When Toronto was named host of the 2015 Pan Am Games in November, Waterfront Toronto president John Campbell felt a sudden boost of adrenaline.
Campbell, who was standing in a hotel ballroom in Guadalajara, Mexico, along with the rest of the Toronto delegation, knew the win would mean development of the West Donlands, on the books for years, will finally get built.
And as the man in charge of waterfront development, who often hears the question, “Why isn’t anything happening down there?” Campbell believes this win is critical to pushing revitalization efforts.
That’s because the site, entirely owned by the provincial government, will be home to the $1-billion athletes’ village — expected to house 8,500 athletes, coaches and officials — when the Games are held in July 2015. That is on top of the $1.4-billion budget to host the Games.
The secure village area will include a dining hall to seat 5,000, welcome centre, transit hub, medical clinic and temporary practice training facilities including a running track and pool.
When the Games end, the village will be turned into a mix of housing including affordable and market-rate, though the actual mix has not been set yet.
“The Games will get the overall project moving and get people focused,” Campbell said. “A deadline forces people to deliver. It creates a discipline to the process.”
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