Sport in Ottawa
Sport in Ottawa, Canada's capital, has a history dating back to the 19th century. Ottawa is now home to three professional sports teams: the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League; the Ottawa SkyHawks, a professional basketball team that has played in the National Basketball League of Canada since 2013; and a third pro team, the Ottawa Redblacks, a new Canadian Football League franchise which debuted in 2014. Several non-professional teams also play in Ottawa, including the Ottawa 67's junior hockey team and other semi-professional and collegiate teams in various sports.
Ice hockey began in Ottawa with the Stanley Cup in 1893. The city dominated the hockey world during the first quarter of the 20th century, with Ottawa teams winning 11 Cups from 1903 to 1927. The original Ottawa Senators were one of the original members of the National Hockey League which was founded in 1917. The team folded during the Great Depression in 1934, and moved to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Eagles. The Senators returned to the National Hockey League in 1992. They play at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata.
In junior hockey the city is represented by the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. The team began play in 1967, Canada's centennial year. Ottawa played host to the Memorial Cup tournament in 1972 and 1999. Ottawa also played host to the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
Ottawa also has a minor hockey program, and plays host to the Bell Capital Cup each year. The city is home to five teams in the Central Junior Hockey League, four teams in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League and two teams in the Eastern Ontario Junior C Hockey League.
The Ottawa Rough Riders were a Canadian Football League team that was founded in 1876 and would prove to be one of the oldest tenured sports franchises in North America. The team won nine Grey Cup championships over its long history but due to poor team play, poor attendance records and even worse management, the Rough Riders folded after the 1996 season, ending 120 years of professional football in Ottawa.
Five years later, a CFL expansion franchise was granted to the City of Ottawa. The team, called the Ottawa Renegades, began play in 2002, but folded in 2006 after just four seasons, due again to poor management. Less than two years later, in March 2008, a new franchise was awarded to the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, led by Jeff Hunt, to begin play in 2010. The franchise was conditional upon reconstruction of Frank Clair Stadium, leading to a four-year delay for the team. The third iteration of professional football in Ottawa, the Ottawa Redblacks, began play in 2014, playing in the newly refurbished TD Place Stadium.
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees football teams have won two Vanier Cups with their first in 1975 and then again in 2000. Carleton University also had a football team from 1945–1998, but the program was cancelled after the 1998 season. There have since been efforts to revive the program, with the football team being approved for Ontario University Athletics membership beginning in 2013. The rivalry between the two schools was heated, and the annual game between the two teams was known as the "Panda Game".
Both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa sport varsity men's teams. The CIS Men's Basketball Championship has been held in Ottawa from 2008 to 2010 and since 2013. The city plays host to the Capital Hoops classic every January where both university teams play at Scotiabank Place. The first classic set a record for the highest attended university game in Canadian history.
The city is home to 15 curling clubs, more than any other municipality in eastern Canada. The city has hosted three Briers and one Tournament of Hearts. The 2001 Nokia Brier was the most attended Brier ever in Eastern Canada at the time. Ottawa has sent four teams to the Brier to represent Ontario: Eldon Coombe (1972), Earle Morris (1985), Rich Moffatt (1999) and Bryan Cochrane (2003). Ottawa has also sent 13 teams to the Tournament of Hearts: Helen Hanright (1964), Dawn Ventura (1974 and 1976), Anne Merklinger (1993, 1994, 1998 and 2000) Jenn Hanna (2005 and 2016), Rachel Homan (2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015). Homan skipped the first Ottawa-based team to win a women's or a men's national championship when she led her Ottawa Curling Club team to a championship at the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Each year, Ottawa hosts one of the largest curling tournaments in the world, the OVCA Ottawa Men's Bonspiel (more commonly known as the "City of Ottawa bonspiel") which has been held since 1956. Ottawa is home to one of the oldest curling clubs in the world, the Ottawa Curling Club which was founded in 1851.
Curling in the Ottawa area is overseen by the Ottawa Valley Curling Association.
Ottawa has sported three International League franchises in its history. The Ottawa Giants (1951), the Ottawa Athletics (1952–1955) and most recently, the Ottawa Lynx (1993–2007). The Lynx were once very popular in the city, leading the league in attendance in its inaugural season. However, attendance dropped and the team moved to the Lehigh Valley. The Lynx won the Governors' Cup in 1995.
Baseball was revived in Ottawa for the 2008 season, when the Ottawa Rapidz were founded in the independent Can-Am League. However, the team lasted just one season, as it folded, citing high rent for the stadium, despite respectable attendance.
Ottawa is also home to the largest amateur baseball league in Canada – the National Capital Baseball League (www.nationalcapitalbaseball.com) The league is a wooden bat league with 37 teams in 4 tiers (as of 2012).
Soccer, (association football) has been played in Ottawa for over 100 years. Ottawa is active with youth competitive, youth development and adult recreational leagues. The most prominent team is the Ottawa Fury, a women's semi-professional team. Ottawa Sports and Entertainment group launched a professional men's team in 2014, the Ottawa Fury, which plays in the second-division North American Soccer League (NASL). Their home is at Lansdowne Park in a redeveloped TD Place Stadium.
Connaught Park Racetrack, located in Aylmer, Quebec operated from 1913 until its closure in 2008. It operated thoroughbred racing until the 1950s, and offered harness racing afterwards. In the early 1960s, Rideau Carleton Raceway was opened south of Ottawa, and it continues to operate a season of harness racing annually, along with off-track betting and gambling. Races have been held on the frozen Rideau Canal and the frozen Ottawa River.
Since 2012, Ottawa has had an active Hurling team made up of both local and Irish players. The team is called the Eire Og Ottawa Hurling Club. Games are played frequently against Montreal Shamrocks GAC. The team also competes in other larger tournaments administered by the Canadian GAA.
Gaelic football has been present in the capital since the formation of the men's team, the Ottawa Gaels, in 1974 by Pat Kelly and Larry Bradley. The ladies team was formed in 1984 by Breda Kelly and has been dominant in the Toronto GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) for the last decade. Minor players have played at the Continental Youth Championships in the USA.
Australian Rules Football
Ottawa has one of the world's largest ultimate frisbee communities dating back to the founding of the Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Association in 1986. Ottawa has hosted the Canadian Ultimate Championships five times, most recently in 2011.
- 1903 Stanley Cup Challenge
- 1904 Stanley Cup Challenge
- 1905 Stanley Cup
- 1908 Stanley Cup Challenge
- 1909 Stanley Cup
- 1910 Stanley Cup Challenge
- 1911 Stanley Cup
- 1915 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1920 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1921 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1922 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1923 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1925 Grey Cup
- 1927 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1931 Memorial Cup
- 1939 Grey Cup
- 1940 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1940 Grey Cup
- 1949 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1953 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1958 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1958 Memorial Cup
- 1961 Diamond D Championship
- 1967 Grey Cup
- 1972 Memorial Cup
- 1976 Skate Canada International
- 1979 Macdonald Brier
- 1981 Skate Canada International
- 1987 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1988 Grey Cup
- 1990 Scott Tournament of Hearts
- 1990 IIHF Women's World Championship
- 1993 Labatt Brier
- 1993 Skate Canada International
- 1996 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1999 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 1999 Memorial Cup
- 2001 Nokia Brier
- 2001 Jeux de la Francophonie
- 2003 Canadian Junior Curling Championships
- 2004 Grey Cup
- 2005 NHL Entry Draft
- 2006 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- 2007 Stanley Cup Finals
- 2008 CIS Men's Basketball Championship
- 2008 NHL Entry Draft
- 2008 Skate Canada International
- 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
- 2009 CIS Men's Basketball Championship
- 2010 Canadian National Fencing Championships
- 2010 CIS Men's Basketball Championship
- 2012 NHL All-Star Game
- 2013 CIS Men's Basketball Championship
- 2013 CIS Men's Basketball Championship
- 2013 IIHF Women's World Championship
- 2014 CIS Men's Basketball Championship
- 2016 Tim Hortons Brier
Current sports teams
Past sports teams
Ottawa has a hall of fame honouring local athletes. There are also the "Ottawa Sports Awards" awarded annually to the top athletes in the city.
|Ottawa Athlete of the Year|
|2015||Dustin Cook (alpine skiing)||Melissa Bishop (athletics)|
|2014||Vincent De Haitre (cycling)||Ivanie Blondin (speed skating)|
|2013||Phillip Scrubb (basketball)||Rachel Homan (curling)|
|2012||Craig Savill (curling)||Courtnay Pilypaitis (basketball)|
|2011||Tyson Hinz (basketball)||Kate Goodfellow (rowing)|
|2010||Brad Sinopoli (Canadian football)||Kristina Groves (speed skating)|
|2009||Ian Mortimer (canoe/kayak)||Kristina Groves (speed skating)|
|2008||Angus Mortimer & Rhys Hill (canoe/kayak)||Kristina Groves (speed skating)|
|2007||Craig Savill (curling)||Kristina Groves (speed skating)|
|2006||Osvaldo Jeanty (basketball)||Kristina Groves (speed skating)|
|2005||Jeff Bean (freestyle skiing)||Elizabeth Urbach (rowing)|
|2004||Jason Dunkerley (Paralympic athletics)||Kristina Groves (speed skating)|
|2003||Corey Locke (ice hockey)||Melanie Banville (gymnastics)|
|2002||Jeff Bean (freestyle skiing)|
|2001||Seamus Kotyk (ice hockey)|
|2000||Phil Cote (Canadian football)|
|1999||Brian Campbell (ice hockey)|
|1998||John Morris (curling)|
|1997||Alyn McCauley (ice hockey)|
|1996||Glenroy Gilbert (Athletics)|
|1995||Harry Van Hofwegen (Canadian football)|
|1994||Linda Jackson & Gord Fraser (cycling)|
|1993||Al Charron (rugby union)|
|1992||Jeff Koradi (Canadian football)|
|1991||Renn Crichlow (canoe/kayak)|
|1990||Chris Flynn (Canadian football)|
|1989||Chris Simboli (freestyle skiing)|
|1988||Elizabeth Manley (figure skating)|
|1987||Ian Millar (Equestrian)|
|1986||Anna Fraser (freestyle skiing)|
|1985||Caroll Ann Alie (board sailing)|
|1984||Linda Thom (shooting)|
|1983||Kathy Bald (swimming)|
|1982||Horst Bulau (ski jumping)|
|1981||Horst Bulau (ski jumping)|
|1980||Greg Olson (golf)|
|1979||Pat Messner (water skiing)|
|1978||Bobby Smith (ice hockey)|
|1977||Doug Wilson (ice hockey)|
|1976||Martin Wostenholme (tennis)|
|1975||Neil Lumsden (Canadian football)|
|1974||Lynn Nightingale (figure skating)|
|1973||Sue Holloway (canoe/kayak)|
|1972||Glenda Reiser (athletics)|
|1971||Michel Larocque (ice hockey)|
|1970||Linda Malcolm (shooting)|
|1969||Betsy Clifford (alpine skiing)|
|1968||Don Rioux (golf)|
|1967||Pat Morris (ski jumping)|
|1966||Tom Gorman (basketball)|
|1965||Judy Dallimore (athletics)|
|1964||Andre Nezan (golf)|
|1963||Bob Stinson (golf)|
|1962||Allan Salter (weightlifting)|
|1961||Dave Dorman (athletics)|
|1960||Anne Heggtveit (alpine skiing)|
|1959||Barney Hartmann (shooting)|
|1958||Anne Heggtveit (apline skiing)|
|1957||Mariette Laframboise (tennis)|
|1956||John Clifford (alpine skiing)|
|1955||Art Tommy (alpine skiing)|
|1954||Anne Heggtveit (alpine skiing)|
|1953||Shirley Thomas (equestrian)|
- http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/Carleton+football+veteran+celebrates+team+revival/5060825/story.html Carleton football veteran celebrates team's revival
- http://arc.library.carleton.ca/exhibits/ravens_football/panda Carelton University Panda-monium
- "ultimate test playoffs pro team on horizon for growing sport". Retrieved March 15, 2016.