Football in the Spotlight: Toronto Argonauts
This game-day guide has everything you need to know for the best home game experience.
The Toronto Argonauts hold a lot of superlatives when it comes to Canadian sports—seeing a game is a history lesson in itself, given that the Argos are the oldest professional sports team in the entirety of North America (or so they claim). The Canadian Football League team has been snagging Grey Cup championships for over 100 years too, accumulating 17 wins over the years as the country’s most successful football team. In fact, they’re the most successful team in Toronto in general with their 17 wins.
Football is one of Canada’s oldest professional sports and it differs significantly from the likes of America’s Super Bowl. Canadian football is played on a wider field and has a number of rules that vary slightly from American football—like having 12 players instead of the 11 that American teams have. It’s no secret that Canadian football is far more interesting than American football because of its focus on kicking rather than running short yards, which cause the frequent pauses of play begrudged by American football fans. You’ll be hard-pressed to see more than a few consecutive passes in an American football game, but Canadian football players focus hard on passing as they traverse the longer field.
At the BMO Field (170 Princes' Blvd.) located at Exhibition Place, the beer is famously inexpensive and the sunshine streams onto the field. The turf field has only been home to the Argos since 2016 when the team left Rogers Centre. The field is right on Lake Ontario’s shoreline, making it a great place to start your Toronto visit. Argos games are a beloved Toronto tradition—one of the oldest—and you’re getting a truly Ontario experience if you go to a game. Here are all the tips you need to get the most out of your Argos game day.
Places to eat in or near BMO Field
From game day hot dogs to tasty craft beers, the options at BMO Field are everything you need while you’re watching the Argos do their thing. Before or after the game, the field’s excellent location makes it easy to grab a bite at one of the upscale or comfortable restaurants nearby. Of course, the option is always there to take the train back to downtown and grab a bite at one of Toronto’s thousands of incredible eateries.
This stand is your go-to for classic game-day fare, from fried chicken to hot dogs. There are four located throughout the stadium, so you’ll have no trouble finding your game day coleslaw.
Hit this food stand for a slew of craft beers available while you’re watching the Argos dominate the field. Go to section 107 for this tasty, wheaty deliciousness.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
This quirky dinner theatre is only a few minutes’ drive from BMO Field and it’s entertainment in itself. Watch medieval horseback riders joust while you munch on a meal eaten exclusively with your hands, just like during the Renaissance! 10 Dufferin St.
A short drive from the stadium, this upscale but relaxed restaurant is a great place to stop for brunch before the game. Sit on the patio in summer or cozy up at a booth in the colder months at this eatery located in the Toronto Carpet Factory. 70 Fraser Ave.
Things to do at BMO Field
As the home turf for Canada’s national soccer team, the country’s first Major League Soccer team, Toronto FC, and of course, the Toronto Argonauts, BMO Field has a lot to offer for a venue so young. The field opened in 2007 and was expanded in 2015 when the Argos adopted it as their new home. The Grey Cup was also hosted at the field in 2016, instantly ranking it among Toronto’s several world-class sport stadiums.
Exhibition Place is home to several of Toronto’s most important venues for entertainment, like the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Coca-Cola Coliseum and the Better Living Centre. The venue is also a historical destination, including the famous Princes’ Gates. The big arches are a great place to take a photo to commemorate your time at Exhibition Place. Nearby, the Toronto Inukshuk Park offers natural beauty, running and biking trails, and views of the incredible monuments standing there.
At the Ontario Place Drive-In in Exhibition Place, park up in the past and watch a movie from the comfort of your vehicle. To enjoy more of the outdoors, catch a show at the outdoor venue at Echo Beach, known to host stars like Anderson Paak and Sum 41.
Fun facts about Canadian football and the Toronto Argonauts
- The Toronto Argonauts are the oldest professional sports team in North America, although the Hamilton Tigers have also claimed that title
- The Argos, founded in 1873, is the oldest professional sports team in North America, still using its original name
- The Argos are the oldest existing team in the CFL and in their division, East Division
- The Argos have called five stadiums home, including the Rogers Centre
- The Argos have played in the Grey Cup 23 times, winning 17 of those games. They have won the most Grey Cups out of any CFL team
- The Argos are named after a ship from Greek mythology
- The Argonaut Rowing Club founded the team in 1873, hence the nautical name and their nickname, “the boatmen”
- When the Argos first started playing, the game they played was a version of rugby
- Canadian football fields are 110 yards long and 65 yards wide, whereas American football fields are 100 yards long and 53⅓ yards wide
- The Argo’s longest dynasty is between 1945 and 1952, just after World War II
- American football has four downs, but Canadian football only has three
- The official Grey Cup was donated to the league in 1909 by Lord Earl Grey, making it one of the oldest trophies in North America’s professional sports
- The Argos were owned by John Candy for a short period
- Grey Cup winners have been known to parade a horse into a hotel’s lobby to celebrate their win
How to get to BMO Field
BMO Field is located in Exhibition Place, west of Toronto’s downtown and just along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
By car: Reach Exhibition Place by car via Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway.
Bike and vehicle parking: Parking is available above and below ground at Exhibition Place. There are also plenty of bicycle racks for cyclists.
By streetcar: From downtown Toronto, take the 511 or 509 streetcars to the Exhibition stops.
By bus: Via bus, take the 64 from downtown or the 29, 121A, or 121C to the GO station at Exhibition Place.
By subway: The Line 2 subway also leads to Exhibition Place from downtown.
BMO Field is located in the centre of Exhibition Place along Princes’ Boulevard.