Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Association of Canadian Football


[This article was written in the 1930's and published in 1948; for the precise citation, see the end of the document.]

Football, Association, the type of football in which the players are allowed to use only their feet in advancing the ball. The name was derived from the English Football Association, consisting of teams which played this type of game as opposed to Rugby. The game is, perhaps, better known by its abbreviated name, "soccer". Out of the chaos which existed in English football during the 40's and 50's of the last century, emerged certain clubs which considered that the game should be played with the feet only and not with the hands. The number of these clubs had increased very considerably by 1862. In 1863 the game was placed on an organized basis when the chief clubs in London, and other clubs, met and formed the Football Association.


Organization of the game in Canada commenced in 1876 when a convention of clubs, which met at Toronto, adopted the rules of the Scottish Association. Prior to this, a game had been played at the University of Toronto in which it was permissible to hit, bounce, or kick, but not to carry the ball. Great impetus was given to Association football in Canada by the formation of the Western Association in Ontario in 1880. This was followed by the formation in 1882 of the Central Association, which included teams from Toronto to Kingston inclusive. At this time, the development of the game was furthered by its adoption in secondary schools, such as the Galt High School, Woodstock College, and other centres in Ontario. In 1886 the Caledonia cup matches were instituted between teams chosen from the Central and Western Associations respectively. In 1888 a picked team from various clubs, representing Canada , was sent on a tour of Great Britain .


The Toronto Football League was formed in 1889 and affiliated with the Western Association. By the year 1890 an eastern association had been organized in the province of Quebec. In 1895, the various colleges in Toronto decided to withdraw from the Toronto League and to form an inter-collegiate association.


Association football is now played throughout the Dominion. Possibly its most ardent devotees are the more recent immigrants from the British Isles. In the rural districts, Association football is much more popular than Rugby. In the cities and particularly in the universities, the reverse is the case.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 358-359.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College