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Pan Am Games bid approved by city council will benefit Scarborough

The campus community is excited about the prospect of an Olympic aquatics centre, as depicted in this artistic rendering, as part of Toronto's bid to host the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Toronto city council voted overwhelming in favor of backing Toronto's bid for the 2015 Pan American Games, the Toronto Star reports today.

The biggest facility in the bid for the Games is at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus, which would get an aquatics centre and sports institute if Toronto wins its bid to host the 2015 games. At its meeting on Monday, Feb. 23, city council approved a $1.4 million bid for the 2015 Pan Am Games, and Toronto is one of three finalist cities, competing against Bogota, Colombia and Lima, Peru.

"We probably should call this the Scarborough 2015 Pan American Games bid," joked Toronto Mayor David Miller, adding that the athletic facilities will be a legacy for the Scarborough community, but that a successful bid will mean more than just sports facilities for Scarborough, he said. "One of the things that I think is important about that venue … is that it will force the province of Ontario to ensure that we build the Scarborough-Malvern light rapid transit line," Miller said.

The bid will also open doors for young people, especially those in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, to get new sports facilities and coaching that the city now lacks, he said.

The proposal for the Scarborough campus is for a $170 million sports complex with a field house, gymnasium and multipurpose program area, fitness and training facilities that would support both recreation and high-performance training. Although details are not yet fully developed, the list includes a running track, climbing wall, squash course and food services.

A key component of the complex would be a vast aquatics centre with two Olympic-sized, 52-metre pools, a 10-metre diving tank, and spectator seating. The funding required to equip the facilities to meet international competition standards would be provided through a partnership between the provincial and federal governments, the city of Toronto and the University of Toronto. Click here for more details about the Pan Am Games and what they will mean for U of T Scarborough and the Scarborough community.

 




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