Markham’s Fletcher’s Fields launches 2024 Summer Celebration of Rugby, marking end to 6 decades of play

Full time is being called on Fletcher’s Fields, the home of rugby in Ontario. This year marks the final season of rugby to be played at the grounds under the current structure established in 1966.

The 20-acre facility in Markham was sold to the City of Markham in 2021, with the new owners set to take possession following the completion of the 2024 rugby season in October.

With 58 years of history to commemorate, the Friends of Fletcher's Fields are going all in to give the facility a proper send-off, launching the 2024 Summer Celebration of Rugby.

The season-long event will feature several high schools, collegiate and club tournaments, as well as youth festivals, development opportunities for players, coaches, referees, and rugby administrators, and elite-level matches throughout the Ontario rugby season from May to October.

Pat Hodgins, chief executive of Fletcher’s Fields, says this summer will be unlike any Fletcher's Fields has seen over its illustrious history.

“Our 2024 Summer Celebration of Rugby will have something for everyone, from minis picking up a rugby ball for the first time to well-seasoned old boys and will ensure Fletcher’s leaves a lasting legacy for generations of rugby supporters to come,” he noted.

Over the years, the ground has hosted many international test matches, with Canada facing the likes of Argentina, England, the U.S., Wales, Ireland and Japan.

“Fletcher’s Fields has left an indelible mark on the millions of people who have come through its gates for the last six decades,” said Graham Brown, Fletcher’s Fields trustee. “The Summer Celebration of Rugby, with its full calendar of events, will ensure everyone can make at least one more unforgettable memory at a place that has created so many special moments.”

The summer celebration will kick off with a series of high school tournaments for boys and girls that will run throughout May, featuring a several divisions of varying levels of play.

Given that space in these tournaments is limited, high schools are encouraged to register early to secure their entry. Details about the 2024 Summer Celebration of Rugby are available at fletchersfields.ca.

Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Markham Economist & Sun