Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes' Village


Unlike many athletes’ village projects which are purpose built to house competitors during major athletic events and then converted to other uses following the games, Toronto's Athletes’ Village project accelerated the development of a community that was already planned and underway.


Utilizing a section of the West Don Lands for the Athletes’ Village accelerated the pace of transforming the former industrial lands into a beautiful, sustainable, mix-use neighborhood.

Originally, the build out of the 32-hectare (80-acres) West Don Lands was planned to unfold in three strategic phases and take between 10 and 12 years, subject to market conditions. The need to house the athletes and officials for the Games in the summer of 2015 catalyzed the development of more than half of the community. 


Development of the West Don Lands, including the portion that temporarily housed athletes and officials during the Games, is being guided by Waterfront Toronto’s West Don Lands Precinct Plan. The Precinct Plan, developed through extensive public consultation, outlines the vision for the area and defines the location, scale, character and function of all public spaces, streets, buildings and facilities in the community. The plan describes a showcase modern community where design excellence, sustainability and technology come together.


Utilizing the West Don Lands for the Athletes’ Village is a prudent way to create a legacy from hosting the Games. During the Games, the Village section of the West Don Lands provided accommodations for athletes and officials. Now that the Games are over, it has been converted into what it was always planned to be - a lively mixed-use neighbourhood that offers a range of housing for people at all stages of life and income levels. Facilities required for the Athletes’ Village, but not part of the long-term needs of the West Don Lands community, were built as temporary structures.


The section of the West Don Lands used during the Games was developed by Waterfront Toronto in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario (IO).


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building a village


The Athletes' Village served as the home-away-from-home for 10,000 athletes and officials for approximately eight weeks in the summer of 2015.  Now that the Games have ended, it has been converted into a range of housing options as defined by the West Don Lands Precinct Plan.


The Pan/Parapan American Games is one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 42 member nations of the Pan American Sport Organization. The games comprise a mix of Summer Olympic Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports.


The portion of the West Don Lands allocated for the Athletes' Village was approximately 3.8 acres centred on Front Street. The development includes approximately 2,000 units of housing, as well as a range of facilities required for the Athletes’ Village, but not part of the long-term needs of the West Don Lands community.  Facilities such as a welcome and accreditation centre, a 3,500 seat dining hall, parking and service facilities, and a transit mall were built as temporary structures.


achieving sustainability


The Athletes' Village will achieve LEED® Gold certification and will be efficient in its use of resources. Plans for the area require taking advantage of new approaches and technologies to deliver a positive impact on the surrounding air, land and water. LEED® buildings focus on healthy indoor environments, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and efficient use of energy, water and other resources.


Infrastructure Ontario, Waterfront Toronto and the Ontario Realty Corporation worked with Toronto 2015 to develop the Athletes' Village, which was delivered using IO’s Design-Build-Finance delivery model, with a Build-Finance component for certain site servicing.


planning, design and compliance team


Following a competitive selection process, Waterfront Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario named a planning, design and compliance team for the project in October 2010. The team was responsible for developing output specifications and preliminary design documents for the West Don Lands Athletes' Village Project.


The team:


HOK: Team Leader - Design & Planning Strategy Team
Architecture duToit Allsopp Hillier (DTAH) - Design & Planning Strategy Team - Architecture/Landscape
Quadrangle Architects - Design Strategy Team - Architecture/Accessibility
Montgomery Sisam Architects - Design & Planning Strategy Team - Architecture
Populous - Program Manager/Expert Advisor - Athletes' Village