Canada Rugby League East v West
Canada Rugby League East v West

Photo Credit: Boris Terzic


  • Represents the world’s first professional sports league to set up as a Co-Operative business.
  • Planning for a short-form tournament to take place in Toronto during summer of 2022.
  • Full 12-team league competition to start in 2023, 6 men’s sides and 6 women’s sides.
  • West Coast teams to be announced in the coming weeks.

Today it is announced that Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League (CCCRL) have revealed that Toronto, Ontario; Hamilton, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec are the three cities that will compete in and represent the Eastern Conference. These three destinations will feature both a men’s and women’s competition. The team names for all three East Coast cities for both the men’s and women’s Clubs will be decided at a later date. 

As voted by the fans along with the CCCRL’s Board of Directors, these three East Coast cities were selected based on their population and market size, potential growth for community participation, current sport landscape, accessibility, transportation, number of educational institutions such as universities and colleges, and cultural diversity.

Sandy Domingos-Shipley, VP of Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League had this to say about today’s announcement:

“Today is an incredibly special and rewarding day for CCCRL and our fans as our vision and journey in creating and growing the game of Rugby League in Canada has moved one step closer upon the selection of the three cities which will make up the Eastern Conference. We cannot wait to get started building and developing the great game of Rugby League from the grassroots level on up within the communities of Toronto, Hamilton, and Montreal.”

Toronto, Ontario:

  • The general population in the Greater Toronto Area is approximately 6.4 million people. This makes the GTA the largest metropolitan area in Canada.
  • The current population of Toronto in 2021 is 2.7 million (2,731,571). This makes Toronto the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest city in North America.
  • Almost half (47.0%) of the people who live in Toronto report that they are a member of a visible minority. This is more than double the average percentage across Canada, which is 19.1%.
  • Home to five world-renowned universities and six internationally recognized colleges.
  • Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), Toronto FC (MLS), Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Toronto Arrows (MLR), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Toronto Rock (NLL), Toronto Wolfpack (NARL) and Toronto Six (NWHL).

*Courtesy of Stats Canada

Hamilton, Ontario

  • The current metro area population of Hamilton in 2021 is 771,000, a 0.52% increase from 2020 and is the 9th largest populated city in Canada.
  • It is home to McMaster University, Mohawk College, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
  • Children aged 14 years and under account for 16.23% of the city’s population.
  • According to Stats Canada, Hamilton is an extremely diverse city, with a huge number of ethnic and cultural groups living there. Major minority groups are: South Asian (4.2%), Chinese (1.9%), Black (3.8%), Filipino (1.5%), Latin American (1.6%), Arab (2%), Southeast Asian (1.2%), West Asian (0.9%), another visible minority (1.1%), multiple visible minority (0.7%).
  • Home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL), Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL), Forge FC (CPL) and Hamilton Honey Badgers (CEBL).

*Courtesy of Stats Canada

Montreal, Quebec

  • Canada’s second (most) populated city with an estimated population of over 1.7 million people while the population of Montreal’s urban area is 4.2 million people.
  • Is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the developed world, after Paris.
  • Children under the age of 14 (approximately 619,000) in Montreal accounts for 18.06 % of the total population.
  • Is one of the most important economic centres in Canada. The city’s regional gross domestic product amounted to $189.3 billion, largely thanks to Montreal’s advanced aviation, finance, design, and film industries.
  • Home of the Montreal Canadiens (NHL), CF Montreal (MLS), Montreal Alouettes (CFL) and have been granted a franchise in CEBL (2022).

*Courtesy of Stats Canada


Formed by a group of directors, the world’s first co-operatively owned professional Rugby League competition. Based out of Toronto, the co-operative with the support of the Ontario Co-Operative Association will employ over 100 employees from players to backroom staff, to broadcasting and production. Founded in 2020, its primary mission is to deliver professional Rugby League in Canada and in-turn support the national growth of the sport by direct re-investment of a portion of profits back into the CRL. As a co-operative league it will be publicly owned with dividends going back to its members. The CCCRL is positioning itself as one of the most innovative sporting organizations in the nation and in the world of Rugby League.