Where to Watch the World Cup in Toronto
It will be strange not to have a summer World Cup tournament this year, but I kind of am looking forward to seeing what it’s like to watch the World Cup in Toronto in the late fall. While it is a little early to start planning where to watch the World Cup in Toronto, it is not too early to start getting an idea of who is playing, and when the games will be playing in this part of the world.
The biggest news so far of course is that the Canadian men’s team qualified for only their second World Cup finals appearance and the first time since 1986. I am super pumped about this and expect some pretty epic viewing parties for team Canada! In equally surprising news, Italy, once again, did not qualify. It’s always such a bummer, what with such a huge Italian population in Toronto. Oh well.
Here are some general lists for Toronto World Cup viewing from Toronto media. The Toronto Star article is really well done and well researched. The others are more generic lists of bars that will show a lot of the games. Below that, I try to get a little more specific.
Toronto Star 32 World Cup fans, One goal: getting you to cheer for their team. GTA soccer buffs from every competing country make their pitch
BlogTO 50 places where you can cheer Canada and watch the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Toronto
Curiocity Here’s where to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in Toronto
Toronto Life Where to watch the World Cup in Toronto
Toronto Sun Toronto bars and restaurants anticipate ‘amazing’ FIFA World Cup action
Streets of Toronto Here are the seven best bars and pubs to watch the World Cup in Toronto
Country Specific Viewing
Below is a list of the 32 teams in this year’s tournament. Each country is in bold followed by a link to the location and photos from the year(s) that I have photographed their fans in a previous FIFA World Cup. A star to the right of the country means it will be a particular emphasis for me to photograph this year, either because they are new, or because I have not photographed that team in a long time, or I would like to get a better shot (pun intended) at capturing a great moment with that team. The order of the teams is based on date the team qualified for the tournament.
If you click on any of the links below, it should give you a pretty good idea of where to find fans of that team, even if that bar or cafe isn’t actually still in operation. For some countries, the exact same bar is in play from the 2006 tournament (for example, Australia).
2022 World Cup – Qualified Teams
* Loads of great places, but I’ve loved Opera Bob’s at 1112 Dundas Street West in Toronto.
* The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is hosting a large viewing event for both the Canada/Morocco and Japan/Spain game on December 1. You can reserve a spot at Eventbrite.
Saudi Arabia (2006, 2018) *
Ecuador (2006, 2022) *
* When looking for Ecuador World Cup fans in Toronto this year, I was elated to see that the very same restaurant I visited in 2006 was still open, still serving amazing Ecuadorian food, and still the hot spot for Ecuador World Cup fans in Toronto. That spot is El-Tipico Ecuatoriano at 2312 Keele St in Toronto.
* Any sports bars in town will be hopping when Canada is playing and it should be electric. We are especially lucky considering Canada has three very favourable viewing time slots and the city will be jumping I feel. All that being said, I am surprised and disappointed there hasn’t been a larger city planned game viewing at Nathan Phillips Square or Maple Leaf Square (Jurassic Park).
* Best bets: Large specially designed sports viewing venues like The Pint, The Rec Room and Real Sports will be fantastic, are all within walking distance of each other in the heart of the city. Other good options would be TFC hot spots like Brazen Head Irish Pub in Liberty Village and Team Canada supporting bars like International Sports Bar and Eatery in Mississauga.
* For me, on Wednesday, November 23, Canada’s first game in 36 years, it’s going to be hard to pass on what Cafe Diplomatico (594 College St) is doing, shutting down Clinton St and setting up a video wall and live band… the works. That’s where I’m going to head. I love that Little Italy has embraced Canada as their team since Italy is not in the World Cup this year.
* Orbit Restaurant at 2025 Dundas St. E. in Mississauga was absolutely jammed for Poland’s first game on November 22. They will be open on Saturday, November 25 at 8am against Saudi Arabia and of course their big game against Argentina on November 30 at 2pm. Loads of great screens throughout the room, but parking wasn’t easy to find.
* On Roncesvalles, the best spot I found was Chopin, they had a pretty full house with Polish speaking commentators.
* Lots of great options, but Mexican restaurant La Cantina Del Pueblo will be hosting game watches for the 11:00 and 2:00 games in the group stage.
Wales (new) *
* Although it’s technically a New Zealand bar, Hemingway’s Restaurant in Yorkville is the place to be for Australian fans.
Costa Rica (2006)
Schedule and Match Timing (Eastern Time, Toronto Local)
The first game will be played on November 20 featuring the host country Qatar versus Ecuador at 11:00 (all times Easter Time). November 21 will feature three games from the remaining teams from Group A and Group B, Senegal versus Netherlands at 11 AM, England versus Iran at 8 AM, at 11 AM and USA versus Wales at 2 PM. Starting on September 22, there will be seven days of four games per day, games starting at 5 AM, 8 AM, 11 AM and 2 PM.
On November 29th, each team will be starting their third and final game of the group stage, and all four teams from each group will play their games simultaneously. These games will start at 10 AM or 2 PM.
Canada will play their games on Wednesday, November 23 at 2 PM versus Belgium, on Sunday, November 27 at 11 AM versus Croatia and on Thursday, December 1 at 10 AM versus Morocco. Knowing Toronto, I gather there is going to be a whole host of options for outdoor viewing on big screens, including Jurassic Park, Nathan Philips Square and Celebration Square in Mississauga, but I haven’t heard anything yet.
The Round of 16 will begin on December 3 with Quarter-finals starting on December 9, Semi-finals on December 13 and finals on December 18. Those start times will all be either at 10 AM or 2 PM.
Below is the map that I’ve made based on my experience watching and photographing fans cheering for 54 different countries in Toronto during the 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cup. The red points are from the 2006 World Cup when I photographed fans from all 32 teams in that year’s tournament. The green points are for 2010 teams I photographed, the yellow points are 2014, and the blue points are the 2018 teams. The best way to see the map is to click on the “World Cup Venues in Toronto” link at the bottom and open it in a large map, then you’ll be able to see a list of all the countries names on the left hand side of the map.
View World Cup Venues in Toronto in a larger map
Where to watch the World Cup in Toronto? Keep checking back for more updates.