Toronto Proves to Be Home of Winter Sports With Successful NHL All-Star Weekend (Review)

PopCulture attended the NHL All-Star game at Scotiabank Arena earlier this month.

Canada is known for having a passion for hockey. Legendary NHL players such as Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe are natives of the country and greatly impacted the sport. Earlier this month, the NHL invaded Toronto to host the 2024 NHL All-Star game. was in Toronto on behalf of Destination Toronto to attend the all-star weekend and everything the city has to offer when it comes to winter sports — and to say the weekend was a big success would be an understatement. 

NHL All-Star weekend included the game and skills competition which took place at Scotiabank Arena. The skills competition saw Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers win the competition, which is fitting since he's from Ontario. He also took part in the all-star game, which was broken down into four different teams. McDavid was the captain of one of the teams but lost to the team led by Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the finals of the mini-all-star tournament. Scotiabank Arena had strong crowds on both nights as it was the first time the All-Star Game has been in a Canadian city since 2012.

NHL: FEB 03 All-Star Game
(Photo: Icon Sportswire)

Toronto has hosted the NHL All-Star game nine times, including the first game in 1947. It's no surprise that this year's event was a success since the city has the experience, but Toronto is the place to be for hockey fans. The Hockey Hall of Fame is located there, and it's a good source to learn about the NHL and hockey all over the world. There are also multiple places to ice skate, including Nathan Phillips Square, which provides free ice skating during all-star weekend. I attempted to skate on the rink, and while I'm no expert, it was an enjoyable experience since it's a well-known rink. 

Throughout the city, fans were wearing NHL All-Star jerseys or jerseys of their favorite NHL team or player. While the league does not have the same power as the NFL, the NHL still has a strong following — plus, having the All-Star game in Toronto was big since fans in the city are passionate about hockey and the Maple Leafs. 

NHL All-Star Game
(Photo: NurPhoto)

But Toronto is so much more than hockey and ice skating. Curling is big in the area and there are places where you can do tabletop curling (specifically Stackt Market). Basketball has become big in Toronto as it's the home of the NBA's Toronto Raptors, who won the NBA title in 2019. Toronto is also home to NBA Courtside, a sports-themed restaurant that celebrates the NBA. NBA Courtside includes great food and a setting that gets you ready for basketball season. 

If you want to learn more about sports in Toronto, the Myseum is the place to go. The Myseum of Toronto had a Winners & Losers exhibit curated by author and historian Adam Bunch and veteran TV commentator and sports writer Morgan Campbell. The exhibit is an interesting look into the history of Toronto sports and the successes and failures of Toronto's sports teams over the years. 

And with it being Canada, there has to be skiing involved. I didn't get to ski, but I did travel to Blue Mountain to experience snowshoeing. It's a workout walking up and down different hills, but the scenery was beautiful and it's a great way to spend a day or weekend. 

With over five million people in the metro area, Toronto is the biggest city in Canada. The city itself has nearly three million people, making it the fourth-most populous city in North America. Because of that, Toronto has everything sports fans want and need to keep them engaged throughout the year. And based on how things went with NHL All-Star weekend, expect Tonroro to host bigger events very soon.