Series: 6 Reasons We’re Excited for TORONTO2015 (Part 5)

We’ve talked about the top talent, inclusive atmosphere, positive reputation boost and lasting legacy that the Pan Am Games will bring to Toronto. There are only 2 days remaining until TO2015 is officially underway, as is evident from the increased foot traffic downtown, athlete arrivals, shuttle buses on the roads, and numerous TO2015 events and booths popping up around the city. Hotel bookings and ticket sales have been increasing, and several high-profile events, including basketball, track and field, diving, soccer and equestrian are already sold out.

Like reason number 4, our 5th reason to get excited for the Games is more to do with the long-term impact that will be left in the event’s wake. Investment in the Games has changed many communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe for the better.

5. Inject Energy Into New Communities

Many neighborhoods in the GTHA will reap the benefits of Games-driven development. From brand new community spaces to affordable housing developments and beyond, the athlete’s village and sporting venues built for July and August’s competitors will revitalize their surrounding communities and increase the quality of life long after the Games come to a close.

The new athlete’s village is located in the fast-developing Canary District, just East of downtown Toronto. The $514 million Canary District development will have a new 80,000 square foot YMCA, diverse retailers, numerous pedestrian walkways and bike paths, all alongside 18-acre Corktown Common park. In just a few short months, residents will have access to one of the most beautiful up-and-coming neighborhoods in the city.

The Athlete’s Village. Photo by Siobhan Morris via Newtalk1010.com

Some athlete’s village dorms will become residences for George Brown College, while others will be renovated into affordable housing when the Games end. 253 rental units and 100 ownership units will be available to seniors, Aboriginal families, low-income families and individuals, and persons with disabilities according to Government Ontario. A percentage of permanent housing will be reserved for athletes, preserving the spirit of sport in the community.

The Canary District will become one of the most diverse areas in Toronto due to the wide range of housing options. Students and young urbanites will live alongside families and seniors in a vibrant community just outside the downtown core. The new roads, pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths and open spaces are all needed as Toronto’s population continues to grow. Though the Games were expensive, they came in under budget and the costs span far beyond creating comfortable accommodation for visitors over a 2 month period. What was once an industrial wasteland has become a beautiful new home for thousands of peope from all walks of life.

Mock-ups of the revitalized Canary District Via Dundee Kilmer

The public will also benefit from the legacy fund (mentioned in our last post) created to sustain sporting venues for the next twenty years. These state-of-the-art facilities will provide new community space for children and adults alike to congregate, play, and train. Scarborough residents will be able to use to the CIBC Aquatics Centre and Field house, giving them more space for activities like swimming lessons and first aid training, while Milton residents will have more court space inside the Cisco Velodrome to play pick-up basketball and volleyball. These are just a few examples of the many new resources the GTHA now has access to, which will build stronger, more vibrant communities for years to come.

Don’t forget to buy your TO2015 tickets while your favourite events are still available and check back tomorrow for our 6th and final reason that the Games are great.