Toronto Pan Am Games start 1-year countdown

Today marks exactly one year to the start of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, with countdown celebrations planned in host communities as organizers try to build excitement for the event.

Event opens July 10, 2015

In 365 days Toronto will host the Pan Am Games, the celebrations begin today. 3:06

Today marks exactly one year to the start of the Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

The Pan Am Games will run from July 10-26, 2015, with the Parapan Am event August 7-15.

Live action will be broadcast on CBC Television and streamed on CBCSports.ca.

One-year countdown celebrations are planned for Friday and Saturday at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square and in other host communities in Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe area as organizers try to build excitement for the event.

Some 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials are expected to attend next year, along with a quarter of a million visitors. Events will be held in 32 venues spread across the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Niagara.

Various construction projects are underway in the host cities, including a $158-million aquatics centre on the University of Toronto campus in Scarborough, Ont., a $56-million cycling velodrome in Milton, Ont., and a new track and field stadium on the campus of Toronto's York University. Hamilton is building a new stadium that will host the Pan Am Games' soccer matches and the CFL's Tiger-Cats.

Held every four years among countries of the Americas, the Games are an important tuneup for the next year's Olympics, with several Pan Am events serving as Olympic qualifiers.

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