TORONTO – Ready… steady…start planning.
The official unveiling of the key components of Toronto’s 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games athletes’ village met the public Thursday.
Loud clapping and cheers echoed through the Young Centre for the Performing Arts as people gathered to hear of plans for the village, located near the Distillery District.
Several mockups were hung on the wall behind the speakers, displaying the project’s final look. Planning is well advanced and already the game’s are being hailed as “on time and on budget.”
Ian Troop, the chief executive officer for TO2015, said they want to make the village “truly a home away from home.”
Dakota White, a 17-year-old basketball player hoping to play in the Pan Am games, says she is very happy with what she saw on display. She hopes to train and work hard to have the chance to compete in the July 2015 games.
The presence of the 10,000 athletes and officials will bring a sense of liveliness and vitality to the waterfront area, a place city councillor Mark Grimes says does not have the best reputation. The project will also speed up the building process of the West Don Lands by five to 10 years.
Boosters are certain the games will benefit the city of Toronto, as it will create an estimated 15,000 new jobs, attract more tourists and enhance local business. The area will be transformed into a new Toronto neighbourhood as a lasting games legacy.
“It will be a vibrant and environmentally sustainable living community,” said Charles Sousa, the Ontario Minister in charge of running the Pan/Parapan Am games. “It will be a great community to live, work, and raise children,” he adds.
George Brown’s first residential building and a new YMCA facility will also come from the creation of the village.