Niagara wins bid to host Canada Summer Games in 2021

The Niagara Region will host the bi-annual, multi-sport event in 2021.

Niagara Region beat out bids from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and Sudbury

Newfoundland and Labrador's Kiley DeLong (left) and Ontario's Christine Exeter battle for the ball during womens soccer quarter finals at the 2009 Canada Summer Games in Summerside, P.E.I. (Peter Redman/Canadian Press)

The Niagara Region has been awarded the 2021 Canada Summer Games.

Niagara was chosen over bids from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and Sudbury. The decision was announced Thursday.

Olympic champion kayaker Adam Van Koeverden medalled for Team Ontario at the 1997 Canada Summer Games. He said the competition was essential to his development as an Olympic athlete.

"Canada Games was my first multi-sport games experience, and actually my first-time racing for a team other than the Burloak Canoe Club," said Koeverden. "It was my first team trip, my first track suit, my first opening ceremonies and my first media interview. I look back on Brandon 1997 with gratitude for a whole host of first-time experiences, and I look forward to future Canada Games as our next generation of athletes start their careers in sport competing for their Provinces and Territories."

The Canada Games are the country's largest multi-sport event, held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer. This will be the third time Ontario has hosted the games. Thunder Bay hosted the 1981 Games, while the 2001 Canada Summer Games were held in London.

"We are thrilled to welcome Canadian athletes, their families and coaches to Ontario and show them all the warmth and hospitality our province has to offer," Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Eleanor McMahon said. "The Games not only provide our athletes with an important chance to compete at a national level, they also help strengthen the local economy, increase local pride and increase volunteerism."

Tom Quinn, Canada Games Council Chairman said "The 2021 bid evaluation process was extremely competitive with four remarkable communities putting forth outstanding bids to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games. Everyone involved in the bids should be very proud of what they accomplished. It was rewarding for our entire committee to see such passion for the Canada Games in each community."