The University of Toronto Scarborough and downtown campuses are among core sites that will host a minimum of two 2015 Pan American Games sports events.
The new aquatic centre being built at Morningside Ave. and Highway 401 will host swimming and diving as well as modern pentathlon. It will also become the new home of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario which will support athletes and sports organizations in the province and country.
Combative sports like boxing will be staged in Mississauga; Markham will host water polo, badminton and table tennis; archery, BMX cycling and bowling will take place in Etobicoke and York University will be the site for track and field and lawn tennis.
TO2015 chief executive officer Ian Troop said clustering enables the local organizers to stage Games that maximize access for people in communities across the region and also keep costs down during a period of fiscal restraint.
“We are using a combination of new construction and repurposing of existing facilities,” he said. “That means affordable, accessible Games as well as an important legacy of new facilities throughout the region. This approach is really about creating a people’s games and holding events in communities where people live, work and play and offering affordable pricing so an average family of four can attend competitions. It’s also about having sites that are open and accessible so people can mix easily with athletes and leaving a living legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
Sports events will also take place at other locations across the Golden Horseshoe and Greater Toronto Area regions.
Toronto will host basketball; soccer will be played in Hamilton; equestrian events will take place in Caledon and Orangeville; Welland and Minden Hills will be the venue for canoe/kayak; mountain cyclists will pedal in Oro-Medonte; Toronto Island is the site of sailing; rowers will be in St. Catharine and Oshawa will host boxing.
Negotiations are underway with the Town of Milton for the construction of a four-season track cycling velodrome with an infield for community sports. Games organizers are also reviewing proposals for an eighth cluster to host baseball and softball competitions.
Toronto’s West Don Lands will be the Games Village. The project will create nearly 5200 jobs and the village will become a new mixed-income community after the Games.
The overall Games budget is $1.441 billion. The federal and provincial governments will pour in $500 million each while municipal governments, universities and venue owners will be investing $288 million for the infrastructure built in their communities.
“This is a prudent, responsible and balanced budget,” said Troop. “In fact, we have made significant adjustments to our plans, particularly by reducing the footprint of the Games through our cluster strategy, to ensure that we stay on budget, including setting aside a healthy contingency.”
And, nominations are being invited for the TO2015 youth advisory council. About 20 young people from diverse backgrounds across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region will act as an official committee to the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee. The council will plan and implement a relevant and engaging youth-focused initiative or signature program that celebrates and highlights the Games.
The council, made up of youth between the ages of 16 and 24, will run for three years. Members will need to commit at least five hours each month for meetings, communications and tasks during that three-year-period.
Interested applicants can fill out the youth advisory council application form and submit two reference letters by June 1, 2012 to email@example.com.
BY RON FANFAIR