The Ontario Women's Interuniversity Athletic Association was founded in 1971, which provided athletic competition for women students in the universities of Ontario. The OWIAA was unique in North America in both its longevity and singleness of purpose. Formed by the amalgamation of the Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WIAU), which was founded in 1923 and the Ontario-Quebec Women's Conference of Intercollegiate Athletics (O-QWCIA), the OWIAA continued the heritage of 50 years of women's interuniversity competition. This coalition was the only association for women's athletics to have survived through 60 years of commitment to women athletes in Ontario universities.
The league was directly preceeded by the Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Union which ran from 1921 until being replaced by the OWIAA in 1971. The league was then replaced by the Ontario University Athletics women's ice hockey League; which started play with the 1997-98 season.