Last night Biz broke the big news that the Spittin Chiclets Crew is headed to Toronto and the ScoreBet app is going live on April 4th!! Finally all the great people of Ontario will be allowed to ride with the Chiclets boys on our bets and join in on the fun. I got so excited thinking about everything in Ontario I love and had to write them down to share with the world.
10. Boston Pizza - Yes, I know it was founded in Edmonton and you can find these all over Canada, but my first experience with the gourmet pizza and sports bar was in Ontario. I was in Hamilton, Ontario for an AHL game while playing for the Albany River Rats and the Canadian boys on my team told me they had a great spot for us to watch the NHL games that night and grab a great meal. I have no memory of how the pizza was but I do remember the strength of the Canadian beer in those giant pitchers we kept putting down made for an interesting morning skate. Why it’s called “Boston” Pizza nobody really knows, but with a name like that it only seems right to get The Pres up to Ontario soon to do a pizza review.
9. Toronto Metro Junior Hockey League - This league was an absolute shit show but still produced some pretty good talent the 2 years I played there. Tim Connolly, Brian Gionta and Sheldon Keefe were all on teams in this league between 1996-98. Due to some alleged corruption in previous years it was not a recognized league by Canada Hockey so there were basically no rules. We had a 2 fight rule (every other league was 1)which meant it took two fights before you were tossed from a game and anyone including the 14 year old on our team could wear a half shield. Tales from the “Metro League” could fill up a month of blogs or an entire podcast episode, but it was good hockey and it did prepare me for my future. Being an American that liked to run his mouth during games I took countless two handers to the wrists and was jumped more times than I can remember, but it made college hockey seem like the ballet when I arrived there. The league was eventually swallowed up by the Ontario Provincial league and played with real rules so I'm pretty sure the amount of bench clearing brawls went down.
8. The Sky Dome - I know it's called Rogers Centre now but to me, it will always be called The Sky Dome. Being a youngster and hearing they were building a baseball dome with a retractable roof just blew my mind. During a summer hockey tournament, we made our way down to "The Dome" and sat in the “Windows Restaurant”. At the time it was one of my favorite experiences sitting in a restaurant, eating the biggest buffet my eyes have ever seen, and watching a baseball game. I've never had a bad experience to this day watching a Jays game in Toronto and who can forget “Touch’em all Joe!”
7. Niagara Falls - The “8th wonder of the world” is definitely worth a trip and the view from the Canadian side is breathtaking. If you have time and want the best experience book a trip on the Hornblower. The tour boat takes you right into the mix with where you can really get a feel for the power of the falls. Get off the boat quickly and head up the hill as we have a date with Casino Niagara’s blackjack tables.
6. Tim Hortons - The coffee shop will always be considered Canadian even though they have expanded into the US. Timmy Ho’s is like a religion to Canadians and if I didn't mention them in this blog I probably wouldn't be allowed to cross the border! If you get the chance to go make sure you order the “Wayne Gretzky” 9 creams and 9 sugars and a box of Timbits. A company that does this much for youth hockey in Canada and other great things across the nation easily could have slid into my top 5.
At first look I don't think these two guys could have made the roster for The Big Deal Selects.
Well there it is numbers 10 thru 6, the bottom five of my Top 10 All Things Ontario check back later in the week for the Top 5!!!