Enviornmental impact of Toronto’s Pan Am Games

The proposed Pan Am Aquatic Centre will have a positive environmental impact by cleaning up the area where it will be built, says Ward 44 councillor Ron Moeser.

“It used to be a garbage dump,” Moeser said. “We’re going to clean some of that area up as part of the overall approach.”

According to the bid book, the Toronto games will strive to be the greenest ever and focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The games will give Toronto an opportunity to showcase and create a legacy of climate solutions, said Deborah Carlson, a climate change campaigner at the David Suzuki Foundation.

Transportation is one of the components she said would need to be addressed to reach the goal of being environmentally friendly.

“It’s a very important component of building a sustainable city,” Carlson said.

Lack of sustainable transportation was one of the areas where the Vancouver Olympics didn’t do well, according to a climate impact evaluation by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Effectively communicating practical solutions to climate change is another area in which the Vancouver Olympics didn’t do well, but the Pan Am games can, Carlson said.

The Suzuki Foundation does not yet have plans to evaluate how the Pan Am Games will address climate impact, as they did for the Olympics, she said.

Moeser said he thinks the games will bring only benefits.

“I think this is going to be very positive for the community,” he said. “And we want to make it as environmentally friendly as possible and all those things will be part of the planning process.”

Since the games are still five years away, there are no concrete plans yet on how exactly to make them environmentally friendly.

“It’s important to plan early,” Carlson said. “Pressure will build up closer to the day.”