Pan American Games Evaluation Visit to Toronto: Political Leaders and Sports Officials Lead Day One of Tour



    TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - The Pan American Sports Organization's (PASO)
Evaluation Commission today visited key sites slated for the Pan / Parapan
American Games 2015, and had the opportunity to meet with Bid and senior
government officials, and renowned athletes and officials involved in
Toronto's bid.
    Starting off the day with breakfast above the clouds at the CN Tower's
360 Restaurant, PASO members were officially welcomed to Toronto for their
two-day visit by Bid Chair, David Peterson, Canadian Olympic Committee
President Michael Chambers, Toronto Mayor David Miller, Canada's Minister of
State for Sport Gary Lunn and Ontario Minister of Health Promotion Margarett
Best.
    "The Government of Canada is pleased to support this excellent bid," said
Minister Lunn. "Although they'll only be here a short time, the PASO
delegation members will no doubt sense the excitement on behalf of everyone
involved in this bid to welcome the Pan Am athletes to this great Canadian
city in 2015."
    "Our plan to host the Games is strong because we are building on
Ontario's strengths," said Minister Best. "The Province of Ontario is fully
committed to hosting an exceptional Games."
    Key games venues in today's visit included: the future home of the new
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario and state-of-the-art Aquatic Centre, at the
University of Toronto Scarborough campus; the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
- proposed media and broadcast centre; York University's Rexall Centre and the
Hershey Centre in Mississauga.
    "We're extremely excited to have the Evaluation Commission in Toronto and
have no doubt that they'll be impressed with our safe, vibrant and
easy-to-navigate city," said Mayor Miller. "I know that Torontonians will show
Pan Am athletes, families and officials a great time in 2015."
    The Evaluation Commission was also given a tour and preview of the
proposed Athletes' Village by Ontario Minister of Energy and Infrastructure
George Smitherman, as well as Waterfront Toronto CEO John Campbell and site
architects. The Village will house up to 8,500 athletes, providing everything
they need in one central lakefront location close to key venues, parks,
training and medical facilities, retail and public transit. After the Games,
the village will become part of a new community of high-quality affordable
housing and market units already planned for the West Don Lands.
    "Not only will this be an ideal home base for the athletes of the 2015
Games, we think it will become one of the most exciting new neighbourhoods in
Toronto," said Minister Smitherman.
    Athletes and sports involved in today's presentations included Olympic
gold medalist and Executive Director of Road to Excellence, Alex Baumann,
squash champion Jonathan Powers, and wrestler and Olympic gold medalist, Carol
Huyn.
    "Today's tour allowed our visitors to get a first-hand look at the
incredible facilities and resources that are ready to host these Games, like
the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Rexall Centre for example. And,
they also heard more about plans for the impressive new CSIO and the Athletes'
Village that will serve as superb Games venues and will stand as great
legacies for this city," said Peterson.
    The Evaluation Commission is on a two-day tour to assess and report back
to PASO on key elements of the Toronto 2015 bid, including proposed venues and
sites across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. A vote deciding the 2015 host city
is expected to be held in November.

    The Pan Am Games is a major international multi-sport event, held every
four years for athletes of the 42 PASO member nations. The Pan American Games
consists of all Summer Olympic sports, plus other events selected by the Pan
American Sports Organization, and serve as an Olympic-qualifier for a number
of the participating sports. The last edition of the Games was held in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil in July 2007 and the next will take place in Guadalajara,
Mexico in October 2011.

    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: Photos accompanying this release are available at
    http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the
    media/
    





For further information:

For further information: Liz Borowiec, Toronto 2015, (416) 326-4982

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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