Toronto FC Academy to open 2024 League1 Ontario Championship Regular Season

Toronto FC Academy opened 2024 League1 Ontario (L1ON) play last week, Friday, April 19 at the L1 Cup. In the single-game elimination match, Toronto FC faced Premier Division, North Toronto Nitros who advanced to the next round after a 3-0 victory over the Academy. TFC Academy will now begin regular season play in the L1ON Championship Men’s Division on Friday, April 26 against Darby FC at Telus Dome with kickoff at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The three-tier pyramid structure for League1 Ontario features 12 teams in the Premier Division and 10 in the Championship Division. League2, the third-tier division, consists of B teams from Premier and Championship clubs and A teams from new license holders. This division will be split into regional conferences and will compete in playoffs to determine the League2 Champion. The L1ON structure will feature competition changes starting this season, including no postseason to decide the champions of the Premier and Championship divisions, automatic promotion from the Championship and League2 tiers, automatic relegation from the Premier division and a playoff match to decide promotion and relegation between the Premier and Championship divisions as well as the Championship and League2 tiers.

In both the Premier and Championship Divisions, the teams at the top of the standings at the end of regular season play will be named champions. The club to win the Championship Division will automatically be promoted to the Premier side for the following campaign, while the team in the bottom of the Premier Division will be relegated to the second tier. With a goal to build the Championship Division to feature 12 teams instead of the original 10 in 2025, there will be no automatic relegation from the Championship in 2024, but it will come into effect for the following seasons. As a result, both League2 finalists will be promoted to the Championship Division. Also unique to the 2024 season, the two losing teams in the League2 semi-final matches will compete against one another. The winner will face the 10th placed team from the Championship Division and the winning team will compete in the Championship Division for the next season while the losing team will compete in League2.
While finishing at the top of the Championship Division earns automatic promotion, clubs will still have a chance to climb the ladder. The team that places second in the standings will battle the second last (11th placed) team from the Premier side in a head-to-head match for a spot in the top-tier division for 2025. More information on L1ON can be found on the League1 Ontario website HERE.