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Ontario Soccer was founded in 1901 and is one of the oldest and largest sport organizations in Canada. Ontario Soccer provides leadership and support for the advancement of soccer (“football” as know internationally) in collaboration and cooperation with our membership, partners and other stakeholders by providing exceptional, innovative and sustainable programs and services. Ontario Soccer is made up of 18 District Associations and several Associate Members namely regional and provincial leagues. District Association membership is the more than 500 Youth Clubs and Senior Clubs across Ontario.

Ontario Soccer is a proud member of Canada Soccer and part of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer.


1901-2023 Chronology of Ontario Soccer's History:

  1. The Ontario Football Association League, today's Ontario Soccer Association was founded on May 18 1901 at the Walker House in Toronto. It's mandate was "To encourage and foster Association Football and to decide the various championships of Ontario". Those organizations present were the Western Football Association, the Toronto League, Eastern Football Association, Peterborough District, Norwood District, Toronto Intermediate League and the Inter-College Association. David Forsyth was the first secretary and went on to serve The Association for 29 years and become known as the Father of Canadian Soccer. Incidentally, David scored two goals in the University of Toronto's 2-0 win over Queens in 1874.
  2. The very first Ontario Cup in 1901 saw the Galt Football Club beat Toronto's Varsity 2-0.  Over the years the Oakville Soccer Club has won more Ontario Cup's at all levels than any other Club in Ontario.
  3. The Galt Football Club went on to win the Olympic Gold Medal in St. Louis in 1904. The game was played from coast to coast at that time ranked with hockey and lacrosse as the Canadian game. By this time the Western Football Association was widely recognized as the first football organization formed in the new world.
  4. The founding meeting of Dominion Football Association (DFA), today's Canadian Soccer Association, was held in Toronto on May 24, 1912.
  5. The first Canadian Club Championships started in 1913 and the winners were presented with the Connaught Cup.  In 1926 a magnificent silver trophy donated by the English Football Association took the place of the Connaught Cup.
  6. Women's Football was denied in 1922. The DFA would not support Canadian women's teams playing a visiting English women's team who ended up touring the United States and playing men's teams. The Ontario Soccer Association's membership topped 318,000 players in the year 2000 with 40% of them female. The Nepean United Spirits are the only Ontario Club to win back to back Canadian Women's championships.
  7. December 26th, 1923, The Ontario Football Association (Soccer) was registered, renaming the previous provincial organization.
  8. Indoor Soccer was first recorded in 1927 at the Mutual Street Arena in Toronto. That same year Canada took the initiative to convince FIFA to consider the concept of substitutions.
  9. Northern Clubs entered the Ontario Cup in 1930.  Powerful northern teams like Falconbridge Falcons won the Cup in 1932, 1933 and 1934 and Timmins won it in 1938. Soccer players drifted north with the mines being the only work available for many due to the depression
  10. The game in Ontario became multi-cultural in the early 50's due to immigration from many war torn countries with huge fan attendances at places like Stanley Park.  Canada entered its first World Cup in 1957 beating the United States 5-1 at Varsity Stadium.
  11. In 1968 the North American Soccer League began . The Toronto Falcons were members in 1968 but folded after one season.  A second Toronto team, the Metros, joined in 1971, and became the Metros-Croatia in 1975 who in 1976  won the NASL Soccer Bowl in Seattle. The Toronto Blizzard took over in 1979.
  12. June 2, 1970, The Ontario Soccer Association Incorporated was registered, renaming the previous provincial organization.
  13. FIFA Player of the Century “Pele” made his first appearance in Ontario in 1967 for Santos v Napoli at Varsity Stadium. Pele came back in 1971 and 1972 with Santos as well as on several occasions with the New York Cosmos of the NASL.
  14. Ontario hosted its first defending World Club Champion in 1969 when AC Milan played Sparta Prague on June 22nd at Varsity.  A second World Champion club team, Juventus played the Blizzard in 1984 at CNE. Two defending World Cup Champions have visited Ontario. Canada played Italy at Varsity in 1984 and Germany in 1994.
  15. Ontario staged its first Ontario Cup in the Boys U13/15/17 and U19 age divisions in 1970 with Chinguacousy, Westwood and St. Andrews winning the most sought after trophy in youth sports. Dynasties like Wexford, Malton and Scarborough Malvern won 15 Cup titles amongst them with the same squad of players.
  16. Ontario staged its first Ontario Cup in the Girls U13/15/17 and U19 age divisions in 1976 with powerhouses like Scarborough United and Burlington dominating two decades.
  17. In 1979 the National Youth Team attended Canada's first ever FIFA World Championship in Japan.  Canada also qualified for the 1985 final in the Soviet Union, 1987 in Chile, 1997 in Malaysia and again this year in Argentina.
  18. In 1981 The Pyramid For Play was established in Ontario stabilizing the movement of teams and giving players a structure to help them advance.  Ontario introduced the small sided game known as mini soccer.
  19. In 1984 Canada was the surprise of the Olympics in the United States losing to Brazil in quarter finals on penalty kicks. Ontario hosted its first NASL Soccer Bowl at CNE with New York Cosmos losing to the Chicago Sting.
  20. Canada qualified for its first and only World Cup in Mexico in 1986 even after a come from behind 1-1 tie with Costa Rica at Varsity.  In the finals Canada were beaten by France, Hungary and former Soviet Union.
  21. Canada staged its first FIFA World Championship in 1987 at the Under 16 level with Toronto's Varsity as the main venue. Crowds of 15,000 and 20,000 watched the semis and finals. The Canadian Soccer League was formed in 1987 with Hamilton, Toronto, North York and Ottawa forming the eastern division. The league folded in 1992.
  22. In 1993 Hamilton's McMaster hosted the soccer competition in the Womens World University Games in which teams represented Canada and Ontario. This became part of the Canada's build up towards qualifying for the 1995 Women's World Cup in Sweden. FIFA Player of the Century Michelle Akers made her first appearance to Canada during that period.
  23. In 1996 Soccer became the largest participation sport in the country surpassing hockey with Ontario leading the way and making up 45% of Canada's players. The game now appeals to a staggering one out of three youth.
  24. In 1997, The Ontario Soccer Association opened "The Soccer Centre" in Vaughan, ON - Canada's first official full sized indoor playing field and head office for the Ontario Soccer Association as well as establishing its own Board of Directors – Soccer Centre (Ontario).  A new fan base emerged with young female players supporting the Women's team to a 1-0 victory over Mexico in the final, led by World All Star Charmaine Hooper of Ottawa.
  25. Ontario's Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum inducted Canada's first eleven players and builders in the year 2000 and used the occasion of May 5th, 2001 to induct the next 11 and officially launch The Ontario Soccer Association’s 100th Anniversary.
  26. In 2012 the Board of Ontario Soccer Association approved a plan to overhaul the development and competition structure for players in Ontario, launching under the principles of Sport Canada and Canada Soccer Associations’ Long Term Player Development (LTPD), the Grassroots (U12 and under), Youth (U13-U18) and Senior (U19>) LTPD Development Model. This introduced the “Talented Pathway” with programming such as the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL – Youth) and League 1 Ontario (L1O - Senior) and Grassroots Standards (U12 and under). This decision and program implementation will have an enormous impact on the future of the development of soccer in Ontario for the advancement of participants (players, coaches and match officials) to national and international levels as well as the overall growth of the game within the province.
  27. In 2015, Canada hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup with games hosted in Ottawa, ON. Canada placed 6th with Brampton’s Kadeisha Buchanan winning the Best Young Player Award.
  28. In 2017, The Ontario Soccer Association rebranded itself and now operating as “Ontario Soccer”.
  29. In 2018, Ontario Soccer membership approved a modernized Board governance structure seeing the Board transition from a 28-person representative Board of Directors to a smaller, skilled-based Board of 12. 
  30. In 2023, the Soccer Centre (Ontario) and Ontario Soccer amalgamated their governance and operational structure formerly under “Ontario Soccer”.