The club was founded in 1917, operating simply as Toronto and known then as the Toronto Arenas. Under new ownership, the club was renamed the Toronto St. Patricks in 1919. In 1927, the club was purchased by Conn Smythe and renamed the Maple Leafs. A member of the "Original Six", the club was one of six NHL teams to have endured through the period of League retrenchment during the Great Depression. The club has won thirteen Stanley Cup championships, second only to the 24 championships of the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs history includes two recognized dynasties, from 1947 to 1951; and from 1962 to 1967. Winning their last championship in 1967, the Maple Leafs' 52-season drought between championships is the longest current drought in the NHL. The Maple Leafs have developed rivalries with four NHL franchises: the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Ottawa Senators.
The Maple Leafs have retired the use of thirteen numbers in honour of nineteen players, including the first in professional sports. In addition, a number of individuals who hold an association with the club have been inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Maple Leafs are presently affiliated with two minor league teams: the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League and the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL.