Bolded are active teams.
The Canadian Football League was formed in 1958 when the nine founding franchises – Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Calgary, Edmonton and BC – withdrew the Canadian Football Council from the Canadian Rugby Union, renamed the CFC the Canadian Football League and appointed G. Sydney Halter the league’s Commissioner.
Canadian football developed from rugby roots and professional Canadian Football originated from various Rugby Unions in Canada which date as far back as 1861. The modern era of Canadian Football is generally agreed to begin in 1954 when the Grey Cup, the now symbol of professional football supremacy in Canada, became exclusively contested by professional teams.
The league has consisted of nine teams throughout most of its history. From 1987 to 1992 eight teams formed the league after the Montreal franchise withdrew from play. The 1990’s saw a period of American expansion and in 1993, the first franchise in the United States of America played out of Sacramento, California. For the 1996 season, American operations ceased and the Montreal franchise returned the CFL to it’s original nine franchises. The following year the Ottawa Rough Riders franchise withdrew. Football returned to Ottawa from 2002 to 2005 as the Ottawa Renegades. The Ottawa RedBlacks team became the CFL‘s 9th franchise again in 2014. Long term, the CFL is looking to Quebec City or the Maritimes as the location of its tenth franchise.
The CFL is known as a wide open, fast paced and exciting game to watch. While it had a period of financial struggles through most of the 1980’s and 1990’s, it consistently maintained an exciting product and produced many star players during this period. The league has experienced an upswing in popularity since 1996, returning it to its previous peak level of prominence in Canada.
“There is no team sport known to civilized man which is more spectacular, dramatic, bruising — brutal even — or yet more fascinating than professional football.”