Even though the Pan Am Games aren’t for another three years, the Scarborough community is already uncertain of the impact the event will have on the area.
Both local business owners and university students are expressing mixed feelings. Local businesses are worried about losing money during the event, and students are excited their university will host parts of the event.
But competition between businesses is also expected to increase in the area.
The general manager of The Fossil & Haggis pub and grub, Kingsly Mariathan, isn’t sure whether his business will be at an advantage or disadvantage when the Pan Am Games arrive.
“We expect other businesses to come into the area, and our prices have to be comparable. At this point we are not sure if our prices will go up or down,” Mariathan said.
On the other hand, Ian Troop, CEO for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games believes it will help enrich the area with the new sports facilities.
“[The aquatic centre] fills a need for a sports infrastructure in Scarborough and will allow for a variety of users to access it including university students, community residents and high-performance athletes,” says Troop.
The venue is expected to host a variety of sports, including swimming, diving and field sports. The facility will also be open after the games to students, high-performance athletes, sporting groups and the community.
Brandon Bernard, University of Toronto student at the Scarborough campus thinks the centre will be great for students but bad for business.
“The games will be great for us, we’re looking forward to watching the athletes perform, but the new facilities [will also] include a gym which is bad for the local Goodlife [gym],” Bernard said.
Construction of the aquatic centre began in July 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2014. Approximately 8,000 athletes from 41 nations are expected to participate in the games.