Northern – NT Sporting Rivalry

Ezra Strauss


Ezra J. Strauss is the BAA president at Northern Secondary School. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment, though, was graduating grade 9 at NTCI. Graffiti has asked Ezra to reflect on the burning Northern-North Toronto rivalry, which he has experienced from both sides of Roehampton. Please note, this competitive rivalry is not as one sided as Ezra might try to make it seem. I am proud to report that the NTCI Men’s Volleyball Program recently returned from Northern with dignity intact – and a 25-5 slaughter for the Norsemen. Feel it Red Knights!

(above was reported by Ahron Seeman)


          “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”

                                               – Oscar Wilde    

Greetings NTCI’ers. As you have probably realized by now, I am not a North Toronto student. In fact, I am the president of the Boys Athletic Association at Northern. That’s right, big bad Northern down the street. I know many of you are thinking, and very humorously so, that I got my parents to write this article for me (they only proof-read). But, putting quality-of-school-jokes aside, I’d like to thank my buddy Ahron Seeman for giving me this great opportunity to brag a little bit about the powerhouse known as Northern Red Knights athletics via your, North Toronto’s, very own Graffiti.

In a city holding (roughly) 5 million people, a school board boasting 105 high schools and a neighbourhood featuring 4 of the city’s top secondary schools, there is a rivalry that has lasted for the past 80 years. And as any athlete would agree, there is nothing like a rivalry game to get teams and students excited about attending school sporting events.

But the Rivalry-down-Roehampton has been lacking over the last 3 decades. Northern boasts one of the most well-regarded and well-rounded athletics programs in the city, often even in the province, while North Toronto fails to secure anything more than tier 2 relegation. You have, however, managed to regain your senior football program, and for that accomplishment we Northerners offer our congratulations. The residents of the condominiums built atop your school finally get to watch more football!

Each school has a student-run organization that helps fuel their respective athletic programs for boys and girls: The Boys Athletic Association (BAA) and Girls Athletic Association (GAA). As president of the Northern BAA, I have great pride in the accomplishments of every sports team at Northern. I know my North Toronto counterpart Jack Hull has been excited about the tier 2 senior football team that, after a few years on hiatus, has finally returned.

Joking aside, although the NT football team might not be the best in Toronto, they have been practicing very hard. Those long walks to and from Eglinton Park every day are great for practicing that nerve-wracking and intimidating walk down Roehampton for games at Northern. Though, that’s not to say that North Toronto hasn’t had athletic success. You were one of the powerhouse schools throughout the 70’s, back when the current students’ parents were wearing Red and Grey. But despite the recent lack of competition with Northern, the rivalry has stayed strong.

Bragging rights are always on the line when Northern and North Toronto meet. Northern students, regardless of team involvement, take pride in the accomplishments of their Red Knights. OFSAA, city and regional championship banners litter the walls of the James E. Hutton gymnasium. I’m sure students at North Toronto are just as proud of their 1974 City Championship teams.

Putting our rivalry aside for a moment, I will admit that NT’s new field looks really nice. However, that being said I would still like to apologize on behalf of Northern for all the blowouts. But we would also like to forgive you for not keeping up your half of the rivalry.  Hopefully, you use your brand new field to practice hard. Who knows, maybe the rivalry won’t be so one-sided in the future.