Toronto MLS in the Spotlight: Toronto FC
This game-day guide has everything you need to know for the best home game experience.
Toronto's MLS team, Toronto FC, have always been known for its loyal fans and the exhilarating atmosphere on game day keeps people coming back again and again.
When the Toronto MLS soccer squad is playing, you’ll hear the fans before you see them. Their chants echo throughout Exhibition Place (100 Princes' Blvd.), the home of BMO Field. Their drums rhythmically beat and their feet thunderously stomp on the metal stands. Clad in red, they have called BMO Field home since 2007 when Toronto was first awarded a Major League Soccer franchise.
That home now looks a lot different than it did back then. BMO Field recently underwent $150 million renovations to transform the stadium into one of the best soccer venues in North America. The renovations included increasing the stadium’s capacity to 30,000 seats and adding a canopy roof that protects its faithful fans from rain.
Whereas Toronto’s other two big sports venues are downtown, BMO Field is located on the lakeshore just slightly west of the downtown core. This gives you the opportunity to also explore Exhibition Place or take a scenic walk by Lake Ontario.
Places to eat at or near BMO Field
Most fans spend their time pre-match in Liberty Village, a growing urban neighbourhood across the train tracks from BMO Field. Here you will find a number of newly-built restaurants and bars where you can grab a bite to eat or a drink before or after the game.
About an hour before the game, the Liberty Village neighbourhood comes alive as TFC supporters parade through the streets. Their chants serve as a signal: it’s time to go watch some soccer.
At the Stadium
The stadium’s game day menu is STRONG. It now offers Belgian style fries, BBQ brisket and ribs and specialty paninis.
Brazen Head Irish Pub
Another option near the stadium is the Brazen Head Irish Pub, which is just a 12-minute walk from BMO Field. With two levels of patio seating, it’s ideal for summer game days. 165 E Liberty St.
Things to do at BMO Field
Once you make your way to the Toronto MLS stadium, you will be greeted by a carnival-like atmosphere outside. A stage in the north end of the stadium provides live music before and after matches. Several vendor tents are set up outside the stadium, selling food as well as team merchandise.
If you’re going to buy an item of Toronto FC paraphernalia, make sure it’s a team scarf. During the national anthem, fans all across the stadium hold their scarves above their heads, creating a sea of red. It’s quite a sight.
When choosing where to sit at the match, you have many options based on the sort of fan experience you’re looking for. The north end of the stadium is a standing-only patio. The east and west stands are where most supporters sit, covered by the canopy roof they can sit and watch comfortably throughout the match.
The die-hard fans can be found in the south stands, the liveliest part of BMO Field. If you choose to watch the match there don’t expect to sit much, as fans usually stand for the full 90 minutes to cheer on their team, waving giant flags, chanting, singing and drumming.
Regardless of whether the team wins or loses, Toronto FC games are one of the best sports experiences Toronto has to offer. Fans continue to cheer until the final whistle no matter what and you will find yourself getting caught up in joining in one of the club’s several catchy chants.
Fun facts about the team, stadium and fandom
- TFC was formed in 2006 as Toronto FC and MLS announced they would compete in Major League Soccer in 2007
- BMO Field was expanded in 2015 and 2016 and has a current capacity of 30,000 from the original 21,800
- TFC won its first MLS cup 2017 against Seattle Sounders with a final score of 2-0
- TFC has won the Canadian Championship seven times
How to get to BMO Field
Exhibition Place has 5,000 parking spots, but they fill up quickly, so if you’re driving to the game, plan to arrive well in advance. Public transit is your best bet.
By car: The stadium is located off Lakeshore Drive. Get there early if you’re looking for parking. Tip: save money by parking at the Green P located in Liberty Village.
By train: The Lakeshore West line of the GO Train stops at Exhibition Station, just across the street from the north end of BMO Field.
By streetcar: The 509 streetcar, which boards at Union Station, will also take you to the exhibition grounds.