Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for October 22nd!

Canadian History for Kids


McGill University and the University of Toronto play Canada’s First college football game on the U of T lawn, October 22, 1881. That’s right…1881! This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at the long rivalry between the Vartsity Blues and the Redmen.

This Canadian History for Kids article begins when McGill visited Toronto for the first Canadian intercollegiate rugby football game, October 22nd, 1881. Little did they know at that time, it would become the longest rivalry in Canadian sports.

The two schools subsequently played each other once a year, the site of the game switching between Toronto and Montreal except for the years 1890, 1893, 1896 and 1897.
The McGill Redmen CIS football team is one of the oldest in all of Canada, having begun organized competition in 1874. The team has appeared in three Vanier Cup national championships, in 1969, 1973 and 1987.

The name Redmen was first published in 1929 as “Red Men” and was used to describe the red uniforms worn by McGill sports teams. Redmen derives from ancient times, when Celts were known as the “Red Men” because of their red hair.

The University of Toronto (U of T) Varsity Blues is one of three of the oldest university football programs in Canada (the other two football programs are McGill and Queen’s University. One of the first documented games in U of T history was in 1861 where this game that was played was played using rules that saw the players bounce or kick the ball towards the opposition’s goal.

This Canadian History for Kids article continues with the first documented gridiron football match, a game played on November 9, 1861, at University College, University of Toronto.

Modern Canadian football is thought to have originated from the game of rugby. This rugby-football soon became popular at Montreal’s McGill University. McGill challenged Harvard University to a game, in 1874. The Grey Cup was established in 1909 as the championship of all of Canadian football. Initially an amateur competition, it eventually became dominated by professional teams in the 1940s and early 1950s.

At Canadian History for Kids, we have searched high and low to find out who won the first game between McGill and Varsity. But we can’t find a score!

And that’s this weeks Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.

Other Canadian History for Kids Sketches of Canada

Canadian History for Kids!