info suisse Summer 2015
Sports
June 2015

Toronto Hosts 2015 Pan American Games

(Donna Lam)
Interview by Heather Irwin, Media Relations Toronto2015, and Sandra Leuba, written by Donna Lam 

The Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are the third largest international multi-sport event, next only to the Asian Games and the Summer Olympic Games. Toronto and GTA is the perfect place to celebrate the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games - a city where close to 50 per cent of the people are born somewhere else.

The Province of Ontario estimates that these games will create 26,000 jobs and grow the province’s real GDP by $3.7 billion over an eight-year period. With a budget forecasted at $1.4B, these Games will leave important economic, social and sport legacies for Toronto, Ontario and Canada.

Capital investments for provincial priority projects include the creation of the Athletes’ Village, and revitalization of the eastern Toronto port lands, the Hamilton Stadium and the Goldring Centre at the University of Toronto. And in addition, the brand new Union Pearson Express, an airport rail link from Toronto Pearson international Airport to Union Station.

World-class Venues

For the first time in decades, Canadian athletes will have access to some of the top training facilities in the world - right here at home. in total, 10 new sport venues and 15 existing facilities are being upgraded for the Games. They’re a dream come true for Canada’s best summer athletes who will finally have access to world-class venues that operate year-round on home soil.

These venues will serve the communities in Toronto and around the Golden Horseshoe. Community use and sport legacy is ingrained into their design. it’s not an afterthought. Balancing these two uses is why these venues will be hives of activity. High usage equals great opportunities for generating revenue, including attracting sport tourism - a $5.3- billion a year and growing industry in Canada.

Mixed-use Community

In Toronto, a section by the don River will be used as the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Athletes’ Village and is being developed by Waterfront Toronto in partnership with infrastructure Ontario. The Village is the cornerstone of the planned West don Lands project, (part of the 80-acre revitalized site in Toronto’s waterfront district) which will revitalize a long unused part of downtown Toronto. Hosting the Games accelerated the project by up to 15 years.

This environmentally sustainable community will offer Ontarians a range of housing, retail and recreational opportunities for years to come as well as provide a temporary home-away-from-home for more than 10,000 athletes and officials in July for the Pan Am Games and again, in August for the Parapan Am Games. Following the Games, the Village will become a mixed-use community that includes:

  • 253 affordable rental units - 10% of these are wheel-chair accessible and 100 affordable ownership units
  • 82,000 square foot YMCA serving over 8,000 people
  • George Brown College’s first residence for 500 students
  • a new streetcar line connected to King Street

Corporate Canada Support

Funding of the Games is shared by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors. By the end of 2014 the Games had secured $169.8 million in sponsorship revenue. This is the most sponsorship revenue ever raised by a Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, a significantly larger amount, which shows the support and interest corporate Canada has in supporting these Games.

Even before the Games begin, 45+ sports competitions - more than half international in scope - are taking place in these venues and other locations in the Games’ region, bringing in business, top athletes and spectators.

In another first, “these are the first Games in history” subject to freedom of information requests, David Peterson, chair of the Games’ organizing committee said. “Every single time we spend a penny, you know it,” Peterson said, at the unveiling of the PanAm Torch, a tangible symbol of the Games that 3,000 people will carry as part of a relay beginning May 30 and concluding July 10, 2015. “ if we buy 12 pencils, you can say we should have bought eight,” Peterson concluded.

Multiple Partners and largest “Team Canada”


Hosting this event is a massive endeavor and requires a high degree of collaboration from multiple partners. TO2015 is working with all three levels of government, including 16 municipalities, 23,000+ volunteers and hundreds of suppliers and sponsors involved in delivering the Games.

Team Canada will be fielding their largest ever team for the Pan Am Games this summer with more than 700 athletes and a goal of finishing second overall in the medal standings. They finished fourth overall in the 2011 Guadalajara Pan Am Games. The Canadian Parapan Am team has a goal of finishing third overall. 19 Pan Am events and all the Parapan Am events will be qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympics. For many athletes in the past, the Pan Am Games have served as a springboard to the Olympics. Some notable Canadian examples include:

  • Donovan Bailey:  PanAm Games Silver, 1991, and Olympic Gold 1996 in Men’s Athletics, 100m and 4x100m.
  • Simon Whitfield:  PanAm Games Silver, 1999 and Olympic Gold and Silver in 2000 and 2008 in Men’s Triathlon
  • Rosie Maclennan  (will be competing in PanAm Games 2015): PanAm Gold 2011 and Olympic Gold 2012 in Women’s Trampoline

The Toronto Games will not only be a great sports spectacle, it will be also feature the longest arts and cultural festival in Toronto’s history – PANAMANIA,  presented by CIBC, running 35 days during the Games. For five weeks, TORONTO 2015 will celebrate the arts and cultures of the Americas and the Caribbean at special festival sites including CIBC Pan Am Park and Nathan Phillips Square among others. Great Caribbean performers will be joining Canadian performers on stage at various venues across Toronto. Many of the performances will be free.
SCCC Corporate Members
  • Zurich Canada
  • Laderach (Canada) Inc.
  • Custom Spring Corporate
  • Rolex Canada Ltd.
  • Lette LLP
  • Roche Canada
  • Swissmar Ltd.
  • Switzerland Tourism
  • Swiss Business Hub
  • Endress + Hauser Canada Ltd
  • Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.
  • Habib Canadian Bank  (Subsidiary of Habib Bank AG Zurich)