rugged, hard-hitting hockey, thereby appealing to the largest possible audience.
With fans having less discretionary spending during the Great Depression, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association faced financial uncertainty. Its response was to reevaluate its purist position on amateurism and to rethink its relation to the system of amateur sports, which was headed by the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. The weak performance of the Canadian hockey team at the 1936 Olympics led to substantial changes in policies and procedures.
The Winnipeg Falcons, composed of Icelandic Canadians, was excluded from Winnipeg's senior hockey league for the 1919-20 season. Nevertheless the team became Canadian national champions and won the 1920 Olympic gold medal in Antwerp. Combined with their willingness to volunteer for military service in the Great War, its success made the team a symbol of Canadian manhood, transcending the ethnic stereotyping and discrimination that affected some other sports teams during postwar era.
Maurice "Rocket" Richard (1921–2000) became one of Canada's iconic heroes, especially in Quebec. Playing for the Montreal Canadiens (1942–60) he scored 544 regular season goals and 82 more in playoffs. Famed for his dashing style of play, his intensity, determination, and scoring prowess, Richard became the first 50-goal scorer in NHL history in 1944-45, with a 50-game schedule. He was named to the All Star team 14 times, won two Hart trophies as league MVP, and led the Canadiens to eight Stanley Cups.
In September 1972, Canada's best hockey players from the National Hockey League (NHL) played the elite amateurs from the Soviet Union in a friendly series. Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau and his Soviet counterpart, Aleksei Kosygin in 1971 proposed increasing the hockey competitions between the two northern nations. National hockey officials Planned series of eight games, four to be played across Canada and four in Moscow. Canadians saw the Summit Series as an affirmation of their global supremacy in hockey. However, the Soviets planned and upset that would impress and the world let them claim the Canadian game as their own. The publicity was enormous. The media portrayed a global contests pitting East against West - communism against capitalism - and many of the players were swept away with the sense of history in the making. The Summit series became a politically charged event with widespread cultural repercussions - quite literally, a Cold War. The Canadians fell 2 games behind but swept the final three games in Moscow to win the series four games to three, with one tie.
Control by the National Hockey League
The National Hockey League (NHL) was formed in 1917 to make the sport profitable. NHL owners paid coaches, players and publicists so they could work full-time, and the NHL quickly became the premier professional league. By 1940 it had strong bases in Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York, Chicago, and Detroit—the "original six". After 1923 it became a cartel that controlled all aspects of professional hockey. Other professional leagues one by one collapsed. The NHL exerted its control by expansion into the U.S., the establishment of a minor league system, and affiliation with the major governing body in Canadian amateur hockey, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). The alliances made with the minor leagues and the CAHA, in particular, gave the NHL's market control over players such as the waivers, reserve clause, draft, and territorial right much broader impact. Before 1919, few safety rules existed in amateur hockey. By 1945, however, there were rules against boarding and hits from behind, and fighting was penalized more severely. Since 1945, rules have become highly complex in order to minimize dangerous play.
Football, rugby and soccer
The game of kicking the ball goes back centuries in England, where around 1823 was transformed into rugby. The first game in Canada came in the 1860s with British officers playing university students in Montreal. Universities quickly adopted the new sport, as did rowing clubs that found it useful in the off-season. The Americans were developing a similar game, so in 1874 McGill played two games with Harvard, alternating the rules. The series was played out for several years, but Canada increasingly adopted the American rules and so the two versions of football were very similar. In 1898 the Canadian rules were formalized; they differed from the American rules chiefly in the size of the field and in three- rather than four-down play.
Governor General Earl Grey donated a championship trophy in 1907 to the best amateur team; the Grey Cup went to the professional champions in 1954. Major innovations, such as the forward pass, came in the 1920s and 1930s as American athletes and coaches arrived. In 1936, fearful of the drift towards Americanization, the Canadian Rugby Union placed a limit on the number of foreigners; import quotas remain in effect in the 21st century. After 1945 football flourished at the intercollegiate and professional levels. The Canadian Football League (CFL) distributed franchises across the country, and crowds flocked to the games. The Grey Cup championship game, first telecast in 1952, attracts one of the largest TV audiences, over 4 million. The CFL added five American teams in 1993; this proved a costly blunder, as four teams folded and the fifth moved to Montreal. After surviving the closing of the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1996 and bankruptcies by the Toronto and Hamilton teams in 2003, football has recovered and is in fair health in the 21st century.
Soccer in Canada has grown in popularity in recent decades, especially as a school sport for boys and girls. It has more players than ice hockey. At the professional level, the Toronto FC in 2007 became the first Canadian club in the American Major League Soccer (MLS). In 2009, another MLS franchise was awarded to Vancouver, and began play in the 2011 season. In 2010, an MLS franchise was awarded to Montreal for the 2012 season. Both the Vancouver and Montreal clubs had their roots in lower-tier professional soccer leagues.
Lacrosse was invented in the 1850s, when the Anglophone middle class of Montreal adopted the Indian game of "baggataway", which was a violent game played by the First Nation teams numbering hundreds of players. The 1860s saw the first powerhouse team, the Montreal Shamrocks; it was Irish, Catholic, and aggressive. During the 1870s and 1880s the Shamrocks had bloody confrontations with the upscale Protestant Montreal and Toronto Lacrosse Clubs. Field lacrosse spread across the country with the tide of Anglophone settlers from Ontario and Quebec. By the early 1890s it was the most popular summer game in Canada. The golden age came in the 1900s, as two professional leagues operated. Escalating violence led to the collapse of the professional leagues in 1914, and the game's base of support shrank to Montreal, Victoria, Vancouver, New Westminster, and small-towns in Ontario. The organizational infrastructure proved too weak—for example, it was never adopted by schools or churches.
In 1931, promoters introduced "box lacrosse" to broaden the fan base to include a summer audience. Played in a smaller space, box lacrosse could be held indoors or in baseball stadiums. The game was especially violent. The poverty of the Great Depression reduced the number of fans who could afford to attend and cities that could find sponsors. The promoters, while failing to make a profit, changed the landscape of Canadian amateur lacrosse, isolating it from the more widely contested field lacrosse played in the United States, Britain, and Australia. In 1987 the National Lacrosse League began; it opened clubs in twelve cities in the United States and Canada.
Field lacrosse was revived in the late 1990s when some Ontario universities included it in their women's athletic programs; university women now play the game once associated with Canadian masculinity.
James Naismith, a Canadian who emigrated to the U.S., invented basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts in the 1890s. It rapidly became popular as an indoor winter sport that needed a minimum of equipment, gaining popularity at upscale high schools and colleges in both the U.S. and Canada. In 1946, early in the era of professional basketball, the owners of the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team started a franchise in the newly formed Basketball Association of America. Seven thousand spectators watched the first game of the Toronto Huskies, but they lost and attendance fell off as newsmen called it a freak show. The Huskies ended in last place, and folded. It had suffered inconsistent management decisions and the temper tantrums of its coach. The Huskies could not compete with Toronto's successful teams and sporting heroes in hockey, baseball, football, rugby, and wrestling.
Curling, a sport that earned Olympic status in 1998, arrived with Scottish soldiers in the 1750s. the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in Scotland standardized the rules in the 1830s. It involves sliding a 42-pound teapot-shaped granite curling stone by its handle toward a goal painted on the ice, with players using brooms to alter its course. The sweeping removes debris, and warms the surface, creating a hydroplane-like effect. By 1903 Winnipeg had become the world's curling capital of an intensely competitive winter sport played throughout Canada.
Cricket never caught on, despite efforts by an imperial-minded elite to promote the game as a way of identifying with the British Empire. Canada, unlike Australia and the West Indies, witnessed a continual decline in the popularity of the game during 1860-1960. Linked to upper class Canadian elites, the game never became popular with the general public. It had to compete with baseball, and was handicapped by the short summer season. During the First World War, Canadian units stationed in Britain played baseball, not cricket.
Ultimate and Disc Sports (Frisbee)
In Canada, organized disc sports began in the early 1970s, with promotional efforts from Irwin Toy, a few tournaments and professionals using Frisbee show tours to perform at universities, fairs and sporting events. Disc sports such as freestyle, double disc court, guts, disc ultimate and disc golf became this sports first events. Two sports, the team sport of disc ultimate and disc golf are very popular worldwide and are now being played semi professionally. The World Flying Disc Federation, Professional Disc Golf Association, Freestyle Players Association are the official rules and sanctioning organizations for flying disc sports worldwide.
Ultimate is a team sport played with a flying disc. The object of the game is to score points by passing the disc to members of your own team, on a rectangular field,120 yards (110m) by 40 yards (37m), until you have successfully completed a pass to a team member in the opposing teams end zone. In the 1970s, Ken Westerfield introduced disc ultimate North of the 49th parallel at the Candian Open Frisbee Championships (1972-1985) and by creating the Toronto Ultimate League (Club). As of 2012, Canada is currently ranked number one in the Ultimate World Rankings according to the World Flying Disc Federation.
In 2013, as a founding partner, the Toronto Ultimate Club presented Canada's first professional ultimate team, the Toronto Rush.  to the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). In their first season they went undefeated 18-0 and won the AUDL championships. The American Ultimate Disc League and Major League Ultimate (MLU) are the first semi professional ultimate leagues.
Sports are high priority in Canadian culture, but women were long relegated to second-class status. There were regional differences as well, with the eastern provinces emphasizing a more feminine "girls rule" game of basketball, while the Western provinces preferred identical rules. Girls’ and women’s sport has traditionally been slowed down by a series of factors: girls and women historically have low levels of interest and participation; there were very few women in leadership positions in academic administration, student affairs or athletics; there were few women coaches; the media strongly emphasized men's sports as a demonstration of masculinity, suggesting that women seriously interested in sports were crossing gender lines; the male sports establishment was actively hostile. Staunch feminists dismissed sports as unworthy of they are support. Women's of progress was uphill; they first had to counter the widespread notion that women's bodies were so restricted and delicate that vigorous physical activity was dangerous. These notions where first challenged by the "new woman" around 1900. These women started with bicycling; they rode into new gender spaces in education, work, and suffrage.
The 1920s marked a breakthrough for women, including working-class young women in addition to the pioneering middle class sportswomen. The Women's Amateur Federation of Canada (WAAF) was formed in 1926 to make possible new opportunities, particularly in international competition. The WAAF worked to rebut the stereotype that vigorous physical activity and intense competition was "unwomanly". One tactic was to set up a system of medical supervision for all women athletes. The WAAF forged an alliance with supportive men who dominated the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada; this allowed women to compete in the Olympics and the British Empire Games.
Many barriers fell in the 1920s: the Edmonton Grads became the world champions of women's basketball; the first Canadian women participated in the Olympics; and women sportswriters such as Phyllis Griffiths were hired to cover their feats on the sports pages.
The 1930s brought setbacks, as critics recommended non-competitive athletic activities as the recreation most suited to women. During the 1930s, a team of women from the small town of Preston, Ontario, overcame the difficulty of obtaining adequate ice time for practice, and the challenge of raising adequate funds from their small fan base. The Rivulettes dominated women's ice hockey, winning ten provincial championships and four of the six Dominion championships. With money short during the Great Depression; after 1939 the hyper-masculinity of the Second World War blocked women's opportunities. Women's hockey largely disappeared during the Second World War.After the war, the back-to-the-family conservatism Women's sports in the shadows. The feminists of the 1970s rarely helped promote women's breakthroughs in sports. Nevertheless, more and more women engaged in aerobics and organized sport. Figure skater Barbara Ann Scott was the outstanding female athlete of the 1940s, as the 1948 Olympic champion, a two-time World champion (1947–1948), and a four-time Canadian national champion (1944–46, 48) in ladies' singles. She was very heavily covered by the media. However, it focused less on her sportsmanship and athletic achievements and more on her beauty and her "sweetheart" image.
Change for women in sport began slowly, but then accelerated after 1980. The Fitness and Amateur Sport Act of 1961 (Bill C-131) and the report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in 1970 marked major advances. Perhaps the most critical development came in 1974, when Marion Lay and the federal government’s Fitness and Amateur Sport Branch (FASB) sponsored a National Conference on Women and Sport. it brought together coaches, academic administrators, and athletes to talk over the issues raised by the Royal Commission, and to chart a way forward. Even so there was no way to monitor the process and implement the recommendations. The 1980s accelerated the movement forward. The Sport Canada’s Women’s Program in 1980; the Female Athlete Conference in 1981; the Women in Sport program in 1981; and the Constitution Act of 1982. In 1981 Abby Hoffman, a former Olympian, wwas named director general of Sport Canada. Its "Policy on Women's Sport" called for equality. The AAU of Canada now became more supportive. Court cases nail down the women's right to participate. In the provinces, human rights commissions addressed dozens of sport-related equity cases for women. Gender barriers in sports became a political topic, as shown by the Minister’s Task Force Report in 1992 and the landmark decision of the Canadian Sport Council to include gender equity quotas in their operating principles. By the 1990s women proved eager to enter formerly all-mail sports such as ice hockey, rugby, and wresting. Their activism and their prowess on the playing field eroded old stereotypes and opened up new social roles for the woman athlete on campus and in her community. New problems emerged for sportswomen trying to achieve equal status with sportsmen: raising money, attracting popular audiences, and winning sponsors.
Harrigan, (2003) reviews the emergence of women's athletics in higher education during 1961-2001. The establishment of the National Fitness and Amateur Sport Advisory Council helped women's intercollegiate sports to gain momentum. simultaneously there was a rise in the proportion of women in the student bodies, which enhanced the visibility of their sports. To overcome institutional inertia, women concentrated on organizing their sports and raising the consciousness of both male and female students. In 1969, the Canadian Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Union was formed to oversee events and sanction national championships; it merged with the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union in 1978. Women increasingly became more active after 1980.
Olympics and Commonwealth Games
Canadians have participated in the Olympics since 1900. The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the "Games of the XXI Olympiad," held in Montréal, was the first Olympics in Canada. The entire province of Quebec prepared for the games and associated activities, generating a resurgence of interest in amateur athletics across the province. The spirit of Québec nationalism helped motivate the organizers; however, the city went $1 billion into debt. The Games helped introduce Quebec (and Canada) to the rest of the world. Nadia Comaneci's outstanding performances in gymnastics helped popularize the sport in Canada.
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games, was held from February 12 to February 28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, and nearby venues.
Canada hosted the first ever British Empire Games in 1930 in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta, and the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia. Halifax, Nova Scotia had been nominated to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games before it withdrew its bid due to unacceptably high cost projections.
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- Don Morrow, "Sweetheart Sport: Barbara Ann Scott and the Post World War II Image of the Female Athlete in Canada," Canadian Journal of History of Sport (1987) 18#1 pp 36-54
- M. Ann Hall, The Girl and the Game: A History of Women's Sport in Canada. (2002)
- Patrick J. Harrigan, "Women's Agency and the Development of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics, 1961-2001." Historical Studies in Education (2003) 15#1 37-76
- Patrick Allen, "Les Jeux Olympiques: Icebergs ou Rampes de Lancements?," [The Olympic Games: Icebergs or launching pads?] Action Nationale (1976) 65#5 pp 271-323
- Paul Charles Howell, The Montreal Olympics: An Insider's View of Organizing a Self-financing Games (Montréal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2009)
- Pierre Cayouette, "Montreal 1976" Beaver (2009) 89#6 pp 42-44.
- David Whitson, "Bringing the world to Canada: 'the periphery of the centre,'" Third World Quarterly (2004) 25#7 pp 1215-1232.
- Bouchier, Nancy For the love of the game: Amateur sport in small-town Ontario, 1838-1895. (2003)
- Brown, D., 'The Northern Character Theme and Sport in Nineteenth Century Canada', Canadian Journal Of History Of Sport, 1989, 20(1), 47-56.
- Coakley, Jay and Peter Donnelly, Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies, (2003), 576pp
- Harvey, Jean and H. Cantelon, eds. Not Just A Game: Essays in Canadian Sport Sociology, (1988)
- Howell, Colin D. Blood, Sweat, and Cheers: Sport and the Making of Modern Canada. (2001).
- Kidd, Bruce. The Struggle For Canadian Sport. (1996).
- Macintosh, D. and D. Whitson. The Game Planners: Transforming Canada's Sport System. (1990). excerpts and text search
- Macintosh, Donald. Sport and politics in Canada: Federal government involvement since 1961 (2003) excerpts and text search
- Metcalfe, Alan. Canada Learns To Play: The Emergence of Organized Sport, 1807-1914. (1987).
- Metcalfe, Alan, 'The Meaning of Amateurism: A Case Study of Canadian Sport,1884-1970', Journal Of History Of Sport, 1995, 26(2): 33-48.
- Morrow, Don, and Kevin Wamsley. Sport in Canada: A History. (2005). 318 pp. ISBN 978-0-19- 541996-2. online review
- Morrow, Don, 'The Myth of the Hero in Canadian Sport History', Canadian Journal of History of Sport, 1992, 2:72-83.
- Robidoux, Michael A. "Imagining a Canadian Identity through Sport: A Historical Interpretation of Lacrosse and Hockey" The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 115, No. 456, Special Issue: Folklore in Canada (Spring, 2002), pp. 209–225 in JSTOR
- Schrodt, Barbara, 'Problems of Periodization in Canadian Sport History', Canadian Journal of History of Sport, 1990, 21(1): 65-76.
- Smith, Michael, 'Sport and Society: Towards a Synthetic History', Acadiensis, 1989, 18(2): 150-158.
Race, ethnicity and gender
- Ballem, Charles, "Missing From The Canadian Sport Scene: Native Athletes," Canadian Journal of History of Sport, 1983, 14(2): 33-39.
- Burstyn, V. The Rites of Men: Manhood, Politics, and The Culture of Sport. (1999).
- Dauphinais, Paul R., 'A Class Act: French-Canadians In Organized Sport, 1840-1910', International Journal of The History Of Sport, 1992 7(3): 432-442.
- Dallaire, Christine, 'Sport's Impact On The Francophoneness of the Alberta Francophone Games', Ethnologies, 2003, 25(2): 33-58.
- Donnelly, Peter and Jean Harvey, 'Class and Gender: Intersections in Sport and Physical Activity' in Philip White and Kevin Young (eds), Sport and Gender in Canada, (1999), pp. 40–64.
- Gillespie, Greg, 'Sport and "Masculinities" In Early-Nineteenth-Century Ontario: The British Travellers' Image." Ontario History, 2002, 92(2), 113-26.
- Hall, M. Ann, 'Rarely Have We Asked Why: Reflections on Canadian Women's Experience in Sport', Atlantis, 1980, 6(1): 51-60.
- Hall, M. Ann. The Girl and the Game: A History of Women's Sport in Canada. (2002).
- Lathrop, Anna H, 'Contested Terrain: Gender and "Movement" In Ontario Elementary Physical Education, 1940-70', Ontario History, 2002, 94(2): 165-182.
- Lenskyj, Helen, 'Whose Sport? Whose Traditions? Canadian Women and Sport in the Twentieth Century', International Journal Of The History Of Sport, 1992, 9(1): 141-150.
- Lenskyj, Helen, 'Common Sense and Physiology: North American Medical Views On Women and Sport, 1890-1930', Canadian Journal of History Of Sport, 1990,21(1): 49-64.
- Metcalfe, Alan. 'Sports In Nineteenth-Century French Canada: The Case of Montreal, 1800-1914', Loisir et Societe/Society and Leisure, 1983: 105-120.
- Barclay, James A. Golf in Canada: A History (1992)
- Boyd, Bill. All Roads Lead to Hockey: Reports from Northern Canada to the Mexican Border. (2006). 240 pp
- Charters, David A. The Chequered Past: Sports Car Racing and Rallying in Canada, 1951 - 1991 (2007) excerpt and text search
- Dryden, Ken. "Soul on Ice: A Century of Canadian Hockey." Beaver(Dec 2000/Jan 2001), Vol. 80, Issue 6 in EBSCO
- Dryden, Ken, and Roy MacGregor. Home Game: Hockey and Life in Canada (1989)
- Fisher, D.B. Lacrosse: A History of the Game. (2002).
- Goodman, Jeffrey. Huddling Up: The Inside Story of the Canadian Football League. (1981). 249 pp.
- Gruneau, Richard. Hockey night in Canada: Sport, identities and cultural politics, (1993)
- Hollan, Andrew C., 'Playing in the Neutral Zone: Meanings and uses of ice hockey in the Canada-U.S. Borderlands, 1895-1915', American Review Of Canadian Studies, 2004, 34(1).
- Howell, Colin D. Northern Sandlots: A Social History of Maritime Baseball. (1995).
- Hughes-Fuller, Helen Patricia. "The Good Old Game: Hockey, Nostalgia, Identity." PhD dissertation U. of Alberta 2002. 258 pp. DAI 2004 64(7): 2496-A. DANQ81202 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
- Humber, William. Diamonds of the North: A Concise History of Baseball in Canada (1995)
- Manore, Jean L., and Dale G. Miner. The Culture of Hunting in Canada, (2006)
- Maxwell, Doug. Canada Curls: The Illustrated History of Curling in Canada, (2002) excerpt and text search
- Moore, Mark. Saving the Game: Pro Hockey's Quest to Raise its Game from Crisis to New Heights. (2nd ed. 2006). 420 pp.
- O'Brien, Steve. The Canadian Football League: The Phoenix of Professional Sports Leagues (2nd ed. 2005) excerpt and text search
- Poulterab, Gillian. " Snowshoeing and Lacrosse: Canada's Nineteenth-Century 'National Games'," Culture, Sport, Society (2003) 6#2 pp pages 293-320 DOI: 10.1080/14610980312331271639
- Stebbins, Robert A. Canadian Football: The View from the Helmet. London, Ont.: Center for Social and Humanistic Studies, 1987. 207pp
- Stubbs, Dave, and Neal Portnoy. Our Game: The History of Hockey in Canada (2006) excerpt and text search
- Wong, John Chi-Kit. "The Development of Professional Hockey and the Making of the National Hockey League." PhD dissertation U. of Maryland, College Park 2001. 432 pp. DAI 2002 62(9): 3152-A. DA3024988 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
- Mott, Morris, ed. Sports in Canada: Historical Readings, (1989).
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