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Pan Am Flame to Blaze a Trail at U of T Scarborough

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am Torch.

The Pan Am Games torch will make its way to U of T Scarborough in a celebratory community event on July 5th – Day 36 of its 41-day, 130 community, cross-country journey. Toronto FC’s Dwayne de Rosario will carry the flame as one of several torchbearers from the community.

The fun begins at noon and continues until 4 pm. U of T’s Indigenous Elder in Residence Cat Criger will bless and recognize the grounds. Festivities feature an obstacle course and relay with UTSC’s MoveU Crew, the creation of a collaborative community mural, mini-clinics for those who want to learn to play sports of the Americas, music and dance performances, children’s crafts including “torch” building and face painting, 4 on 4 soccer matches and other games offered by UTSC’s and East Scarborough Storefront’s Playing for Keeps Neighbourhood Hubs, buskers and food vendors.

After being lit in a traditional ceremony in Teotihuacan, Mexico, the torch began its Canadian expedition on May 30th in Toronto and so far has visited Halifax, N.S., Richmond B.C., and Winnipeg, MB, having touched down at five national historic sites across the country, Algonquin Provincial Park, Point Pelee National Park, five First Nations communities in Ontario and six Canadian Forces bases across the country.  The whirlwind tour means the torch travels on land, on water and in the air, usually stopping in in several cities every day.

U of T alumna and Olympic Gold-medalist Rosie MacLennan was the first of more than 3,000 torchbearers to carry the flame on its 20,000+ kilometre-journey, before its final, safe arrival back in for the Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony in Toronto on July 10th. Some of the famous Canadians sharing the honours of carrying the torch include Olympic Silver-medalist Elvis Stojko, Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Pan Am Games Poet Laureate Mustafa Ahmed, Olympic Gold-medalist and triathlete Simon Whitfield, legendary hockey dad Walter Gretzky, three-time world champion coxswain and Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist Brian Price, Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila, and Olympic pole vaulter Dana Ellis.

On Day 36 of the torch relay, the Pan Am flame will travel from Withrow Park, through the streets of Toronto to Variety Village and the Toronto Zoo before heading to the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre at UTSC in the afternoon and later to Music Africa for an evening celebration at the annual music festival Afrofest.

The Parapan American Games will also have a torch relay. Two flames – one lit in Ottawa and another in Niagara Falls—will begin their journey on August 3rd, travelling along the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail for five days before uniting in Toronto.

Pan Am Torch Facts:

  • Length: 65 cm
  • Weight: 1.2 kg
  • Material: aluminum
  • • 10 – 12 minutes’ burn time
  • • Can withstand winds up to 70 km/h
  • • Visible in all weather conditions
  • • Contemporary design presents the Toronto 2015 brand, capturing the Games’ energy and spirit
  • • Depictions of people in motion, symbolizing the celebration of sport and culture


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