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Development News

Pan Am architecture here today, gone tomorrow

While Toronto’s HOV traffic lanes have attracted the most attention (and ire), they’re not the only temporary infrastructure the Pan/Parapan American Games are bring to Toronto this summer.

There’s the Athlete’s Village, which isn’t all that temporary since those units will eventually be condos and student residences, and CIBC Pan Am Park, which will scatter tents and other structures across Exhibition Place. But other venues not directly related to the Games are also springing up all over the city.

The Aboriginal Pavillion at Fort York’s Garrison Common will feature an Indigenous music and arts festival hosted by the 14 member ALP (Aboriginal Leadership Partners). One of the largest footprints of any Pan Am arts festival, the pavillion will also host sports events and food vendors.

Meanwhile, up in The Village, PrideHouse’s activities at The 519 and Barbara Hall Park will overflow onto the street during two weekends of the Games, with space for sporting activities and drinking (nice combination!) on Church Street.

But the brashest and most playful temporary structure will likely be the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation’s Celebration Zone at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. Designed by Hariri Pontarini and built by Tektoniks, a UK company founded by a Canadian, the two huge white inflatable arches on Queen’s Quay will host 38 days of arts and cultural programming. The larger of the two structures, about 50 feet high, can hold 1,400 people, while the smaller one, open on the front and looking out over the waterfront, can hold about 300 people. They’re made of a recyclable PVC textile and filled with Ontario air.

“It’s really going to dominate the landscape,” says Ronald Holgerson, president and CEO of OTMPC. “We’re really excited about it. We knew we wanted to create something that was complementary to the 2015 Games and also showcase artists early in their careers.

Holgerson describes the space as “a sponsorship free zone,” though it will showcase different regions of Ontario hoping to attract Pan Am visitors this summer—and beyond.

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Ronald Holgerson
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