North Bay's Ryan Hunter faces off against hometown hero in Grey Cup game

Two natives of the northern Ontario city of North Bay will face off this Sunday when the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers meet in the Grey Cup game.

North Bay's Mike O'Shea will go for this third straight CFL championship as Winnipeg head coach

Ryan Hunter roars after a play on the football field wearing his double-blue Toronto Argonauts jersey and helmet.
After leaving pro football in the U.S. behind earlier this year, 27-year-old North Bay native Ryan Hunter is now headed to the Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts. (Ryan Hunter/Facebook)

Ryan Hunter first fell in love with football watching it on TV with his family when he was growing up in the small northern Ontario city of North Bay.

He convinced his parents to let him play in the local youth football league, was scouted at a March Break camp to finish his high school career in Buffalo, N.Y, then moved onto college and now gets paid to play the game.

The 27-year-old offensive lineman hopes the same thing happens to some other northern Ontario kids this Sunday watching him in the Grey Cup game.

"I get excited for the kids growing up watching the game, because that's who I was when I was a kid, looking up to the people from my hometown," said Hunter. 

"So hopefully watching this week or watching this game, someone gets motivated and wants to work harder and be a professional football player."

One of the people Hunter looked up to was Mike O'Shea. The North Bay native and hall of fame linebacker has six Grey Cup rings and will be going for his third title in a row on Sunday as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Toronto Argonauts' Chad Kelly (left) celebrates with teammate Ryan Hunter after scoring a touchdown against the B.C. Lions during first half of CFL football action in Toronto on Saturday October 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Hunter already has a championship ring from the 2020 Super Bowl, when he was an undressed bench player with the victorious Kansas City side.

Although, he says it's too showy for him and he doesn't wear it often.

Hunter talks about his time in the National Football League, the salaries for pro athletes in Canada and his French education in this interview with CBC Radio's Morning North.

North Bay's Ryan Hunter already has a Super Bowl ring and this Sunday will look to add Grey Cup bling to his collection. The 27-year-old offensive lineman is heading to the big game with the Toronto Argonauts, but this year started with the end of his career in the National Football League.


Erik White


Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to


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