Toronto’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games athletes’ village complete – on budget and on time

Community Feb 21, 2015 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Toronto is officially set to welcome thousands of athletes from across the Americas to the city for this summer’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

With less than half a year to go before the Toronto 2015 Games start, the athletes’ village is officially complete, with dignitaries and Toronto-area athletes on hand for an official ceremony Friday, Feb. 20.

“In less than five months from now, the eyes of the world will be focusing here in Toronto, the GTA and Ontario as we welcome 41 countries and more than 10,000 athletes and officials here to compete in the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games in 51 sports, the largest sporting event in the history of Canada,” said Michael Coteau, Ontario minister responsible for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

The village will feature a new YMCA, a coffee shop, a store, a dining tent, banking facilities and more. Once the athletes leave, the area will undergo a six-month transformation before becoming a vibrant downtown community with a mix of affordable and retail housing, plus accommodations for George Brown College students.

“After the Games, our community partners will transform the athletes’ village into the foundation of a vibrant new Toronto neighbourhood, the Canary District,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne, who noted that, with work complete, the West Don Lands area already shows a glimpse of its long-term future.

“You can already see that this is a neighbourhood,” she said. “You can see with your imagination people walking up and down these laneways, in and out of these buildings.”

The new community will feature shops, the Cooper Koo YMCA, health-care facilities and housing, with the first permanent residents slated to move in as soon as April 2016 and George Brown students set to enter the school’s residences on site in September 2016.

Mayor John Tory noted the development of the $709 million athletes’ village – and the legacy uses for the site – serve as a long-overdue revitalization of an area close to Toronto’s waterfront.

“We’ve gathered in a place which people had basically written off not too long ago,” he said. “If you go back and look at what people were saying about this very site that we’re standing on today 20 years ago, I think it’s a miracle we’re standing here today.”

Toronto 2015 CEO Saad Rafi also lauded the work on the athletes’ village, which came in on time and on budget, and which will provide plenty of benefits to the city well beyond the scope of this summer’s sporting event.

“Beyond the Games, we’ve launched a new Toronto waterfront community,” he said. “When the athletes have gone home, you’ll see children playing, students rushing to class, seniors living independently. That vision is soon becoming a reality.”

Canadian athlete Samantha Sendal had a chance to visit the athletes’ village while construction was still underway and said she was pleased with what she saw. She pointed out the athletes will want for nothing – particularly the Canadian athletes, who had first choice of accommodations and had their own area painted red to convey Canadian pride.

“There’ll be coffee shops, banks and a 24-hour food tent, and it has a really homey feel,” she said. “There will also be stations set up near the village where our friends and family can come and see us.”

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will take place this summer, with the Pan Am Games running from July 10 to 26 and the Parapan Am Games taking place from Aug. 7 to 15.

Toronto’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games athletes’ village complete – on budget and on time

Community Feb 21, 2015 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Toronto is officially set to welcome thousands of athletes from across the Americas to the city for this summer’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

With less than half a year to go before the Toronto 2015 Games start, the athletes’ village is officially complete, with dignitaries and Toronto-area athletes on hand for an official ceremony Friday, Feb. 20.

“In less than five months from now, the eyes of the world will be focusing here in Toronto, the GTA and Ontario as we welcome 41 countries and more than 10,000 athletes and officials here to compete in the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games in 51 sports, the largest sporting event in the history of Canada,” said Michael Coteau, Ontario minister responsible for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

The village will feature a new YMCA, a coffee shop, a store, a dining tent, banking facilities and more. Once the athletes leave, the area will undergo a six-month transformation before becoming a vibrant downtown community with a mix of affordable and retail housing, plus accommodations for George Brown College students.

“After the Games, our community partners will transform the athletes’ village into the foundation of a vibrant new Toronto neighbourhood, the Canary District,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne, who noted that, with work complete, the West Don Lands area already shows a glimpse of its long-term future.

“You can already see that this is a neighbourhood,” she said. “You can see with your imagination people walking up and down these laneways, in and out of these buildings.”

The new community will feature shops, the Cooper Koo YMCA, health-care facilities and housing, with the first permanent residents slated to move in as soon as April 2016 and George Brown students set to enter the school’s residences on site in September 2016.

Mayor John Tory noted the development of the $709 million athletes’ village – and the legacy uses for the site – serve as a long-overdue revitalization of an area close to Toronto’s waterfront.

“We’ve gathered in a place which people had basically written off not too long ago,” he said. “If you go back and look at what people were saying about this very site that we’re standing on today 20 years ago, I think it’s a miracle we’re standing here today.”

Toronto 2015 CEO Saad Rafi also lauded the work on the athletes’ village, which came in on time and on budget, and which will provide plenty of benefits to the city well beyond the scope of this summer’s sporting event.

“Beyond the Games, we’ve launched a new Toronto waterfront community,” he said. “When the athletes have gone home, you’ll see children playing, students rushing to class, seniors living independently. That vision is soon becoming a reality.”

Canadian athlete Samantha Sendal had a chance to visit the athletes’ village while construction was still underway and said she was pleased with what she saw. She pointed out the athletes will want for nothing – particularly the Canadian athletes, who had first choice of accommodations and had their own area painted red to convey Canadian pride.

“There’ll be coffee shops, banks and a 24-hour food tent, and it has a really homey feel,” she said. “There will also be stations set up near the village where our friends and family can come and see us.”

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will take place this summer, with the Pan Am Games running from July 10 to 26 and the Parapan Am Games taking place from Aug. 7 to 15.

Toronto’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games athletes’ village complete – on budget and on time

Community Feb 21, 2015 by Justin Skinner City Centre Mirror

Toronto is officially set to welcome thousands of athletes from across the Americas to the city for this summer’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

With less than half a year to go before the Toronto 2015 Games start, the athletes’ village is officially complete, with dignitaries and Toronto-area athletes on hand for an official ceremony Friday, Feb. 20.

“In less than five months from now, the eyes of the world will be focusing here in Toronto, the GTA and Ontario as we welcome 41 countries and more than 10,000 athletes and officials here to compete in the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games in 51 sports, the largest sporting event in the history of Canada,” said Michael Coteau, Ontario minister responsible for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

The village will feature a new YMCA, a coffee shop, a store, a dining tent, banking facilities and more. Once the athletes leave, the area will undergo a six-month transformation before becoming a vibrant downtown community with a mix of affordable and retail housing, plus accommodations for George Brown College students.

“After the Games, our community partners will transform the athletes’ village into the foundation of a vibrant new Toronto neighbourhood, the Canary District,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne, who noted that, with work complete, the West Don Lands area already shows a glimpse of its long-term future.

“You can already see that this is a neighbourhood,” she said. “You can see with your imagination people walking up and down these laneways, in and out of these buildings.”

The new community will feature shops, the Cooper Koo YMCA, health-care facilities and housing, with the first permanent residents slated to move in as soon as April 2016 and George Brown students set to enter the school’s residences on site in September 2016.

Mayor John Tory noted the development of the $709 million athletes’ village – and the legacy uses for the site – serve as a long-overdue revitalization of an area close to Toronto’s waterfront.

“We’ve gathered in a place which people had basically written off not too long ago,” he said. “If you go back and look at what people were saying about this very site that we’re standing on today 20 years ago, I think it’s a miracle we’re standing here today.”

Toronto 2015 CEO Saad Rafi also lauded the work on the athletes’ village, which came in on time and on budget, and which will provide plenty of benefits to the city well beyond the scope of this summer’s sporting event.

“Beyond the Games, we’ve launched a new Toronto waterfront community,” he said. “When the athletes have gone home, you’ll see children playing, students rushing to class, seniors living independently. That vision is soon becoming a reality.”

Canadian athlete Samantha Sendal had a chance to visit the athletes’ village while construction was still underway and said she was pleased with what she saw. She pointed out the athletes will want for nothing – particularly the Canadian athletes, who had first choice of accommodations and had their own area painted red to convey Canadian pride.

“There’ll be coffee shops, banks and a 24-hour food tent, and it has a really homey feel,” she said. “There will also be stations set up near the village where our friends and family can come and see us.”

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will take place this summer, with the Pan Am Games running from July 10 to 26 and the Parapan Am Games taking place from Aug. 7 to 15.