The 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games is the largest multi-sport event in Canada since the 1976 Olympic Summer Games in Montréal. In preparation, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will see numerous new athletic venues.
One of these is the Pan American Aquatics Centre (PAAC), Field House, and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) complex on the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC).
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) awarded a contract to PCL Aquatics Centre 2012—a team consisting of PCL Constructors Canada and designer NORR Ltd.—to design, build, and finance the project.
The centre will house the swimming, fencing, and sitting volleyball events. The project is being constructed on land jointly owned by the City of Toronto and UTSC; the complex will be co-owned by both.
Designed to comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, the project will also satisfy the city’s Toronto Green Standard (TGS).
In a design reflecting the regional landscape, the new centre will include a sloping roofline and metal-clad masses. This sloped roof structure will be fitted with a vegetated assembly, adding to the sustainability elements in the design. The two-storey CSIO and administration offices will have natural daylighting available to cut down on energy costs.
The centre has been designed with long-term use in mind, and following the 2015 games—which is expected to host more than 10,000 athletes—it will be used by local athletes for training as well as a community centre.
The aquatic facility is designed to meet International Swimming Federation (FINA) standards and will contain two
10-lane 50-m (164-ft) pools, a 5-m (16-ft) deep dive tank, dry land training facilities, and seating for approximately 6000 spectators during the Games, including roughly 2800 short-term seats. The Field House will be designed to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) standards and will feature gymnasium training space, an indoor track, and spectator capacity for approximately 2000 during the Games, including 600 temporary seats.
Other major venues being constructed or redeveloped for the 2015 Games include:
- Pan and Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village–athlete accommodations (Toronto);
- soccer stadium (Hamilton);
- Pan American Athletics Stadium–various events (Toronto);
- Milton Velodrome–track cycling (Milton);
- Markham Pan Am Centre–water polo, table tennis, and badminton (Markham);
- Etobicoke Olympium–aquatic training site (Toronto); and
- Pan American Field Hockey Centre (Toronto).
The project’s construction began this summer and is scheduled for completion in 2014.