The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), formerly known as the Metro Toronto Hockey League, is a minor level ice hockey organization based in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario. The league was founded in 1911 as the Beaches Hockey League by Fred C. Waghorne, Sr., and it is the largest minor hockey organization in the world. The league is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada.


Early yearsEdit

The Greater Toronto Hockey League was founded in 1911 by Frank D. Smith. Its first season consisted of 5 teams and 99 players. Smith was 17 years old when he founded the organization, and would continue to oversee the operation for 50 years. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962 in part for his contributions to minor hockey in Toronto.[1][2]

The League's name underwent several changes over its history. Originally called the Beaches League, it was renamed to the Toronto Hockey League (THL) shortly after its inception. It was renamed again in 1972 to the Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League before settling on the current Greater Toronto Hockey League moniker in 1998. The League saw increases in membership during its first few years. During World War I, the then THL maintained its numbers due to having younger age divisions, such as peewee and bantam, where the players were too young to participate in the war.[3] By the 1960s, The league had over 20,000 members on teams across Toronto.

The GTHLEdit

In 2011, the Greater Toronto Hockey League consisted of 2,800 teams and around 40,000 players. It is currently the largest youth ice hockey organization in the world in terms of members.[3][4] The league has expanded its area of operation over the years from primarily the city of Toronto to many of its surrounding municipalities.[3] Currently, there are 51 separate associations that operate under the GTHL. These associations provide teams for the various age groups and divisions that make up the league.[5] Around 275 GTHL alumni have gone on to play in North American professional ice hockey leagues, such as the National Hockey League and the defunct World Hockey Association.[4]

The GTHL is a not-for-profit organization, however its operating costs are high.[3] In 2011, league expenses were in excess of $9 million per year.[2] The high costs of operating teams has been an issue for the league, with some teams having trouble paying for the increasing costs of ice in the Toronto area.[6] The costs for someone to play on a AAA GTHL team, its highest level of play,[5] is approximately $6,000 per player.[4]

In 2011, the GTHL along with Hockey Canada changed its rules regarding hits to the head. Stricter rules were placed on what constituted a hit to the head, and the severity of punishment for instances of it was increased.[7]

Current teamsEdit

  • Amesbury Attack
  • Amesbury Avalanche
  • Don Mills Flyers
  • Don Mills Mustangs
  • Duffield Devils
  • East Ender Ticats
  • Forest Hill Hockey Association
  • Goulding Park Rangers
  • Greater Toronto Capitals
  • Hillcrest Canadiens
  • Humber Valley Sharks
  • Humberview Huskies
  • Leaside Flames
  • Markham Islanders
  • Markham Majors
  • Mississauga Braves
  • Mississauga Ice Warriors
  • Mississauga Jets
  • Mississauga North Stars
  • Mississauga Rebels
  • Mississauga Reps
  • Mississauga Senators
  • Mississauga Terriers
  • North Toronto Hockey
  • North York Knights
  • North York Rangers
  • Scarborough Ice Raiders
  • Scarborough Young Bruins
  • Streetsville Tigers
  • Ted Reeve Thunder
  • Toronto Aces
  • Toronto Aeros
  • Toronto Avalanche
  • Toronto Colts
  • Toronto Eagles
  • Toronto Jr. Canadiens
  • Toronto Marlboros
  • Toronto Nationals
  • Toronto Red Wings
  • Toronto Royals
  • Toronto Shamrocks
  • Toronto Titans
  • Toronto Wolverines
  • Vaughan Kings
  • Vaughan Panthers
  • Vaughan Rangers
  • West Hill Golden Hawks
  • West Mall Lightning
  • West Toronto Renegades
  • Willowdale Blackhawks
  • York Mills
  • York Toros

Levels of playEdit

The GTHL runs leagues at the AAA, AA, and A levels. The league has children of all ages, extending from Timbits (3 or 4 years of age) all the way to U21 (18–21).

Notable alumniEdit


  1. Legends of Hockey. Retrieved on 2 April 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kalchman, Lois. "Greater Toronto Hockey League Turns 100", Toronto Star, 15 September 2011. Retrieved on 3 April 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 About GTHL. Retrieved on 4 April 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gillmor, Don. "Is Minor Hockey Worth It?", Toronto Star, 11 January 2013. Retrieved on 4 April 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 League Info - GTHL. Retrieved on 4 April 2013.
  6. Wyatt, Charles. Toronto minor hockey caught in profit debate. Retrieved on 4 April 2013.
  7. MacGregor, Roy. "Hockey Canada's head shot rule goes into effect", The Globe and Mail, 6 September 2012. Retrieved on 4 April 2013. 
  8. YMHC player and volunteer history. York Mills Hockey Club. Retrieved on November 15, 2017.

External linksEdit

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