University of Toronto major player in 2015 Pan Am Games
Toronto's winning bid brings world-class legacy facilities and key events to Scarborough and downtown campuses
Toronto - Toronto's successful bid for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will bring several sporting competitions to the University of Toronto, translating into major new sport and recreation facilities, enhanced opportunities for U of T students and the community, and further momentum for the University's high performance sport agenda.
The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) campus, set to host the aquatics and fencing events, will partner in the largest sports infrastructure project associated with the Games, a $170-million complex that will feature two Olympic-sized pools, a 10-metre diving tank and a state-of-the-art multi-sport field house. The downtown campus, which will host field hockey, futsal and football (soccer) competition as well as the Parapan Am opening and closing ceremonies, will benefit from the installation of a world-class double artificial turf field on its back campus and turf upgrades at Varsity Stadium.
"The 2015 Pan Am Games create tremendous opportunities for the University of Toronto," says U of T president David Naylor. "The legacy infrastructure enables us to forge ahead with our mission to support the province's top athletes while giving our own students and community members a world-class sport and recreation experience."
The new sports and recreation complex, to be owned jointly by the City of Toronto and UTSC, will be home to the Pan American Aquatics Centre and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, an organization dedicated to the development of top athletes from across Canada. The complex will host the Games' swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, fencing, modern pentathalon and Parapan volleyball competitions. Beyond the Games, the facility will also fill a serious unmet need on the UTSC campus and in the community, providing space for a wide range of sports and recreational opportunities alongside high performance training and services for Canada's top athletes.
"What the Games bring to UTSC and our region is phenomenal," says UTSC Principal Franco Vaccarino. "Our students now have an opportunity to partner in a world-class athletics complex that will benefit generations of students and alumni. The Pan Am Games makes possible a new regional hub for recreation and competitive athletics, which is certain to become a point of pride for the more than two million people who live in the eastern GTA - from Durham, to Markham, to East York, and beyond."
The Scarborough facilities also create a valuable spin-off benefit: the City of Toronto's commitment to accelerate plans to extend the Light Rapid Transit link to UTSC, making transit travel to the area easier and faster.
Partnership in the 2015 Pan Am Games strengthens U of T's already growing momentum around its goal of developing a critical mass of infrastructure and expertise to support high performance sport in this province.
In addition to completing the new Varsity Centre and continuing to finalize plans for the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, the University has recently established high performance centres in swimming and track and field, is making extensive renovations to Varsity Arena, strengthening research programs in exercise sciences and sport medicine, and fostering a thriving partnership with the Ministry of Health Promotion to provide training space and services for Ontario's best athletes.
UofT has also been home to several recent high profile events, including the Festival of Excellence featuring Usain Bolt and many of the world's top athletes.
"UofT is moving full speed ahead with its plans to create a hub for both broad physical activity and recreation alongside high performance athletics, sport research and sport medicine," says Bruce Kidd, Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Health, and a key player in forging the University's partnership with the Toronto 2015 bid committee. "These Games will be great fun, featuring tremendously competitive sports while facilitating cutting-edge research and creating terrific opportunities for international exchange to strengthen our engagement with colleagues across the Americas."