Fans attending the May 2023 preseason WNBA game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto were calling for a franchise in the city. | Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

After years of speculation on what city will be home to the next WNBA expansion team, Toronto finds itself coming out on top of the basketball world (for the first time since 2019, if we’re being honest.)

CBC Sports broke the story that billionaire Larry Tanenbaum’s Kilmer Sports Inc. has been granted an expansion franchise.

Tanenbaum is a minority owner and chairman of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), a titan of sports in Canada that also owns teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, and Toronto Argos, among others.

According to CBC, the team is set to play at the Coca-Cola Coliseum, which seats 8,000. Last year’s Toronto-hosted WNBA preseason game between the Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky boasted an attendance of almost 20,000 at Scotiabank Arena where the Raptors play, so there is definitely room to grow.

Further details are expected to be announced on May 23. This is the league’s latest move to expand since announcing a new team in the Bay Area, set to begin competing in next year’s season.

While some haters would (and I have, repeatedly!) argued that the GTA is not necessarily the best-suited place to host the next WNBA team, you can’t help but be happy for what this means for basketball fans in the city and the growing investment in professional women’s sports more broadly.

This year is also the inaugural season of the Professional Women’s Hockey League, with teams in Toronto and five other cities. Starting next year, Toronto is also expected to get in on the ground floor of the new Canadian women’s pro soccer league, pending approval from Soccer Canada.

Last month, Gay Cities placed Toronto in 21st spot on its list of the 50 most popular LGBTQ+ destinations in the world. Six of the 12 current WNBA teams play in cities in the top 20.

Like it or not, Toronto is about to become a bona fide destination for professional women’s sports year-round, and will hopefully model a way for other cities to do the same going forward.