The Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place will once again host the world’s best squash players after a 20-year hiatus as the 2023 edition of the Canadian Women’s Open presented by Slaight Music returns from March 26th – 30th. The restoration of the event and return to the iconic downtown Toronto venue will pay homage to a golden era of Canadian squash, while celebrating the future of our sport including Canada’s burgeoning Women’s program.
Historically, the Canadian Classic ran from 2000 to 2004 at Brookfield Place (then BCE Place) where world champion and former World Ranked (WR) #1 player Jonathon Power inspired the nation, winning the title three out of four years. In a fitting tribute, the state-of-the-art all-glass “Power Court” will be erected in Allen Lambert Galleria. The Power Court will serve as centre stage to the Canadian Women’s Open, where Commonwealth Games silver medalist and Canadian #1 Hollie Naughton of Oakville will lead a contingent of five Canadians in the return of the event.
The 2023 Canadian Open presented by Slaight Music will feature eight women in the World’s top 25, headlined by World #5, and the most successful North American female in history, Amanda Sobhy of the United States. She will be joined by fellow top seeds in the event #2 Egyptian Salma Hany (WR #12), and fellow Americans #3 Sabrina Sobhy (WR #15) and Olivia Clyne (WR #16). Naughton enters the event as the #5 seed and #18 in the world. She is one of the highest ranked Canadian females in history and was the flag bearer at the closing ceremonies of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where she won her historic Silver medal. Naughton is looking forward to competing on home soil for the first time in a PSA (Professional Squash Association) World Tour Bronze event: “I’m very excited to be playing in such a big women’s event on home soil. For this year’s Canadian Women’s Open to be here in Toronto means a lot to me. It’s where I’ve grown up and to have the support of friends and family will really push me. It’s a great way to showcase women’s squash in Canada at the highest level. I hope to see the squash community rally and get behind this fantastic event!”
Naughton leads a strong Canadian team that finished 7th at the 2022 Women’s World Team Championships in December in Egypt. Canadian #2 Danielle Letourneau of Calgary, who is returning from injury and reached #18 in the world in 2021, is a dark horse as the #9 seed. They will be joined by Canadian #3 Nicole Bunyan (WR #41; Victoria, BC), and wildcards Nikole Todd (WR #118; Regina, SK) and Niki Shemerani (WR #266; Toronto, ON) to provide rooting interest for the hometown crowd.
The program will also feature a component to recognize legends of Canadian squash and the history of the Canadian Classic at Brookfield Place. The Canadian Men’s Team of the late 1990’s peaked at #2 in the world, including dozens of Pan-Am and Commonwealth medals during a golden age for the sport. The team will be represented by Hall of Famers Jonathon Power, Graham Ryding, Gary Waite, and Shahier Razik who will participate in our Corporate Challenge: Legends of Squash event. The Power Court will also be made available for a variety of community, youth and grassroots programming via our event partners Urban Squash Toronto, Squash Ontario, and the Toronto Athletic Club.
The Power Court will be erected in the Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place from March 20th – 30th and will provide critical exposure to the sport of squash while highlighting the post-pandemic revival of downtown Toronto as business, entertainment, recreation, and tourism activities converge at this spectacular venue.
The return of the Canadian Women’s Open would not be possible without the support of the Government of Canada, presenting sponsor Slaight Music, platinum partners Altas Partners, Brookfield, Oxford Properties, Scotiabank, Syra Group, and Squash Canada’s many annual, gold, silver, and bronze partners.
For more information on the 2023 Canadian Women’s Open including sponsorship, ticketing, digital broadcasting, schedule, and more, please visit squash.ca/2023-canadian-womens-open/.