Inside Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame

Canadians love their hockey. The cliche is similar to how Brazilians or Argentinians view football — it’s a religion.

Kids are raised on hockey, it’s ingrained in their culture and they revere names like Wayne Gretsky, Bobby Orr and  Mario Lemieux. It’s why donut king and hockey legend Tim Horton is so beloved.

The irony being that hockey is not Canada’s nation sport. It’s lacrosse. Credit the nation’s indigenous people for that honor.

In any event, the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto is a must for hockey and sports fan in general. For those who are not … ehhhh, you might be a little bored.

As a passive hockey fan, it was an re-introduction to the names that define the sport. You get a sense of the sport’s popularity, pride and history in North America. You can’t help but have that stereotypical Canadian accent in your head as you walk though the museum.

The hall is basically in the basement of a mall, Brookfield Place. The actual hall itself is on street level. This where you see the plaques of all the players, coaches, owners and broadcasters who make up the Hall of Fame. Just this week, Flyers legend Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov and Rogie Vachon made it onto the wall. In the center of the hall is the greatest trophy in all of sports, the Lord Stanley’s Cup. If it’s there, you can have your photo taken with it free of charge.

Plan out two hours for your visit, three if you’re a hockey fan. There are interactive exhibits where you can play goalie or go on offense, do a radio call of a hockey game and view a sappy 3D movie.

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