U of T and Ryerson campuses to host events as part of Pam Am / Parapan Am Games

Community Jul 31, 2014 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Venues for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games will be spread across the Golden Horseshoe region, but residents in the Annex and downtown Toronto areas will be able to take in sporting events right in their own neighbourhood.

The University of Toronto and Ryerson University are both slated to host events as part of the Games, turning the campuses into popular destinations for sports fans.

The University of Toronto’s St. George Campus will be home to two venues – the university’s own Varsity Stadium and renovated fields at Hoskins Avenue and Tower Road.

Work on the latter, on the university’s back campus, has started, following an at-times contentious process, which saw then-councillor Adam Vaughan and some others both from the U of T community and the surrounding neighbourhood opposed to the installation of turf on the field.

Despite the reservations by the opponents of the turf field, Toronto council voted 31-12 in favour of allowing the turf project to proceed.

Now, with the Games just under a year away, the university is gearing up to play its role in welcoming athletes and visitors from across the Americas.

“It’s definitely something we’re excited to be a part of,” said Elizabeth Cragg, U of T operations manager for the Pan Am Games. “We think the university is a great venue, right downtown with St. George and Queen’s Park subway stations so people can access the events.”

The new turf fields will host field hockey and five-a-side and seven-a-side football (soccer) for the Parapan Am Games.

“The turf is just being finalized and we’re going to have some test events in field hockey starting in the first week of September,” Cragg said.

Those events include games between universities early in the month, followed by a competition between national teams from Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela later in the month.

Cragg said the turf field would make the U of T back fields a world-class venue, better suited for top athletes.

“The turf will physically level out the playing field and make the surface better for players, and (the September matches) will give us a chance to try it out,” she said.

She added there may have to be some changes made to the field throughout the games to accommodate the different sports that will be played on its surface. Field hockey is played on a 91-by-55-metre pitch, whereas five-a-side football – played by visually impaired athletes – takes part on a 42-by-42-metre pitch with rebound walls.

Seven-a-side football, for athletes with physical impairments often due to cerebral palsy is played on a more standard soccer pitch.

“We’re still working out some of the details on the seating and how it might have to be adjusted for the games,” Cragg said.

Following the Games, Cragg said the fields will be available for use by both U of T students and the public at large, depending on availability.

“It will certainly be a multi-purpose field area and we want to make it as malleable and flexible as possible so people can use it for a variety of sports,” she said.

Should the university hold true to that promise, it should hopefully appease some of the concerns of those who opposed the turf field, who cited access and usability as concerns, along with the fact that turf often contributes to the heat island effect, which sees temperatures in cities rise, particularly in hot weather.

Varsity Stadium – which is already in good working order – may also go through some minor tweaking to seating, but will remain mostly untouched. It will be home to Pan Am archery events.

“Archery is a fairly new and unique sport on our campus, so I think people are going to be excited to see it,” Cragg said.

Ryerson, meanwhile, will host both basketball and wheelchair basketball at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Formerly Maple Leaf Gardens, the centre was redeveloped in recent years to host hockey, basketball and other sporting events for both the Ryerson community and beyond.

“Restoring Maple Leaf Gardens for our university, city and country has brought the opportunity to make new memories in this spectacular and historic building, and we are pleased and proud to be hosting every basketball game at these great events,” said Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy.

Leading up to the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Mattamy Athletic Centre will host the 2015 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Men’s Basketball Final 8 Championship in March. The centre was home to the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in late June.

For more information on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, including a full list of sports and venues, visit www.toronto2015.org

U of T and Ryerson campuses to host events as part of Pam Am / Parapan Am Games

Community Jul 31, 2014 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Venues for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games will be spread across the Golden Horseshoe region, but residents in the Annex and downtown Toronto areas will be able to take in sporting events right in their own neighbourhood.

The University of Toronto and Ryerson University are both slated to host events as part of the Games, turning the campuses into popular destinations for sports fans.

The University of Toronto’s St. George Campus will be home to two venues – the university’s own Varsity Stadium and renovated fields at Hoskins Avenue and Tower Road.

Work on the latter, on the university’s back campus, has started, following an at-times contentious process, which saw then-councillor Adam Vaughan and some others both from the U of T community and the surrounding neighbourhood opposed to the installation of turf on the field.

Despite the reservations by the opponents of the turf field, Toronto council voted 31-12 in favour of allowing the turf project to proceed.

Now, with the Games just under a year away, the university is gearing up to play its role in welcoming athletes and visitors from across the Americas.

“It’s definitely something we’re excited to be a part of,” said Elizabeth Cragg, U of T operations manager for the Pan Am Games. “We think the university is a great venue, right downtown with St. George and Queen’s Park subway stations so people can access the events.”

The new turf fields will host field hockey and five-a-side and seven-a-side football (soccer) for the Parapan Am Games.

“The turf is just being finalized and we’re going to have some test events in field hockey starting in the first week of September,” Cragg said.

Those events include games between universities early in the month, followed by a competition between national teams from Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela later in the month.

Cragg said the turf field would make the U of T back fields a world-class venue, better suited for top athletes.

“The turf will physically level out the playing field and make the surface better for players, and (the September matches) will give us a chance to try it out,” she said.

She added there may have to be some changes made to the field throughout the games to accommodate the different sports that will be played on its surface. Field hockey is played on a 91-by-55-metre pitch, whereas five-a-side football – played by visually impaired athletes – takes part on a 42-by-42-metre pitch with rebound walls.

Seven-a-side football, for athletes with physical impairments often due to cerebral palsy is played on a more standard soccer pitch.

“We’re still working out some of the details on the seating and how it might have to be adjusted for the games,” Cragg said.

Following the Games, Cragg said the fields will be available for use by both U of T students and the public at large, depending on availability.

“It will certainly be a multi-purpose field area and we want to make it as malleable and flexible as possible so people can use it for a variety of sports,” she said.

Should the university hold true to that promise, it should hopefully appease some of the concerns of those who opposed the turf field, who cited access and usability as concerns, along with the fact that turf often contributes to the heat island effect, which sees temperatures in cities rise, particularly in hot weather.

Varsity Stadium – which is already in good working order – may also go through some minor tweaking to seating, but will remain mostly untouched. It will be home to Pan Am archery events.

“Archery is a fairly new and unique sport on our campus, so I think people are going to be excited to see it,” Cragg said.

Ryerson, meanwhile, will host both basketball and wheelchair basketball at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Formerly Maple Leaf Gardens, the centre was redeveloped in recent years to host hockey, basketball and other sporting events for both the Ryerson community and beyond.

“Restoring Maple Leaf Gardens for our university, city and country has brought the opportunity to make new memories in this spectacular and historic building, and we are pleased and proud to be hosting every basketball game at these great events,” said Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy.

Leading up to the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Mattamy Athletic Centre will host the 2015 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Men’s Basketball Final 8 Championship in March. The centre was home to the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in late June.

For more information on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, including a full list of sports and venues, visit www.toronto2015.org

U of T and Ryerson campuses to host events as part of Pam Am / Parapan Am Games

Community Jul 31, 2014 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Venues for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games will be spread across the Golden Horseshoe region, but residents in the Annex and downtown Toronto areas will be able to take in sporting events right in their own neighbourhood.

The University of Toronto and Ryerson University are both slated to host events as part of the Games, turning the campuses into popular destinations for sports fans.

The University of Toronto’s St. George Campus will be home to two venues – the university’s own Varsity Stadium and renovated fields at Hoskins Avenue and Tower Road.

Work on the latter, on the university’s back campus, has started, following an at-times contentious process, which saw then-councillor Adam Vaughan and some others both from the U of T community and the surrounding neighbourhood opposed to the installation of turf on the field.

Despite the reservations by the opponents of the turf field, Toronto council voted 31-12 in favour of allowing the turf project to proceed.

Now, with the Games just under a year away, the university is gearing up to play its role in welcoming athletes and visitors from across the Americas.

“It’s definitely something we’re excited to be a part of,” said Elizabeth Cragg, U of T operations manager for the Pan Am Games. “We think the university is a great venue, right downtown with St. George and Queen’s Park subway stations so people can access the events.”

The new turf fields will host field hockey and five-a-side and seven-a-side football (soccer) for the Parapan Am Games.

“The turf is just being finalized and we’re going to have some test events in field hockey starting in the first week of September,” Cragg said.

Those events include games between universities early in the month, followed by a competition between national teams from Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela later in the month.

Cragg said the turf field would make the U of T back fields a world-class venue, better suited for top athletes.

“The turf will physically level out the playing field and make the surface better for players, and (the September matches) will give us a chance to try it out,” she said.

She added there may have to be some changes made to the field throughout the games to accommodate the different sports that will be played on its surface. Field hockey is played on a 91-by-55-metre pitch, whereas five-a-side football – played by visually impaired athletes – takes part on a 42-by-42-metre pitch with rebound walls.

Seven-a-side football, for athletes with physical impairments often due to cerebral palsy is played on a more standard soccer pitch.

“We’re still working out some of the details on the seating and how it might have to be adjusted for the games,” Cragg said.

Following the Games, Cragg said the fields will be available for use by both U of T students and the public at large, depending on availability.

“It will certainly be a multi-purpose field area and we want to make it as malleable and flexible as possible so people can use it for a variety of sports,” she said.

Should the university hold true to that promise, it should hopefully appease some of the concerns of those who opposed the turf field, who cited access and usability as concerns, along with the fact that turf often contributes to the heat island effect, which sees temperatures in cities rise, particularly in hot weather.

Varsity Stadium – which is already in good working order – may also go through some minor tweaking to seating, but will remain mostly untouched. It will be home to Pan Am archery events.

“Archery is a fairly new and unique sport on our campus, so I think people are going to be excited to see it,” Cragg said.

Ryerson, meanwhile, will host both basketball and wheelchair basketball at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Formerly Maple Leaf Gardens, the centre was redeveloped in recent years to host hockey, basketball and other sporting events for both the Ryerson community and beyond.

“Restoring Maple Leaf Gardens for our university, city and country has brought the opportunity to make new memories in this spectacular and historic building, and we are pleased and proud to be hosting every basketball game at these great events,” said Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy.

Leading up to the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Mattamy Athletic Centre will host the 2015 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Men’s Basketball Final 8 Championship in March. The centre was home to the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in late June.

For more information on the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, including a full list of sports and venues, visit www.toronto2015.org