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Toronto area awarded 2015 Pan Am Games

Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe region will host the Pan Am Games in 2015.

Defeating Lima, Colombia, Peru and Bogota on the first ballot, Toronto emerged victorious Friday evening in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“We are thrilled. We will work hard to stage the best Pan and Parapan Am Games ever,” bid chair David Peterson said in a press release.

Peterson, Toronto Mayor David Miller, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and Federal Sport Minister Gary Lunn all travelled to Mexico earlier this week to make their final respective cases for Canada’s largest city.

“It’s a moment of tremendous celebration for us in Toronto, Ont. and Canada and it’s also a moment of great humility to know that we won this honour today,” McGuinty said to the delegates after the announcement was made.

A jubilant Miller added: “I would like to thank all of the PASO [Pan American Sport Organization] delegates the confidence you have shown in Toronto. See you all in 2015.”

After each city made its final presentations earlier Friday, Lunn felt confident about the job his team had done.

“Everybody was at the top of their game,” he said.  “And the buzz around here was that Toronto had without question the far superior bid.”

In addition to the estimated $1.4 billion price tag, another $1 billion will be invested into building an athletes’ village in the West Don Lands area, and will be turned into an affordable housing area once the Games concluded.

The federal and provincial governments have contributed $500 million each, while municipalities and other parties will contribute the remaining $428 million.

Before 2015, venues will need to be created. Two 50-metre swimming pools along with a diving tank at the University of Toronto Scarborough’s campus are a near certainty to be added.

The Pan Am Games are held every four years, with athletes from the 42 countries competing in them. The 2011 event will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico.