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T.O. may strike gold

Toronto will likely come out the big winner if the city secures the 2015 Pan Am Games, with water­front lands poised to house the athletes’ village that could be turned into affordable housing afterward.

Toronto will likely come out the big winner if the city secures the 2015 Pan Am Games, with water­front lands poised to house the athletes’ village that could be turned into affordable housing afterward.

Even though the $1.4-billion bid — slashed by $300 million because of the economic climate — is being touted as a Greater Golden Horseshoe plan, many events would be in Toronto, including premier sports like swimming and diving, as well as triathlon and cycling.

Bid chair David Peterson, who came to city hall yesterday to update councillors, said organizers are considering housing athletes and coaches in the West Donlands area of the waterfront, where affordable housing and market-rate housing are planned.

Toronto Community Housing has plans for 130 units of affordable housing near King Street East and St. Lawrence Street, with construction slated to start later this year.

“Obviously, if you can build with two purposes, it serves two agendas; it would be complementary,” said CEO Derek Ballantyne. “If it brings resources for the construction of more affordable housing, that’s also beneficial.”

Opening and closing ceremonies would likely be at the Rogers Centre. The Air Canada Centre, BMO Field and Ricoh Coliseum are all expected to be used along with facilities at three universities in Toronto and upgraded city parks like Birchmount and Centennial.

 
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