The days are counting down until the Pan Am Games arrive in Toronto. As of the end of November 2014 there are 222 left, to be precise. As various venues for the games continue to open, like the Toronto Pan Am Sport Centre and the Atos Markham Pan Am / Parapan Am Centre, and as traffic management plans are announced, it's clear that a huge amount of work has been completed well in advance of the events.
The one part of Toronto that we have paid the most attention to in advance of the Games is the West Don Lands, where the athletes and their coaches will live in the Pan Am Village while they are here, and which will become a new Toronto neighbourhood less than a year later. Recently, UrbanToronto joined the developers, contractors, and a small throng of media for a tour of the grounds to see how things were coming along.
While normally we have a lengthy photo tour for you, today we are mostly inviting you to come along as we tour via video, checking out the site as we wander along Front Street, into the new Cooper Koo Family YMCA with its gym and sports courts, and its pools, and then into what will become the Canary District Condos.
Every building in the West Don Lands has a role to play during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in 2015 before being turned over for their ultimate use as a new neighbourhood for Toronto. Starting in mid 2016, buildings that were temporary accommodation for athletes and their coaches will become the permanent homes for thousands of new residents and housing for George Brown College Students. Training and warm-up space will open as the new Cooper Koo Family YMCA. Office space needed to administrate the games will become new ground level retail and restaurants. With new the award-winning parks Corktown Common and Underpass Park already in place, and a new spur of the King streetcar ready to roll, a new neighbourhood will open over the summer of 2016, but by fall of that year will feel like it all came into being in the blink of an eye.
The video tour above brought you into a building that will eventually become the Canary District Condominums and left off before we wandered into Canary Park Condominiums. Along with the unvisited George Brown College residence and a pair of buildings which will become modern Toronto Community Housing stock, these buildings are all currently set up inside with extra bedrooms to house Games participants. The temporary extra walls will come out, and permanent finishes—including kitchens and bathrooms—will go in as the buildings are transformed for their permanent residents over the winter of 2015-2016. We will bring you back to get a better look at these buildings as more is completed, and we hope to get a better look at the latest public realm updates before this winter really sets in.
in the meantime, if you want to know more about the various games facilities and emergent neighbourhood, we have several UrbanToronto dataBase files for you to explore, which are linked below. Each includes several renderings and plenty of information. Want to talk about it all? You can join in on the conversation in any of the associated Forum threads, or add you voice in the comments field provided on this page.