Toronto is a city with a of history with soccer and one of the earliest soccer games was played in Toronto in 1859 between the St. George's Society and a team of Irishmen. Games were played in New Westminster in 1862 and in Victoria in 1865. The first game played under modern rules took place in Toronto in 1876, after which the Dominion Football Association, the first recorded football association outside the British Isles, was formed in Toronto in 1877 to foster competition between local sides. The first soccer book published in Canada was published in Toronto in March 1879.
As in other English-speaking nations outside the United Kingdom, association football has been traditionally overshadowed by a rival code of the game with explicitly local roots. As in Australia, where Australian Rules football took hold; and Ireland, where Gaelic Football is played; while in New Zealand rugby holds greater popularity and yet Canadian football usurped association football. In 1869, the founding of Hamilton Football Club, who played what would become Canadian football, helped make that sport the dominant football code in Canada by the dawn of the twentieth century. Despite the difference in popularity of their respective professional leagues, soccer overtook ice hockey in the 1980s and 1990s as the sport with the most registered players in the country according to Fifa and in 2008 there were 873,032 soccer players, compared to 584,679 registered hockey players in Canada in 2008-09.