Canadian football fans far and wide are likely to feel the pre-game jitters and excitement as the men’s squad prepare for their first game at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The last time Canada played at a World Cup was also the first for the team 36 years ago when Mexico hosted. Now the team meets Belgium, who were semi-finalists in 2018.
Because of the eight-hour time difference between Ontario and Qatar, bars across the province will be able to start serving liquor at 7am, two hours earlier than usual for the duration of the tournament.
Here are some of the places in GTA where football fans can cheer for Canada during their World Cup matches.
The City of Toronto confirmed to CTV News Toronto that it currently has no plans for city-hosted outdoor viewing parties.
“We encourage Toronto residents and visitors to gather and visit local restaurants and bars, which many assume will be open during the World Cup, and join in the excitement,” a city spokesman said.
The Voyageurs, Canada’s national soccer fan club, divided the various bars across the country where they will be cheering on the team including the Duke of York on Prince Arthur Avenue, The Rec Room Roundhose on Bremner Boulevard and the Lost Craft Brewery on Runnymede Road to name a few.
The Toronto Public Library’s Palmerston branch will broadcast Canada’s first game where fans can watch without pre-booking.
There will also be a ‘big’ street party in front of Café Diplomatico on Wednesday from 12pm to 9pm to cheer on Canada’s first game and on December 18th again the last league game with live entertainment which will be at 9am clock begins
Celebration Square will publicly screen various matches during the FIFA World Cup.
“We will be showing all of Canada’s games in the square, so get ready to cheer for Alphonso Davies, Stephen Eustaquio, Milan Borjan and the rest of the team!” the city said.
Football fans can watch the full screening online, and the only day the city doesn’t show games is November 26 for the Light Up the Square event.
Brampton residents can go to Garden Square to see all of Canada’s World Cup games this year.
For Sunday’s game against Croatia, the pitch will have a football net for children to play on and some local food vendors. There will also be life size cutouts of Brampton players to take some photos with.
So far, all of Canada’s confirmed FIFA games will be shown at Vaughan City Hall.
The city will provide updates on additional viewership as the team progresses through the tournament, but the final will be broadcast on De. 18 – no matter who plays.
In partnership with the City of Oakville, Oakville Soccer Club will publicly broadcast Team Canada games at its indoor soccer field.
If you come to watch your games here, the football club asks you to bring your own lawn chair and a blanket to put under the chair to protect the lawn.
Admission is free, but once the football club has reached full capacity, it closes its doors.
WHEN ARE CANADAS GAMES?
Canada’s first game begins at 2 p.m. EST. After that, they meet Croatia on Sunday at 11am EST and Morocco next Thursday, December 1st at 10am EST.
With files from The Associated Press