Terraplan designed public space hailed as epitomizing much of what was good about the Pan-Am and Parapan Games

With the Pan Am Games having come and gone, and the Parapan Am Games coming to a close in a couple of days, Toronto's summer spectacles are nearly behind us, leaving in their wake an opportunity to reflect on their impact and legacy. Despite initial doubts concerning whether the games would attract the predicted tourism, investment, and public interest, Pan Am nonetheless managed to grip our attention following an eye-catching opening ceremony, heralding a sort of civic pride rarely seen in our city. The unsold tickets eventually got (mostly) sold, the hotel rooms more booked up, the local businesses boosted, and we even decided to keep our 'TORONTO' sign around long after its all over.

Yet, while the excitement of medal counts already starts to fade from public memory, what is left behind is an infrastructural legacy that—despite not getting many pulses racing—ensures the games leave behind a tangible and fiscally responsible set of socio-economic benefits. The games leave behind no ostentatious and overpriced empty stadium, but they do leave us an athletes village that promises to quickly transform into a vibrant neighbourhood, as well as new parks, amenities, transit, and public art throughout the GTHA.

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