Toronto mayor John Tory says he and local health officials are in favour of the Toronto Maple Leafs playing home games in the city, but final approval must come from higher levels of government.
In an appearance on Kiss 92.5's Roz & Mocha show Wednesday morning, Tory said Toronto Public Health and the city have written a letter to the province and the federal government indicating they support the NHL's return to play plan, and now he is waiting to hear the final decision like every other Leafs fan.
"We have written a letter, Toronto public health and the city government, saying it's OK with us based on the protocols put forward," Tory said. "It's now in the hand of, I think principally the federal government and the province, to say yes or no but we have said for our part that we think this is manageable, we would like to see the Leafs playing at Scotiabank Arena. They put forward a great arrangement to keep people safe and healthy. So I guess we'll wait to see what the others have to say."
Toronto was one of two cities that hosted the NHL playoffs in a bubble format this summer, with 12 Eastern Conference teams descending on the city for most of August. But the NHL's plan for this upcoming season is different. Instead, the Maple Leafs could compete in the new all-Canadian North Division and would travel to each Canadian city while hosting each Canadian team over a 56-game schedule.
The federal government gave approval for Canadian teams to host training camps in their cities under "national interest grounds" but left the decision to host games up to each province. So far, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have approved the plan, but Ontario and Manitoba have not.
The NHL season opens on Jan. 13 with the Maple Leafs hosting the Montreal Canadiens.