The Ontario Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games, Charles Sousa, announced Thursday the preparations for the event are on time and on budget.
Infrastructure Ontario and Waterfront Toronto unveiled the designs for the athletes’ village and surrounding developments, which will include condominiums, a YMCA recreation centre, and George Brown College’s first student residence.
“I have no doubt this new community will set a gold-medal standard for all developments to come,” he said in a speech.
“This is indeed an historic day for our province.”
Construction is already underway in the West Don Lands area where the village is intended to house 10,000 athletes and officials during the games and then be converted into residential and commercial space.
Contractors Dundee Kilmer Developments L.P. have a $514-million contract with the province to build the development, receiving their first installment of $21-million in December.
Mr. Sousa said the project is currently on budget and – unlike developments such as at the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver – he says it will stay that way.
“It’s different than some of the other villages and other projects that have been at events in the past. We already have the buy-out and the pay-out at the tail end,” he said.
“We’ve negotiated and secured those positions, so that part is fine. The question is making sure it gets done on time.”
NDP MPP and Sport Critic Paul Miller issued a news release after the event calling on the McGuinty government to publish updated financial numbers to back up their claim that the games are on budget.
“Just a week ago, Olympic icon Paul Henderson, was sounding the alarm bells that the Pan Am Games are going over-budget. Today, we are being told that everything is fine. Yet, the McGuinty government is refusing to open the books to the public to prove what they are saying is true. We need transparency, not vague assurances,” Mr. Miller said in the release.
The presentation on Thursday included renderings of the building designs as well as a 3D model of the proposed Don Mills neighbourhood.
According to John Campbell, president and CEO of Waterfront Toronto, the 2015 games are quickening the construction of a development that had been planned in Don Mills for many years.
“Our athlete village is advancing building of a community that was already well-planned and under development.”