Toronto Rock among best dynasties in Toronto sports history

Toronto Rock (Photo by B. White/WireImage)
Toronto Rock (Photo by B. White/WireImage) /

We consider the Toronto Rock’s place when looking at the best dynasties in the long history of professional sports teams in Southern Ontario.

Tanner Demling of wrote an interesting article recently, about Pro Lacrosse’s dynasties. When it came to the NLL, Demling had the Toronto Rock as one of the three best of all time.

Certainly it makes sense to have the Rock included in any such list, given how dominant they were between 1999-2005. However, the article then got us wondering about their place when discussing the best dynasties in the history of professional team sports in Toronto.

Between 1999-2005, the Rock won the division each year, thus qualifying for the playoffs every time. During this period, they won five Champions Cups and made one other appearance in the final.

This means the Rock only failed to make the final in one season out of seven. That one season was in 2004, when they lost 19-10 to the Buffalo Bandits in the division final.

With this said, the Rock is more than deserving of their place in the conversation to determine the best dynasty in Toronto sports team history. But how do other team dynasties stack up in comparison?

In order to be included in any such discussion, a team must have won multiple championships over a certain time period. As such, for all the tremendous consistency in their respective leagues during recent years, we have to exclude the Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC from the conversation.

(At this point, we should also give some respect to the Raptors 905 and Toronto Marlies. The 905 won the G League finals in 2016-17, while the Marlies won the Calder Cup in 2017-18.)

The next team to consider are the Toronto Blue Jays, who had an extended period of success between 1985-93. They secured five division titles, made the same number of postseason appearances and won two World Series.

Certainly this is an impressive feat for the Blue Jays, especially when you consider the success took place before the introduction of wild card teams in the Majors. Whether it is as impressive as the Rock’s run of success however, is certainly open to debate.

Next, we turn to the Toronto Argonauts, who are the oldest professional sports team in town. They also have the most championships of any Toronto team, with 17 Grey Cups.

For us, the Argonauts’ most consistent run of success came following World War II. More specifically, between 1945-1952.

Despite never finishing first in the standings, the Double Blue still went on to win five Grey Cups during the time period in question. In total, they made the playoffs on six occasions in eight seasons and their run of success is certainly comparable to the Rock.

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Finally, we turn to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who themselves have 13 Stanley Cups. Regardless of the fact their last win was back in 1967, this still stands as the second-most championships in NHL history.

Talking of the last time the Leafs won it all, they had a stretch between 1961-62 and 1966-67, when they lifted the Stanley Cup in four out of six seasons. However, we’re more interested in the period running from 1941-42 until 1950-51.

This is when the Leafs had their best run of success in franchise history. They won six Stanley Cups and qualified for the playoffs in nine out of 10 seasons.

We’ve already mentioned the Blue Jays’ obstacles and this is important to reiterate when, for example, considering the Leafs were winning in a time when there were only six teams. (The one exception was in 1941-42, when there were seven NHL teams.)

Similarly for the Argonauts, there were between nine-13 teams when they were winning their Grey Cups between 1945-52. As such, it’s only fair to also point out there were between seven and 14 teams in the NLL when the Rock were hoisting the Champions Cup between 1999-2005.

Of course, you can only beat the teams in front of you and as with the Argonauts and Leafs, the Toronto Rock have an impressive standing overall within their own league. They are tied with the Philadelphia Wings for six championships, which is the most in NLL history.

Overall, it’s tough to determine categorically who is the best dynasty, as there’s just too many variables to consider. Regardless, in our humble opinion we would still place the Rock among the top three dynasties in Toronto team sports history.

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What’s your take when it comes to discussing the Toronto Rock’s standing as a dynasty? Where do you rank them in comparison to other Toronto sports team dynasties? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.