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Athletes' Village - Community Building Legacy

Archived Backgrounder

Athletes' Village - Community Building Legacy

Pan Am and Parapan Am Games

Originally slated for completion in three phases over the next 10 to 12 years, the 80 acre West Don Lands revitalization project will now be over half completed by the time the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games come to town.

The LEED gold designed community, called the Canary District, will be approximately 35 acres once fully built, more than half the size of the planned West Don Lands development.
The project, which features one of Canada's first open access ultra-high-speed broadband networks, includes 810 market housing units (condominiums and townhouses), of which 100 units are available for affordable ownership, 253 affordable rental units, George Brown College student housing units and the Cooper Koo Family YMCA.
Residents of the new community will also have access to the new 18-acre Corktown Common, a pedestrian-friendly network of roads with bike paths and public spaces will connect with adjacent communities and the 1,800-km provincial parks and trails network.

Affordable Housing

Fred Victor and Wigwamen Incorporated were selected as the successful non-profit housing providers following a competitive procurement process.

  • Fred Victor has partnered with several agencies to ensure that lower income, working households individuals with physical disabilities, veterans and seniors have access to high quality, well-maintained affordable housing.
  • Wigwamen will provide housing to the Aboriginal community and has partnered with the Ontario March of Dimes to provide access to people with disabilities, including carded athletes, as well as Accommodation Information and Support Inc. (AIS), an organization committed to providing supportive housing to individuals and families so they can live independently.

Recognizing Our Athletes

A key games legacy objective is the inclusion of Canada's nationally-carded athletes and para-athletes as residents in the affordable rental housing buildings. Ten per cent of units will be made available to these athletes.

George Brown College Student Residence

The new community includes residences for George Brown College students - a first for the College. The 175,000 square foot, eight-storey building will house 500 students. With the addition of the new residence, George Brown College will be able to better accommodate growing student demand, which over the past seven years has seen applications grow by more than 50 per cent and enrolment grow by 70 per cent.

Cooper Koo Family YMCA

Thanks to this development, surrounding communities will now have a sport and recreation centre that will provide services and programs to support over 8,000 people in a neighbourhood whose population is projected to increase 13.5 per cent by 2020.
The new YMCA will include a gymnasium, a swimming pool, fitness studios, exercise areas, spaces for youth and community and a community-accessible green roof, providing an additional 11,000 square feet of outdoor space.


The community was designed to be a barrier-free environment for residents and visitors. At Games-time, the Village will have approximately 270 adapted and accessible units. After the Games, at least 10 per cent of the affordable rental housing units will be accessible. Features of publicly accessible areas include:

  • Oversized corridors with barrier free turn-arounds every 30 metres.
  • Oversized elevator cabs equipped with audible floor level announcement and braille/tactile controls.
  • Zero step entrances and accessible landscaping around facilities and barrier free parking provided for both residents and visitors.
  • Tactile strips at all stairs, ramps and grade changes and tonal contrast for doors and frames throughout.
  • Accessible meeting spaces at George Brown College facility and accessible change facilities at YMCA.

By The Numbers

To get ready to welcome athletes, TO2015 is beginning work to prepare the site to function as a genuine village during Games time. This means building temporary structures such as tents, fences and a bus depot. Here is a glimpse of the Village by the numbers:

  • 220,000 - The number of pieces of furniture, fixtures and other items will be installed.
  • 69,965 - Square footage of the temporary dining tent to be installed in March.
  • 450,000 - Number of meals to be served during the Games -- approximately 21,00 per day.
  • 248 - The number of volunteers who will help ensure everything runs smoothly for athletes and officials in the Village.

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