Best soccer (football) clubs in Canada – most successful, popular and biggestSeptember 27, 2021
From the MLS franchise to the CPL, circling the Ontario and Quebec leagues, we statistically ranked the best soccer (association football) clubs in Canada.
Soccer in Canada is one of the most popular sports in the country in terms of active participation, fans, audience, etc.
The Canadian Premier League, Canadian Championship and the MLS represent the best teams in the soccer or association football scene in the country.
The Canadians Premier League and Canadian Championship are the two primary national soccer competitions even though three teams (Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, CF Montréal) compete in the MLS.
Also Read: Canadian teams in the MLS explained
The CPL is currently one of the fastest-growing soccer leagues in North America with the view of developing the sport in the country from the grassroots.
In 1859, the earliest soccer game was played in Toronto. Since then, sport in the country has continued to grow.
In 1926, the National Soccer League was formed and it only featured teams in Ontario and Quebec.
Today, the Canadian Premier League and Major League Soccer represent top-level soccer in the country.
The Canadian Premier League is considered a primary national soccer league consisting of eight teams.
Biggest and the most successful soccer teams in Canada
- Toronto FC
- CF Montréal
- Vancouver Whitecaps
- Forge FC
- Calvary FC
Best soccer (football) clubs in Canada
1. Toronto FC
Toronto FC is currently the most successful soccer club in Canada.
Having won the Canadian Championship, Canada’s national knockout cup competition, the club prides itself as one of South America’s elites.
In 2017, the club won a historic treble with the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship.
This alone propelled the club as a strong force in Canadian soccer today.
Toronto’s success has led to an increased number of followers most especially from the Toronto area beginning from the 2007 season.
The club made history as the first soccer club from Canada to reach the semi-final of the CONCACAF Champions League after defeating the LA Galaxy during the 2011/12 season.
Since the introduction of teams from Canada into the MLS, Toronto FC is the only team to have won the MLS Cup as well as the Supporters Shield once.
Toronto FC Rivalries
Toronto FC competes in the MLS and the Canadian Championship and has established some major rivalries in the United States and Canada.
Toronto FC vs Club de Foot Montréal – Canadian Classique
This is by regarded as the biggest rivalry of the club in the country as CF Montréal formerly Montréal Impact is the second most successful team in the history of the Canadian Championship.
The two teams have also met on several occasions during the national knockout cup competition.
Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Toronto FC second rivalry is Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC is the third all-time most successful team in the Canadian Championship and the two sides have met in the domestic cup competition.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC is one of the three clubs that compete in Major League Soccer.
Whitecaps is one of the top sides in Canadian soccer today.
Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew
Toronto has established a strong rivalry in the Major League Soccer with Columbus Crew, the soccer team based in Columbus.
Meeting at the Trillium Cup in 2008, the rivalry between the two clubs has grown over the years to become a bitter rivalry in the league.
The meeting between the two sides has also caused altercations between the supporters of the opposing sides.
Toronto FC trophies and Achievements
The team could be regarded as the most decorated team in modern-day soccer in the country.
Canadian Championship – National
Toronto’s enjoyed success in the country’s domestic scene with seven victories in over 12 participation.
Toronto FC won the Canadians Championship in four consecutive seasons beginning from 2009 until 2012.
Toronto FC also replicated the same form, but this time, the club won the Voyageurs Cup or Canadian Championship in three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2018.
This performance has further registered the club’s name as the best team in modern-day soccer in Canada.
MLS Cup and Supporters Shield – National 1 & 1
Toronto FC made history by claiming the MLS Cup and Supporters Shield historically in 2017.
The Toronto based club made it a “Double” campaign in 2017 after clinching the MLS Cup, Supporters Shield and Canadian Championship.
Why is Toronto FC in the MLS? The club moved to the MLS as a result of the structure, professionalism and financing strength since the league Canada was not as big as it is today.
2. CF Montréal / Montreal Impact
The impact is the second most successful soccer team in the country.
Founded in 2010 as the Montreal Impact, the soccer club was admitted into the MLS in 2012 as an expansion franchise team.
Montreal Impact was rebranded as Club de Foot Montréal or simply as CF Montréal in 2021 in a bid to further strengthen the team as was a brand’s exposure.
The impact was the first team to lift the Canadians Championship in 2008, beating Toronto FC in the final.
Although the club is yet to make a mark in the MLS, the consistency has been in the domestic scene.
The impact is one of the fast-rising soccer teams in Canada. The club is currently rebranding and could be a top MLS Cup challenger in the nearest future.
CF Montréal made history as the first Canadian soccer team to reach the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2015 after Toronto FC had already achieved the status as the first team to reach the knockout stages.
In the 2014–15 season, Club de Foot Montréal were runners up of the CONCACAF Champions League as they lost to Mexican Liga MX side Tigres UANL.
CF Montréal Rivalries
Club de Foot Montréal vs Toronto FC – Canadian Classique
This is the biggest soccer rivalry in Canada as the two sides have performed well in domestic as well as international competitions.
The two clubs are from the largest cities in and out of sports. The two teams have played against each other for over 40 years.
The rivalry began in the original North America Soccer League (NASL), and unto the now-defunct Canadian Soccer League.
CF Montréal and Toronto FC have also played regularly in the Canadian Championship.
The rivalry has intensified since the two teams joined Major League Soccer.
CF Montréal vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The two teams have met in the national knockout cup competition.
Club de Foot Montréal Trophies and Achievements
Canadian Championship – National
Club de Foot Montréal is the second most successful team in the competition with four titles.
Although, CF Montréal is the overall best team as winners of the Voyageurs Cup beginning from 2002 to 2007 before the Canadian Championship became the main competition.
During the Voyageurs Cup era, CF Montréal singlehandedly won six titles beginning from its inaugural edition in 2002 until 2007.
CONCACAF Champions League – International
Result: Runners up – 2014–15
CF Montréal lost in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League against Mexican side Tigres UANL.
It became the first team from Canada to reach the finals of the North American top club competition.
3. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC are the next side with a major trophy at the national level.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC currently plays in the Major League Soccer as a member of the Western Conference.
The club won the Canadian Championship once in 2015 and was runner up on seven occasions.
The club has also won the Cascadia Cup.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Rivalries
Cascadia Cup – Portland Timbers FC and Seattle Sounders FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC has a stronghold rivalry with Portland Timbers FC and Seattle Sounders FC in the MLS.
Portland Timbers FC remains the club’s biggest rival which dates back to 1975 in the North American Soccer League.
Seattle Sounders is another MLS based side with a strong rivalry with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Toronto FC
This is one of the strong Canadian soccer rivalries after Toronto FC vs Club de Foot Montréal.
Playing against each other in the MLS as the first two Canadian teams spurred the rivalry.
The two teams have also met in the Canadian Championship (Voyageurs Cup).
4. Forge Football Club
Forge FC is one of the fast-rising Professional Soccer in Canada.
They currently play in the Canadian Premier League and are the most successful team in history with two titles.
Forge FC won the first two editions of the Canadian Premier League, making it the best in the new national soccer league.
Nicknamed “The Hammers” , they made it back-to-back wins in the CPL in 2019 and 2020.
Forge made history as the first CPL side to compete in the CONCACAF League, North America’s second’s tier club competition in 2019.
Forge FC – The New Soccer Revolution
The club’s supporters group began in 2016. The group has been behind the club’s success since 2019.
The club has changed the face of soccer in the country has improved the level of competition with other teams in the league.
905 Derby: Forge FC vs York United FC
Forge FC has an active rivalry with fellow CPL side York United. The two teams are based in Southern Ontario and remain the two closest in the league.
Forge FC vs Cavalry FC
The competitiveness rivalry between the two sides began in the CPL inaugural season in 2019.
The two teams emerged tops at the end of the season. The two teams have met in the Canadian Premier League and the Canadian Championship.
Forge FC Trophies and Achievements
The club made history as it won the CPL back to back in 2019 and 2020.
It is currently ranked as one of the strongest teams in the CPL having some of the best professional soccer players in the country.
5. Calvary Football Club
Calvary FC is a professional soccer club in Alberta, that competes in the CPL.
Calvin is current amongst the top sides in the CPL.
As a new Professional side, the club reached the finals of the 2019 Canadians Premier League finals but lost to Forge FC.
Calvary FC’s recognition came after the team ended the regular season in Spring 2019, Fall 2019 as winners, although it failed to lift the title, the CPL final the same year.
Calvary FC Rivalry
Calvary FC vs FC Edmonton – Al Classico
The rivalry between Calvary FC and FC Edmonton exists as a geographical rivalry since the two teams are based in Alberta and compete in the CPL.
It is also one of the largest sporting rivalries that exist between Calvary and Edmonton.
Calvary FC vs Forge FC
This rivalry was established in 2019 as the two sides met in the CPL finals.
Forge FC claimed its first Canadian Premier League title after a hard-fought aggregate win which ended with heated altercations between both sides on the pitch.
Calvary FC Trophies and Achievements
The team was awarded the regular season trophy of the CPL in 2019.
Regular Season – Spring 2019, Fall 2019.
6. HFX Wanderers FC
HFX Wanderers Football Club is a professional soccer club based in a club in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The club competes in the CPL.
HFX Wanderers rose to prominence after it reached the 2020 CPL final but lost to Forge FC.
HFX had a remake outing during the 2020 season. The club finished second at the end of the regular season behind Calvary FC.
Road to the final, HFX finished second of the group ahead of Calvary FC and behind eventual winners Forge FC.
HFX Wanderers Rivalries
Some of the best teams in Canada regionally
League1 Ontario or (L1O) is a semi-professional men’s and women’s league for teams based in Ontario.
7. Vaughan Azzurri
Vaughan Azzurri is a semi-professional soccer club based in Vaughan, Ontario. The club competes in League1 Ontario.
The club is one of the most successful teams in the Ontario area.
Vaughan Azzurri is a joint most successful team in Ontario League 1 alongside Blue Devils Football Club with two titles each.
The club has also won up to three League 1 Ontario League Cup three times.
8. Blue Devils Football Club
Blue Devils Football Club is a semi-professional soccer club based in Oakville, Ontario. The team competes in League1 Ontario.
Blue Devils Football Club is the joint-most successful team in the league alongside Vaughan Azzurri with two titles each.
The club won its first title in 2015 and two years later in 2017.
Première Ligue de soccer du Québec
Premier Ligue de soccer du Québec ( PLSQ ) is a semi-professional soccer league in the Quebec region
Association de Soccer de Blainville or simply A.S. Blainville is a semi-professional soccer club based in Blainville, Québec.
It competes in the regional league. It is the most successful team in the division with four titles and two Coupe PLSQ.
10. CS Mont-Royal Outremont
Club Soccer Mont-Royal Outremont is a semi-professional soccer club based in the Montreal boroughs of Mount Royal and Outremont.
It competes in the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec.
The club is the second most successful team in the league with three titles. The club has also won the Coupe Ligue de soccer du Québec once.
Competition in Canadian soccer
In terms of the competition of soccer in the country, an age gap still exist between the MLS based teams and the CPL clubs.
The Canadians Championship is the only competition that brings together every club including the teams from the MLS, CPL, Ontario and Quebec leagues to participate for a common trophy.
The Championship is currently dominated by the MLS based sides.
Soccer Popularity in Canada
Soccer is one of the most popular sport in Canada today.
Although other sports such as basketball, ice hockey continue to lead the way, soccer has also gathered more followers across the country.
Top Soccer Competitions
Canadian Premier League
The CPL is the country primary national soccer league. All teams that compete in the league are fully professional.
About eight teams participate in the league with plans for expansion already made public.
Also Read: CPL winners list
Also Read: CPL players salary explained
It is the country’s national knockout cup competition contested by teams across the country including teams from the MLS, CPL, Ontario and Quebec leagues.
League1 Ontario is a regional soccer league contested by teams in Ontario.
Première Ligue de soccer du Québec
It is the primary soccer league in Quebec.
Major League Soccer
Three Canadian teams including Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC and Club de Foot Montréal competes in the MLS, the top tier league in the United States.
Also Read: MLS Cup winners
USL League One
Toronto FC II or simply the reserved team of MLS side Toronto FC competes in the USL League One in the United States.
The article highlights the list of best associates football (soccer) clubs in Canada. The article also covered clubs based on population, success, and size.