Places that Glow: Evaluating the Legacy of the 2015 Toronto Pan/Parapan American Games
Toronto is two years removed from hosting the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. Within the two-year span, from the event's commencement to its end, ample time has been given to debate and consider whether the legacy of the Games has benefitted or hindered wider municipal and regional planning goals. Both the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area witnessed the mounting of large infrastructure projects (mega sporting infrastructure) across city and regional landscapes. Each project differs, however, as they provide different benefits (or none at all) and produce separate outcomes that impact local communities and tie together physical and social goals. This paper investigates the legacy of the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games and examines how infrastructure built for the Games contributes to a positive or negative legacy. A case study of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Scarborough presents the impacts of Pan Am infrastructure on the overall legacy. The relation between the Pan Am overall legacy and success of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre confirms that the post-Games positive legacies are virtually tied to inclusive and responsible planning practices. This relationship also shows that cities choosing to host mega sporting events run the risk of cost overruns and mistimed project goals. Whether the outcomes of economic and social promises lay solely on the municipality or not, the success of these events, and eventually, their legacies, are tied directly to governmental commitment and increased partnerships.