By Sean Delaney
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) named Toronto as one of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Host Cities. During a special viewing event in Toronto, Mayor John Tory alongside partners and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), celebrated the announcement and recognized the work of the City of Toronto and partners to distinguish Toronto within the selection process.
“On behalf of the residents of Toronto and Council, I am delighted that Toronto has been chosen as a host city for FIFA World Cup 2026. There is no bigger sports tournament on the planet, and it will be an opportunity to welcome the world and showcase all that our city has to offer to a global audience,” said Mayor John Tory.
FIFA announced Toronto will be a host city for the FIFA World Cup 2026 along with Vancouver and 14 other cities in Mexico and the United States. This is the most competitive venue selection process in FIFA World Cup history. Toronto will host multiple matches at BMO Field and major fan events across the city for the duration of the 32-day tournament. FIFA will determine at a later date which tournament matches will be played in Toronto.
The FIFA World Cup generates significant economic, cultural and community benefits for host cities and countries and increases host cities’ profiles on the world stage. The significant economic impact anticipated from the event will help sustain Toronto’s long-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the hard-hit tourism, hospitality and entertainment sectors.
“We are thrilled that Toronto has been chosen as a Host City for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and are excited to welcome the qualifying teams and the global audience the event attracts. With matches at BMO Field and major fan events all across the city, the FIFA World Cup 2026 is an opportunity to highlight the diversity of Toronto’s neighbourhoods and to raise Toronto’s profile on the world stage,” said Scott Beck, CEO and President of Destination Toronto.
FIFA World Cup 2026 will be the first in history to feature 48 teams and to be held in three different countries. With up to 10 nations playing in Toronto, Toronto’s pride in its diversity and multiculturalism will be strengthened, with the event touching all neighbourhoods, building a sense of anticipation and camaraderie for the next four years and beyond.
In 2018, the FIFA World Cup 2026 was awarded to a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States, with 80 matches to be staged across 16 cities in North America, of which 10 matches are expected to be in Canada. In January 2018, City Council endorsed Toronto’s participation in the bid to be a host city.
“On behalf of all those involved in the Toronto bid, and everyone at MLSE, we are thrilled with FIFA’s announcement today that Toronto will serve as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and we thank them for the trust they have shown in our group and our city. The FIFA World Cup 2026 will represent a historic moment for the game of soccer, and for our great city, and we are appreciative to all who helped us achieve this goal, including both the Provincial and Federal governments. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Canada Soccer, the City of Toronto and Destination Toronto to make this event as much a success locally as it will be globally,” said Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and Co-Chair of the Toronto bid to be a FIFA World Cup 2026 Host City with Toronto Mayor John Tory.