Greater Toronto Hockey League

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The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), formerly known as the "Metro Toronto Hockey League", is a minor level ice hockey organization based out of the Toronto region of Ontario. The league was founded in 1911 as the Beaches Hockey League by Fred C. Waghorne, Sr., and it is the largest minor hockey organization in the world.[2] The league is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada.


Early years[edit]

The Greater Toronto Hockey League was founded in 1911 by Frank D. Smith. Smith was 17 years old when he founded the organization, and would continue to oversee the operation for 50 years. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962 in part for his contributions to minor hockey in Toronto.[1] Then called the Beaches League, its first season consisted of 5 teams and 99 players [2]

The League's name underwent several changes over its history. Originally called the Beaches League, it was renamed to the Toronto Hockey League shortly after its inception. It was renamed again in 1972 to the Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League before settling on the current Greater Toronto Hockey League moniker in 1998. The League saw increases in membership during its first few years. During World War I, the then THL maintained its numbers due to having younger age divisions, such as pewee and bantam, where the players were too young to participate in the war.[3] By the 1960s, The THL had over 20,000 members on teams across Toronto.

The GTHL[edit]

In 2011, the Greater Toronto Hockey League consisted of 2,800 teams and around 40,000 players. It is currently the largest youth ice hockey organization in the world in terms of members.[3][4] The league has expanded its area of operation over the years from primarily the city of Toronto to many of its surrounding municipalities.[3] Currently, there are 51 separate associations that operate under the GTHL. These associations provide teams for the various age groups and divisions that make up the league.[5] Around 275 GTHL alumni have gone on to play in North American professional ice hockey leagues, such as the National Hockey League and the defunct World Hockey Association.[4]

The GTHL is a not-for-profit organization, however its operating costs are high.[3] In 2011, league expenses were in excess of $9 million per year.[2] The high costs of operating teams has been an issue for the league, with some teams having trouble paying for the increasing costs of ice in the Toronto area.[6] The costs for someone to play on a AAA GTHL team, its highest level of play,[5] is approximately $6,000 per player.[4]

In 2011, the GTHL along with Hockey Canada changed its rules regarding hits to the head. Stricter rules were placed on what constituted a hit to the head, and the severity of punishment for instances of it was increased.[7]

Amesbury Attack
Amesbury Avalanche
Don Mills Flyers
Don Mills Mustangs
Downsview Beavers
Duffield Devils
East Ender Ti-Cats
Etobicoke Canucks
Forest Hill Hockey Association
Goulding Park Rangers
Hillcrest Canadiens
Humber Valley Sharks
Humberview Huskies
Leaside Flames
Leaside Kings
Markham Islanders
Markham Majors
Mississauga Braves
Mississauga Ice Warriors
Mississauga Jets
Mississauga North Stars
Mississauga Rebels
Mississauga Reps
Mississauga Senators
Mississauga Terriers
North Toronto Hockey
North York Knights
North York Rangers
Scarborough Ice Raiders
Scarborough Young Bruins
Streetsville Tigers
Ted Reeve Thunder
Toronto Aces
Toronto Aeros
Toronto City Blues
Toronto Colts
Toronto Eagles
Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Toronto Marlboros
Toronto Nationals
Toronto Red Wings
Toronto Royals
Toronto Shamrocks
Toronto Titans
Toronto Wolverines
Vaughan Kings
Vaughan Panthers
Vaughan Rangers
West Hill Golden Hawks
West Mall Lightning
Willowdale Blackhawks
York Mills
York Toros

Levels of play[edit]

The GTHL runs leagues at the AAA, AA, and A levels. The league has children of all ages, extending from Timbits (3 or 4 years of age) all the way to U21 (18-21).

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Legends of Hockey". Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Kalchman, Lois (15 September 2011). "Greater Toronto Hockey League Turns 100". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "About GTHL". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Gillmor, Don (11 January 2013). "Is Minor Hockey Worth It?". Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "League Info - GTHL". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Wyatt, Charles. "Toronto minor hockey caught in profit debate". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  7. ^ MacGregor, Roy (6 September 2012). "Hockey Canada's head shot rule goes into effect". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  8. ^ [1]

External links[edit]