The Canadian Premier League is still in its infancy stages after starting to play for the 2019 season. It started with seven teams, and with a ninth team being added next season, they have seen steady growth having expanded to eight for the past three seasons. Those eight teams have put their mark on the league with each of their logos, and in this article, we’re going to go through each of them and rank them.
Before we get rolling with this one, it must be said that this is entirely an opinion-based list. My taste might not be the same as yours, and that’s perfectly fine! We encourage you to share your rankings with us, either in the comments at the bottom of the article, or on social media. Let’s not mess around any longer and hop right into this!
9. Forge FC
The Hamilton-based Forge FC has an interesting logo, but it’s not really in the best way. Pretty much every other club’s crest has plenty of elaborate details and interesting design choices, but that’s not exactly the case for Forge. They have cool elements, but not enough.
Evidently, the base of the crest is an ‘H,’ meant to represent the city of Hamilton. On the left side of the ‘H’ combined with the sparks at the top of the badge, is an ‘F’, representing Forge. Between the two pieces of the ‘H’ is a waterfall.
The orange elements at the top are made with three pieces, representing the three foundational elements of Forge FC, city, community, and club. They are “Spark Orange,” inspired by the sparks formed by the strike of a hammer, the orange brick homes in Hamilton, and the orange sunrises and sunsets in the skies of Hamilton and over Lake Ontario.
Orange is a diversion from the gold traditionally worn by Hamilton teams, including the CFL’s Tiger-Cats, and the OHL’s Bulldogs, but for their first-ever home game, Forge donned the traditional Hamilton colours, switching temporarily from orange to gold.
So yes, some really cool elements, but the logo design itself isn’t all that amazing. There could have been more done, and perhaps going forward, they could steal a page out of the Tiger-Cats “The Hammer” logo they unveiled for this season.
8. Vancouver FC
The new kids on the block are Vancouver FC, but good luck finding them on Google, all that comes up is the Vancouver Whitecaps. Someone needs to get on the SEO there.
Vancouver’s new logo is about three things: honouring its sporting past, celebrating its region, and uniting the south coast.
The most notable piece is the eagle, which is meant to represent strength and balance. The lines that extend out of the eagle, of course, help to form the letter ‘V’, but the lines themselves are meant to represent things that are seen every day (such as bridges and farm fields), that “speak to the potential of the land and people of the region.”
Overall, it’s not bad, the “VFC” monogram that they have could have served as a better logo. Unfortunately, with so many strong logos in the CPL (and then Forge, distantly in the corner), Vancouver is off to an underwhelming start to its CPL tenure.
7. Pacific FC
Pacific FC is known for their great success on the field, but their badge leaves a little something to be desired. The colour scheme actually isn’t too bad. It’s something different that no one else really uses outside of Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The “lagoon blue” segment of the logo represents a Douglas Fir tree, a species of tree native to Vancouver Island. It is split into two segments with the rightmost segment representing the abstract shape of Vancouver Island.
The trident at the bottom surrounded in purple is the trident, traditionally used for spearfishing and a mythological symbol for having control of the ocean.
The tree is bordered by the ocean with a single chevron representing the ocean wave and Victoria, Victory, and Vancouver Island.
Despite the clever design aspects that make up the logo, none of it is incredibly obvious. This logo isn’t terrible by any means, but it feels very similar to that of a create-a-team logo in FIFA games. When you break down what actually makes up this logo, it’s pretty cool, but when it first meets the eye, it’s nothing special and should slide into the boring category.
6. Valour FC
Valour FC was one of the more difficult logos to rank in this list, believe it or not. It is very dark, not something I am a huge fan of, but it’s not too bad. Once again, the colours are different and not used too much in sports.
The design elements in this logo are once again very cool and have to be talked about. The logo draws inspiration from the Victoria Cross and military medals of honour and recognition. The ‘V’ emulates the folded ribbon of a military medal, and the circle below the ‘V’ is the shape of the medal itself.
The ‘V’ does more than just represent the first letter of Valour, too. It represents the meeting point of the Red River and Assiniboine River. The right side of the ‘V’ also makes a ‘W’ for Winnipeg. This is said to be a nod to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, somehow.
The logo was also designed with parts of former crests. The arc of wheat at the top of the crest symbolizes the thriving agriculture industry that has been a mainstay in the province of Manitoba and has grown into an iconic symbol in the province. Not bad, I would, again, brighten things up, but it’s not bad. I would definitely rock merchandise with this logo on it.
5. Cavalry FC
Wrapping up the bottom half of the list, we have the Calgary-based side, Cavalry FC. Cavalry has something a little different than anyone else in the league, using a different crest when away from home, changing the colours from red and white to green and white.
Sticking with the red home crest, the shape is derived from The Flag of The Lord Strathcona’s Horse in order to tie into the history and pageantry of the place and people of Spruce Meadows.
The center of the logo features a chevron, that serves multiple purposes. It represents the military inspirations of Cavalry FC and Lord Strathcona’s Horse tie-in, while at the same time representing the Alberta Foothills next to the Rocky Mountains.
At the bottom of the logo is a soccer ball, but perhaps flying under the radar is the ‘C’ in Cavalry. If you look closely, it is a horseshoe, and although nothing is listed as to why on their website, you can assume it’s either a reference to the Calgary Stampede, or possibly even the equestrian events that take place in their stadium, ATCO Field.
The crest is good. You won’t drag too many negative things out of my mouth about it, but there are badges in the CPL that I prefer. There’s nothing wrong with this whatsoever.
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4. FC Edmonton
There may be a fair amount of problems facing FC Edmonton right about now, but one of them isn’t to do with their emblem. It’s a thing of beauty, and there are so many great elements involved.
The shape of the shield is the same as the Edmonton coat of arms, and is a symbol of Edmonton’s history and strength. Inside of the shield, you will notice a mix of “Prarie Sky Blue” and “River City Navy.” The two colours represent exactly what you would think, with the lighter blue representing the sky, and the dark blue representing the river.
The main shape in the middle of the crest consists of three letters, an ‘F’, a ‘C’, and an ‘E’. They are creatively meshed together, and represent family, courage, and energy. Right at the bottom, two rabbit footprints can be seen, representing the club’s infamous Rally Rabbit, FC Edmonton’s sporadic visitor and their symbol of good luck.
Some may find this to be a boring or generic logo, but double blue is a wonderful colour scheme. There are a bunch of creative little things packed into this badge, and it’s really hard to keep it out of the top half of crests in the league.
3. Atlético Ottawa
Atlético Ottawa are no longer the CPL’s newest team, and with three years under their belts, they seem to finally be gaining some traction. The 2022 runners-up couldn’t best Forge on the field, but they certainly did in the design room.
The shape of the shield itself is inspired by the ornate carvings on the exterior of the Parliament building Centre Block. This feels like a loose, or at least difficult, connection, but we’ll let it slide, because it’s slick.
Of course, the Peace Tower is obvious, but you won’t see the logo and mistake it for any other team. It’s quintessentially Ottawa, something that no one else could copy.
The curved “Rideau Blue” arch featuring the word “Ottawa” is representative of the numerous bridges spanning across the Rideau Canal that played a massive part in making Ottawa what it is today. The canal also runs right beside TD Place, the grounds where Atlético plays their home games.
The “Federal Red” and “Blanc d’Ottawa” at the bottom of the crest serve multiple purposes. It represents both Atlético de Madrid, Ottawa’s parent club, and is also meant to represent the Canadian flag. The Canadiana continues with the maple leaf tucked neatly into the bottom tip of the crest.
This is just a classic crest that, although has only been around for a couple of seasons, already has become classic.
2. York United FC
York United FC, formerly known as York9 FC, rebranded before the 2021 season, and boy, did they ever take a massive step forward. The club’s new official colours are York Green, Lake Ontario Blue, Trillium White, and Victory Gold. Like Pacific FC, it’s a different look that not many other teams around the world boast.
There are, again, plenty of really cool concepts and design elements in this logo, starting with the crown at the top. It represents the Royal history in Canada and is a dominant emblem in soccer culture around the world. The trillium inside the crown appears on the province on Ontario’s logo.
The blue semi-circle just below the crown represents lake Ontario. The shield itself is heavily influenced by the Queen’s York Rangers, a Canadian Army Regiment since 1866. They are housed both at Fort York in Toronto and Aurora Armory in York Region. This is used to symbolize unifying the city and the region.
The final hidden element is the nine stripes, something that York has used after being nicknamed the “Nine Stripes”. Once again, the logo isn’t all that bad. There are elements in it that are really cool, and this is a logo that has grown on me an incredible amount in the past year.
1. HFX Wanderers FC
Everything about the HFX Wanderers is just about perfect. The club’s name, written across the front of the crest in bold “Dark Navy” letters, was chosen due to the Atlantic Coast location of the club, because the team will be “wandering” more than anyone else in the CPL.
The base shape of the crest is inspired by the shape of the Halifax Citadel. On the official website of Nova Scotia, “It’s not an exaggeration to say Halifax, a city on the sea, owes its existence to the Citadel” is written, and thus has been honoured on the Wanderers crest.
The bridge featured as the centrepiece of the badge is also significant. It’s the Macdonald Bridge, and was constructed in 1955, connecting Halifax and Dartmouth with free travel across the Halifax Harbour, and is also the bridge that brings supporters from the Dartmouth region to Wanderers Grounds on match day.
On the badge, the club motto “Ar Cala, Ar Dachaigh, Ar n-Anam” is written as well, meaning “Our Harbour, Our Home, Our Soul” in Gaelic. Finally, inside the Aqua Ocean colour at the bottom, a “W” weave represents the wanderers’ name, and an anchor represents the region’s nautical history.
All things considered, from the contents of the crest, to the colours, and the design as a whole, this is about as good as it gets, and is something Wanderers supporters can be very proud of.
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