Gold medals, triumphs in international competitions against the best teams in the world, and remarkable feats of athleticism from individuals are dotted throughout Canadian sports history. 

While it’s quite the effort, all of the greatest moments for Canadian sports have to be narrowed down to ten here, and a decision was made to limit hockey triumphs to a maximum of two. 

With an honourable nod particularly going to Vince Carter’s 2000 Slam Dunk heroics, the 1987 Canada Cup triumph, Christine Sinclair’s 185th goal, and 1989’s “The Kick,” these are the ten biggest moments in Canadian sports history.

Canada’s Biggest Sports Moments of All-Time

Scroll down to learn more about each iconic Canadian sports moment.

Paul Henderson’s Summit Series-winning goal (1972)

It’s only right to start the list of the biggest moments in Canadian sports history with the goal that won the Summit Series in 1972. 

With the Cold War at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Canada’s eight-game series against the Soviet Union meant much more than hockey, and the Soviets came to play, winning the first game. 

In the final, deciding match with the series levelled (Game 3 ended in a tie), Canada went to Moscow.

Paul Henderson scored with just 34 seconds to go off of Phil Esposito’s rebounded shot to mark one of the most memorable moments in hockey history.

Toronto Raptors Win First NBA Championship (2019)

Having just topped the Eastern Conference and bowed out in the second round to the eventual runners-up, the Toronto Raptors organization decided that now was the time to go all-in on a Championship run. 

Coming into the 2018/19 season, they controversially traded fan-favourite and four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan with a first-rounder and Jakob Poeltl to gamble on the injured Kawhi Leonard (who had just one year on his contract) and Danny Green. 

As it goes, the gamble worked as well as any Canadian basketball fan could have hoped. On June 13, 2019, the Toronto Raptors hoisted the team’s first NBA Championship, with Leonard named MVP. 

For the 2022/23 season, the Raptors will look to continue to rebuild towards another title-contending team, sitting at +4000 to win the NBA Championship in sport betting Canada markets.

Toronto Blue Jays Win Back-to-Back World Series (1993)

Winning the World Series in 1992 was sweet, indeed, but landing the ultimate prize for America’s favourite pastime two years running had baseball fever surge across Canada. 

What makes October 23, 1993, one of the top ten biggest moments in Canadian sports history is the way that Game 6 finished, which itself marked a point in MLB history. 

At SkyDome, Joe Carter hammered a ninth-inning home run over the wall at left-field, giving Toronto its second consecutive Fall Classic as well as baseball fans their first home run finish since 1960.

Bianca Andreescu Becomes First Canadian to Win a Singles Grand Slam (2019)

It’s impossible to overstate the achievement of Bianca Andreescu’s US Open win. Even if there are claims that the No. 15 seed had a relatively easy run to the final, she faced a near-impossible task on September 7, 2019.

Andreescu faced the legendary Serena Williams in the final, who many saw as the heavy favourite and destined for her record-tying 24th Grand Slam. However, the Canadian teenager had already defeated Williams that year.

Hammering her way to a 6-3, 7-5 triumph, Andreescu became the first Canadian to win a singles Grand Slam and will likely be a regular favourite in the tennis live betting throughout this year.

Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope (1980)

A national hero and owner of one of the biggest moments in Canadian sports history, Terry Fox simply set out from St. John’s with the aim of proving that cancer victims don’t need to give in to despair – and to run the length of Canada. 

Over the course of 143 days, the one-legged Fox – who lost his right leg to osteosarcoma – ran from the beach at St. John’s, Newfoundland, all of the way to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

He wanted to raise $1 from every Canadian (to total $24 million) for cancer research.

It was in Thunder Bay that Fox’s monumental marathon had to come to an end as the cancer had spread to his lungs. He passed away on June 28, 1981, but annual Terry Fox runs and events since have raised over $800 million. 

Donovan Bailey Wins 100m Olympic Gold (1996)

Donovan Bailey was riding high coming into the 1996 Olympic Games, arriving in Atlanta as the reigning 100m world champion. Yet, Canada’s prestige was low at the games following the Ben Johnson doping scandal.

This didn’t hinder Bailey, though, who ran the 100m in a new world record time of 9.84 seconds. Less than a week later, he led the 4x100m relay team to land his second gold medal.

Marilyn Bell Becomes First Person to Swim Lake Ontario (1954)

Swimming the English Channel was all the rage, but teenager Marilyn Bell set her sights on a particularly unappealing body of water much closer to home: Lake Ontario.

She set off just after 11 pm on September 8 from Youngstown, and 64km, choppy waves, icy waters, and armies of horrid lamprey later, Bell arrived on the shores of Toronto’s West End at 8 pm on September 9.

Overnight, she became a national hero.

Mike Weir Becomes First Canadian to Win the Masters (2003)

Earning a place among the biggest moments in Canadian sports history is a man who enters into the record books in two ways upon winning the prestigious Augusta National in 2003. 

Mike Weir shot a final round of 68 to earn his green jacket – wrapped over his shoulders by Tiger Woods – and was the first to be bogey-free in the last round since 1957.

His efforts landed him as the first Canadian and the first left-hander to win The Masters.

George Chuvalo Goes 15 Rounds with Muhammad Ali (1966)

Finishing his career with a 73-18-2 record, George Chuvalo was never knocked down to the canvas, traded with George Foreman, Jerry Quarry, Joe Frazier, Ernie Terrell, and Floyd Patterson, and was hailed as “the toughest man in Canada.” 

Perhaps the moment that earned this moniker was at the final bell in the 1966 rumble with Muhammad Ali, which Chuvalo took at 17 days’ notice.

The two went 15 rounds, Ali won by unanimous decision, but Chuvalo was cemented as a top competitor as a result.

The two went at it again in 1972, with Chuvalo coaxing Ali back to Canada undoubtedly so that the American could try to wipe a smudge from his record. Once again, the Canadian took Ali the distance.

Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal (2010)

If taken as a whole, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics could go down as one of the biggest moments in Canadian sports history. Boiling it down to one moment, however, would see Sidney Crosby’s gloveless cheers at the boards. 

Canada took the long way to the gold medal game. Once there, the team faced a particularly stubborn US side. Goals from Jonathan Toews, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, and Zach Parise (with 25 seconds to go) had the game at 2-2 by 60 minutes. 

It was sudden-death hockey, and both sides were raring to go. Just past the seven-minute mark, Jarome Iginla picked up the puck, heard the call “Iggy” across the ice, and placed it perfectly for Crosby to tuck the puck past Ryan Miller.

There are many contenders for the top ten biggest moments in Canadian sports history, but those above stand out as the very best.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*


FIRST PUBLISHED: 26th October 2022

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.