Sunday, July 10th marks the official four-year countdown to the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games—the largest international multi-sport competition ever hosted in Canada.
To mark the occasion, Mayor Rob Ford announced Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6, Etobicoke – Lakeshore) has been selected to lead the City of Toronto's participation in the Games as Chairman of the Mayor's Pan Am Games Secretariat.
“We are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with the City on delivering an event that will make us all proud,” says Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015™).
As the City's lead, Councillor Grimes will provide support and direction for an integrated public agenda for the Toronto 2015 Games that will help maximize economic development, tourism and local community opportunities for the city.
"I am very pleased to announce that Councillor Mark Grimes will be leading our team, welcoming thousands of expected visitors for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games," said Mayor Ford. "The Games will generate investment, spending and jobs for Toronto."
Since 2003, Councillor Grimes has developed relationships with many of Toronto’s sports leaders, and as the City’s Toronto 2015 lead, he will draw upon his board member experience with groups including Tourism Toronto, the Toronto Sports Council and the Hockey Hall of Fame. In addition, Councillor Grimes was also the lead in getting the BMO Field to Toronto.
"I’m honoured to represent the City of Toronto for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games," said Councillor Grimes. "On behalf of our city, I look forward to welcoming athletes and visitors from around the globe. This is a great opportunity for sport and for Toronto to showcase the city's diversity, assets and attractions."
On Sunday, July 10 Toronto’s iconic CN Tower will be lit up in the vibrant Toronto 2015 Pan Am red, blue and green brand colours to celebrate the four-year countdown. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will involve more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials participating in 48 sports across 17 municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
“The Government of Canada is very proud to support the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “Today marks an exciting occasion as we begin our four-year countdown to when we will welcome the Americas in the largest international sporting event Canada has ever hosted.”
The Games are held every four years for athletes of the 42 member nations of the Pan American Sport Organization (PASO). Canada has hosted them twice before, in 1967 and 1999, both times in Winnipeg.
“The 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games will spark transformation in Ontario at many levels. I am confident that athletes of all abilities will benefit for years to come and so will the broader community when Ontario hosts the world in 2015,” says Margarett Best, Ontario Minister of Health Promotion and Sport.
The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will take place from July 10 to 26, 2015 and the Parapan Am Games will be held from August 7 to 14, 2015.