TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - The legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Games continues today at the University of Toronto Scarborough after the state-of-the-art CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House was handed back by to the University of Toronto Scarborough and City of Toronto by the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
Now known as the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, student athletes, weekend warriors and Canada's top athletes will be able to swim in the same pool as Canada's most decorated Paralympic swimmer Benoît Huot at one of the world's newest and fastest pools.
The legacy of the Games is being seen at other new TORONTO 2015 venues including the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University, which was handed back last week. It was there Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse thrilled spectators this summer with two gold-medal performances, including a Canadian record in the 200-metre sprint.
"We are proud to hand these brand-new sport facilities back to their communities," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015. "Not only were they tremendous venues where athletes broke world records, won medals and the hearts of Canadians, they were designed with the future in mind — to serve the needs of their communities and Canadian high-performance athletes. That legacy continues today."
To mark today`s occasion, TO2015 handed over a ceremonial key to Bruce Kidd, vice-president, University of Toronto, and principal of University of Toronto Scarborough. This handover was the last of more than 30 Games competition venues that were handed back to their respective owners.
Funded by the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the University of Toronto Scarborough and its students, the Aquatics Centre and Field House was one of the largest investments ever made in amateur sport infrastructure in Canada.
The internationally sanctioned aquatics facility is also now home to the Wheelchair Basketball Canada National Academy, the world's first full-time, year-round, daily training environment for high-performance wheelchair basketball athletes and the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario, which provides world-leading sport science and sport performance services such as coaching and training facilities for high-performance athletes.
The venue is also a transformational resource for the community and the University of Toronto Scarborough clubs, who have access to all areas of the facility for recreational use, and it will serve as a catalyst for further development and opportunities in the area.
Along with the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium and Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome, the Aquatics Centre & Field House is a recipient of funding from the TORONTO 2015 Sport Legacy Fund. The $70-million fund, jointly supported by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, was previously announced in November 2013.
Administered by the independent Toronto Foundation, the Legacy Fund will contribute annually to the ongoing operating and capital maintenance costs of the facilities for the next two decades, which will benefit their communities and Canadian high-performance athletes.
In addition, TO2015 has negotiated preferential and affordable access for Canadian high-performance athletes at new and upgraded venues that received capital funding for the Games, which is benefitting more than 20 national or provincial sport organizations.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games took place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15. The TORONTO 2015 Games were funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) was tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It worked to bring some of the world's best athletes and artists to Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of the action, and making the region a hub for sport.
The Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games:
"Our Government made a bid to host the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games for the many long-term benefits they would provide. The new facilities have increased access to sport and recreation for Ontarians of all abilities, and are providing opportunities for current and future athletes to reach the podium while training right here at home. The Sport Legacy Fund will ensure that these state-of-the-art facilities will continue to maintain their world-class status and increase sport hosting opportunities for years to come."
Howie Dayton, Director, Parks Forestry and Recreation, City of Toronto:
"The Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre is one of the true legacies of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. It was a great competition venue for the Games and it is now a true hub in the community both for those who aspire to be world class athletes and for those who just want to live a healthy lifestyle and have some fun."
Professor Bruce Kidd, vice-president and principal, University of Toronto Scarborough:
"This is a legacy that makes us very proud. The Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre demonstrates we can do remarkable things together. This building is an outstanding example of sustainability and accessibility, and a game changer in sports infrastructure in the GTA. Our students and our community have the best possible facility for athletics, recreation and wellness."
Debbie Low, President and CEO, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario:
"Canadian Sport Institute Ontario is proud to be part of the legacy of the successful Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan Am Games. The Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre provides a home for our world-class sport institute and the high performance athletes and coaches that we work with. From the pools and the dive tank to the fieldhouse to the exceptional accessibility standards throughout the building, TPASC is a state-of-the-art facility that further supports us in providing an optimal daily training environment to athletes and coaches, so they can maximize their performance in training and competition. We look forward to working with TPASC and the future opportunities the facility will provide, not only to high performance sport, but to the overall sport community in Ontario and the GTA."
Mike Frogley, High Performance Director, Wheelchair Basketball Canada:
"Our National Academy program trains out of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and has been a key training site in the development of our Canadian athletes. One of the great facilities created for the TO2015 Games, we are pleased to be training here in preparation for excellence at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games."
Dan-Lee Athill, 4th year, Health Science, University of Toronto Scarborough:
"The University of Toronto Scarborough has always prided itself in academics, but now transitioning the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre to our athletics centre, makes UTSC the place to be for bright kids who also shine in sports. "
SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information: Heather Irwin, Coordinator, media relations, TO2015, 416.303.9753, email@example.com