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Cultural Heritage

The 2012 Grey Cup – 100 years of great Canadian football!

The 2012 Grey Cup – 100 years of great Canadian football
On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, recognized the Grey Cup as an event of national historic significance. Minister Van Loan made the announcement on November 20, 2012 during a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque-unveiling ceremony at Varsity Centre in Toronto. / The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe (on the right) with Mr. David Naylor, President of the University of Toronto and Mr. Mark Cohon, Commissioner, Canadian Football League.
© Parks Canada

 The University of Toronto Senior Rugby Football Club
Original winners of the first Grey Cup (1909), the University of Toronto Senior Rugby Football Club. The original Grey Cup can be seen in the right corner of the image.
© Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum / 977.0.912 / 1909

On 4 December 1909, two football teams – the University of Toronto and the Parkdale Canoe Club – met on Rosedale Field in Toronto, before a crowd of 3,807 spectators to vie for the Dominion championship. Hugh Gall, considered one of the best kicking halfbacks of his day, kicked a record eight singles in the game, helping Toronto to a 26-6 victory. The team left the field empty-handed, however, as the silver championship cup commissioned by Governor-General, Earl Grey was not yet ready. The following year, the cup was finally presented in March. Since then, the Grey Cup trophy has been the symbol of excellence in Canadian football, awarded to the sport’s national champions.

The Grey Cup – championship game and trophy – celebrates the best of Canadian professional football. Despite East Division versus West Division rivalries, it is a national championship that engages millions of Canadians. In the words of CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon, the Grey Cup “is the inspiration for an annual Canadian pilgrimage. Thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast journey to the host city each year for the contest, and millions more join them via television.”

On 25 November 2012, the 100th Grey Cup game will be played in Toronto.

The Government of Canada announces the designation of the Grey Cup as a nationally significant event in Canadian history. More information can be found at the Parks Canada Media Room under News Releases and Backgrounders.