John Tory calls for 'great caution' against 2022 Commonwealth Games bid

Toronto city council will be asked on Tuesday to consider bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, but Mayor John Tory says he is advocating "great caution" against such a move.

Council to be asked to consider bid after Durban lost right to host games

Mayor John Tory is expressing 'great caution' against a city bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Toronto city council will be asked on Tuesday to consider bidding for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, but Mayor John Tory says he is advocating "great caution" against such a move.

"This is not as simple as saying 'We have all the right facilities so let's do it,'" Tory said in a statement released Sunday.

"It is a time-consuming, complex undertaking requiring years of preparation and unknown expense. I believe any move to proceed with a bid on these games will require great convincing."

Tory said the city has already taken steps to ensure it doesn't bid for events that may seriously stretch its financial resources.

These steps include the preparation of a report from the mayor's advisory panel on international hosting opportunities and approval of a city bidding and hosting strategy for significant special events, he said.
Coun. James Pasternak said the city could use existing Toronto Pan-Am Games facilities if it hosted the Commonwealth Games. (CBC)

"These formal policies have been put in place [to] ensure any future bids on major events are managed and evaluated to avoid a situation where the city rushes into hosting an event that ends up being too costly, or the city misses out on an opportunity to host a significant event because it was unprepared for the bidding process."

At its Tuesday meeting, Coun. James Pasternak will recommend that city council investigate the idea of bidding for the games, find out what would be required to submit a bid, and receive a report on the process and timeline if it decides to proceed with a bid.

Pasternak says in his notice of motion that Toronto Pan-Am Games facilities could be used if the city hosted the Commonwealth Games

Earlier this month, Durban, South Africa, lost the right to host the games despite a revised budget and hosting proposal.

In a statement on March 13, the Commonwealth Games Federation said Durban is no longer the preferred host of the event and it is exploring "alternative options," including possibly a new replacement host city.
Here is a view of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre competitive pool, which was built for the 2015 Pan Am Games. (Russell James)

Pasternak says Toronto could be the replacement host city.

"Toronto is ready to host this competition after successfully hosting the Pan American/ Parapan American Games in 2015. It is highly likely that no new venues would need to be built for the games which would great reduce any financial risk to the city."

He says Glasgow, Scotland, the last host of the games, reported a significant boost to tourism due to the games.